One of the PSVR games I was most excited to play this month was Robinson: The Journey from Crytec games. Early demos were beautiful, and it’s easily one of the more immersive VR worlds released in 2016.
Unlike other critics, I had no issues with the controls, and the puzzles in the game reminded me of Myst. In fact, although it wasn’t as action-packed as I hoped, I rather enjoyed the game. Here’s the breakdown.
Welcome to the Jungle
The first thing you need to understand about The Journey is that it’s rated E for Everyone. So don’t expect to see a T-Rex ripping into you or anything graphic. You will, however, be immersed enough to gain some thrills from killing yourself in-game.
The story revolves around a young boy named Robin, who you control from a first-person point of view. Although the menu starts in space, you don’t actually get to live through his ship’s crash onto an alien planet.
Instead, you’re shown enough to understand it’s happening and then wake up on the surface of the planet. Before you even learn the controls, you’re facing a dinosaur egg in a nest while HIGS, your Portal-like robot guide, warns you it’s a tyrannosaur egg. You keep wanting to look behind you for the mom, but of course the scene ends before anything terribly fun happens.
Soon you’re in your pod and able to explore the overall camp. Robin has been stranded for a year now, and it shows. The environments feel very much like a boy from the future stranded in a jungle.
Soon you meet Laika, your pet T-Rex, and are able to interact with her, teach her tricks, etc. To progress the story, you’ll need to figure out puzzles.
A Puzzling Proposition
In reading some critics complain about the difficulty of puzzles, I couldn’t help but laugh at how lazy people get. None of the puzzles in this game are difficult, and if you’re actually paying attention, it’s quite easy to progress through the game.
The controls in many of the PSVR launch titles vary drastically, and some methods work better than others. Navigating The Journey is certainly much easier than games like Sports Bar VR and Arkham VR. Climbing could get occasionally difficult, but overall, it’s not a problem.
A side quest during your adventure is to scan as many animals and insects as possible. This is easier said than done, as many of them run away as soon as you get close enough. It’s kinda like playing Pokemon Go if you’re into that.
You have a few tools at your disposal, and switching between then is rather intuitive. Although it is rated E, it’s pretty easy to die in the game by jumping off a cliff, although be warned it can feel a little bit real when you do.
Piecing together items and accomplishing certain tasks does get glitchy every so often, but the glitches were much less prominent than in Arkham VR. It’s a bit disappointing that Robinson doesn’t support the Move controllers, though I’ve yet to play a game that felt flawless using them anyway, so it’s probably a good thing.
Crytec created one of the most visually beautiful and interesting PSVR games so far, but it lacks in action and often leaves you feeling unfulfilled.
I wanted to experience the crash and all those moments it cut out. It felt like the every episode of Heroes where you kept thinking something cool was about to happen that never does.
Still – it’s worth picking up just to get use to moving around in VR, and if you love dinosaurs, there are more than enough in this game to keep you interested.
Final Grade: B