Back in the mid 60’s, there was a person named Jim Morrison. Now Jim Morrison was a very influential person for his time. Not only was he the lead singer of the band, The Doors, but he was a poet, an artist, The Lizard King. Jim Morrison could write like nothing else and sometimes, even on stage, the other members did not know what he was going to do. One thing is for sure is that Jim Morrison did a lot of drugs and somehow found the gateway to be who he became.
Jim Morrison once said:
“You’ve seen your birth your life and death,
you might recall all of the rest
Did you have a good world when you died?
Enough to base the movie on”
For some reason, when I got the chance to review Polybius from Llamasoft for the PlayStation VR, music from The Doors started playing in my head. The poetry, the lyrics were starting to take form. Was this the type of trippy experience Jim Morrison would write and sing about?
There was something that allowed me to enter this world and I am not sure what happened, but something, somewhere I instantly transported to the world of Polybius, a retro type feel and a decent homage of the 80’s era of gaming going on. One thing you are warned about before you even start is about the Psychedelic Visuals and Flashing Images. There are a lot, so if you have any type of sensitivity to this type of gaming, please be warned.
After accepting my fate and selecting to play in Virtual Reality (yes you can play without, but do yourself a favor and take everything in while playing on the PlayStation VR), is how simple the controls are. With the Dualshock 4 controller, all you will be pressing is X to fire and the dodging the enemies, if you can. That’s it. Sometimes we take the simplicity of controls for granted, especially in VR, that we may not realize how much more fun we can have with very simple controls and the immersiveness of Virtual Reality. So thank you Llamasoft…thank you.
Now that we have the controls out of the way, let’s make a flying jump into the intensity that you will be engulfed with. You start out simple, but as you start to get going, the music, the very simple graphics start to heat up in what may seem as Polybius is either angry at you or laughing at you with its challenge 50 levels. And when you think that should be plenty, add a marvelous soundtrack, and all the shapes coming at you over 120 frames per second really proves to be an amazing experience.
There is something so memorizing about the colors, if you can somehow focus on the ship and let your mind wander, you might be surprised how far you will get. One thing Llamasoft does not really include is how to really play other than the controls. It’s up to you to figure things out and let me say not having any type of instructions while playing is part of the fun. With all the colors, awesome voice-overs, the ability to go full 360 degrees all while shooting objects, you don’t need any instructions.
As you pass through the gates, that honestly looks like something that Jafar as the genie from Aladdin would be wearing as you try to escape the cave of wonders, will give you the ability to give you a boost all while increasing and multiplying your score. But, word of warning, by doing this and wanting to feed that greed of more points, things start to increase in speed for your ship to an almost Ludicrous Speed from Space Balls.
Each level feels different from the last and never felt recycled. So again thank you Llamasoft for adding just the right creative touch to the mix. As I mentioned about Polybius being played without VR, if you have a PlayStation 4 Pro, you will be happy about the 4K and 120 frames per second. But again, this type of trance shooter was born to live in Virtual Reality. The only thing that might be better than playing in 4K, would be able to play this in 3D. So the options and how you want to play are there, but differently, play this in Virtual Reality.
Polybius is one of those that should be attempted, should be experienced, and should be played. With its 25 unique soundtracks and calming ease about it, Polybius is one of those few gems that allow us to break through to the other side and isn’t that what we are trying to accomplish when playing Virtual Reality?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have to go back in.