Space, the stars, flying your own ship, exploring…these are all ingredients of a space adventure that make playing in Virtual Reality something special. But does Developer Vibrant Core and Publisher Bit Composer Interactive take us on an adventure that you need to pilot? Let’s find out with Space Rift – Episode 1 on PlayStation VR.
Now before I begin, I want to talk about the voice acting. Space Rift – Episode 1 will not win any familiar awards for the voice acting and it doesn’t need to. Think of this more on the lines of a fun sci-fi B-movie with the goofy dialog. Once you have that in your mind, then sit back and enjoy the ride. So let’s continue…
You play as the one and only Casey Black (see awesome sci-fi B-movie name character) and in the future, the Earth that we all know and love, at least for the most part, has become this deserted wasteland of a place. It is as if the soul was sucked up by “Mega Maid” and moved on to the next planet. Luckily or unluckily (depending on your outlook) the humans have been forced to populate Mars. I know it’s amazing we survived. But there is a catch…it is under the strict leadership of the megacorps, Weyss and Pandora and they control everything. But you have to ask yourself if you want to be able to breathe or do you want to worry about where your next breath will come from?
So when you are looking for that next job for survival, you better take it…no matter what it is. It seems that mining has been selected for Casey and this is where the story begins. But before one does any mining in space, one must have a ship that is capable of mining…even if your ship is equipped with AI that is provided by a controlling corp from Weyss. I mean this is great. You have a job, you can breathe, you have a ship. So what could go wrong?
Well, the funny thing about AI that we all have learned is they are programmed to do a job. Do anything outside of so said job and get ready for a life where you may just want to worry about your next breath. So when you come in contact with a certain group and automatically proven guilty (funny how the future seems more like today) and due to the nature of guilty by association, are now labeled a traitor. Now you can just do nothing or join so said new group in hopes they will not kill you and fight their good fight of trying to restore Earth.
The majority of Space Rift – Episode 1 will be experienced from the inside of your ship. One thing that I want to point out is when you are in space and on a ship, it’s very important that the controls be on. From movement to throttle. If I am in space, I want to feel like I am in space and Vibrant Core did a great job with the controls movement. Also, I appreciate how the developer made me feel like the display from within the ship seeded futuristic. Buttons that by looking you get the idea of what it does the purpose for it. Adding an audio panel so you can hear the messages from your employer, I felt was at least for me, was a nice touch and gave that perception of being able to get that sense of how long it might actually take going from point A to point B and how the audio would help with the commute.
I mentioned earlier about mining. There is a lot of that here. When you have to send the probe out and then be able to drill to collect some resources, may seem a little tedious to some. I get that. But don’t look at it so much as a job, but look at it from a place where resourcing is a necessity toward the goal. Think about it. Out in space and your home as you knew it has become this place where things would almost crumble to dust if you touched it. A second chance of survival if you will, but in order to succeed, you had to do something you may not normally like, how would you react? Space Rift – Episode 1 puts you in that situation.
But just when you start to question if this is all I am going to do? Am I just going to explore, turn on the ship’s lights, and search for elements? There is a purpose for everything you do. The elements and materials you mine allow you to earn the abilities to upgrade. But I understand and I totally get it and you may want a little more.
If you were in space and had a ship, what would you want to do? Look out into the stars…sure you could do that…or do you want to shoot down some enemies? Yes, there is space battles here and they do add some satisfactory excitement to the mix. You do track with your head and I am fine with that, but I would also like the option of controlling with the Dualshock 4. Even though you do get used to it, it would be a nice touch.
No matter how many times I am in Virtual Reality, I am always amazed at the immersion that the story, the sounds, and the atmosphere can bring and how it sets the pace. If you keep in mind what the voice acting is, that the story can be at times, a work to get through and ability to upgrade and have space battles, you can actually allow yourself some enjoyment. Some people how the story should be told and all we have to do is look at that one view to make us want to go on the journey. Sometimes if we allow ourselves for a moment to take things for what they are and not so serious, including ourselves, you can actually have some fun. And isn’t that what we all could use more of?
Space Rift – Episode 1 is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Space Rift – Episode 1, please visit the site and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Vibrant Core, please visit their site and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Bit Composer Interactive, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I more space to explore.