If your home was full of magic, musically-filled creatures, that somehow, had a balance with nature, would you do anything to protect it? What if, the one thing that helped keep the balance somehow became unbalanced, what would you do and how would you do it? Would you make sure that the ecosystem thrived at the most crucial part when it surely seemed to be breaking around you? When you think about it, I think if given the chance, we would do whatever we could to protect our home, or would we? So does developer ROTU Entertainment show us what it’s like to go on an adventure to save the rhythm of the universe? Let’s find out with Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA for PlayStation VR and PCVR.
Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA is a single-player fantasy-adventure puzzle VR game where you get up and close with musically inspired creatures in a lush forest teeming with life as you discover music-based magic on your quest to save the Harpa, a mythical creature whose habitat is on the brink of destruction. So before going on your quest, there are a few things that you will want to make sure of. First, set some time aside as you do not want to miss anything about this world. Second, make sure your controllers are fully charged, and third, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone. With that said, let’s continue…
Playing as Allegro and helping your sister, Allegra is a species known as the Modus and on a journey to heal a mystical creature known as the Harpa, which is the heart and soul of the Ionian forest. We learn that Modus’ masters control the sounds and vibrations have chosen one protector for each life. But it’s when they learned the Harpa became injured and help was not sent. But the members of the youth in Panjeia possess a rare power to possess the vibration of the universe, but it’s this power through sounds.
As you are led for the most point from the talking point from your sister, Allegra, you are the main character where you are the one doing all the climbing, puzzle-solving, and really you come to find out at the end of the first of seven series, why this is all happening.
Some of the musical instruments that you come across, you can interact with, but the game, at least not in this first part of the series really explains what they truly are and how they can be used. For some, they may feel that there could be more of this interaction, and I have a feeling in the future parts, we will get to know them quite well. There are a few musical puzzles to try and solve, but once you solve them, it at least for me, wanted more of them. But did enjoy ROTU Entertainment’s view based on current instruments that were used here along with opening the door of a hidden world that looks to have been a lost secret from most of the Modus people.
But there is something about this world, something majestic, magical, and beautiful all rolled into one. When you are first introduced to the Valley of Harmony, it almost reminded me of that first time you watched Jurassic Park and saw the dinosaurs come to life on screen.
But as I was playing further into the game and I got to a certain part, it reminded me of something else. Something like from the world of Pandora and seeing the Banshees for the first time and how beautiful they could be. It was the part of Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA where I was riding down to a lower part that was like a combination of Avitar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey from Pandora in Disney World.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. I already mentioned how beautiful IONIA is, it really is and is something that has to be seen in VR with your own eyes. The creatures come alive and the Harpa really is something else when you see it up close. It just presents this world that is ready for you to explore. Listening to the sound is as beautiful as well as the world and communication within it comes alive through sound and music.
There are some things that need to be addressed. For one, there were some issues I experienced at the beginning where at one time I could not use my left hand to climb onto things. This was easily fixed by restarting the game, but it did happen. Second, there was a part where you can see the ghosting of Allegra’s arms towards the later part in the game. It wasn’t huge, but I wanted to bring these up as this could be easily fixed with an update. Third, the controls and options. Right now there is just teleportation and some smooth locomotion if selected. But there is not an option for sitting. Not everyone is going to stand or possibly can stand for long periods of time in VR. I think adding an official option for adding smooth turning and sitting would be beneficial for so many. You can play sitting, but you can tell in some parts when the main character should be standing. Fourth the puzzles. I wanted to do more the musical puzzles and what we received here is just a taste and that’s fine, but I just wanted more and I am sure it going to happen. And finally, I will agree that Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA is on the short side and when you get to the end, it is getting you ready for the larger parts of the adventure that are to come. But the questions I have are when will part two becoming, how long will it be, how much more of this world will we get to see, will there be more characters, creatures, and interactions? I get that this is part one of the series and serves as an introduction to the rest of the series and ROTU Entertainment is preparing you for something bigger and we all know good things come to those who wait. This world looks to be huge with many secrets and I cannot wait to see it all. Also, there is an improved update coming that should hopefully address some things for all platforms.
Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA introduces us to a world where that is waiting to be explored. It shows us what could be possible while just teasing us enough with curiosity. The question it asks is if the world became unbalanced, what would be done to save it? But in a world that is around us that is continuing to become more unbalanced with each passing day, what could we be doing to save ours?
Rhythm of the Universe: IONIA is out now for PlayStation VR. A review code was provided. Remember, that with each purchase, ROTU Entertainment will donate 5% of the gross proceeds to Wildlife Warrirors USA Inc.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to experience this world again.