Review: FATED: The Silent Oath (PSVR)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • 4K HDR

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: FATED: The Silent Oath
Format: PSN (1.89 GB)
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Frima Originals
Developer: Frima Studio
Original MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 16
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
This game represents the first time I’ve been emotionally invested in characters within the VR headset. It’s also another step towards experiencing an adventure game with style and substance in VR.

Because of the indie nature of some of the recent releases on PlayStation VR, we’ve been treated to a wide range of graphical approaches to content. It often feels like we’re regressing to the look and delivery of graphics from two to three generations ago.

FATED catches us back up with good voice acting, an enticing group of characters, and a story that truly engages. The first-person nature of VR combined with the way your virtual family addresses you feels warm and authentic. At its core, this is a first person adventure game.

It has some minimal exploration elements and even some action sequences. It’s not an “experience” by any stretch, but it’s not Skyrim either, so do not go into it expecting that because some of the trailers for the game might give that impression.

It might be slow for some, but I found the pace to be good with my only gripe being the slow nature of the walking cycle. I understand why characters are made to walk slowly in VR, what with nausea and all, but at times it truly is grating on my patience. I wish there was at least an option for faster walking in the menu which already includes various other methods to ease nausea.

… it’s not likely a game I’d replay over and over …
There are a few puzzles to solve as well as some timing platforming-type challenges. But the real intrigue here is the urgency of traveling with your family and avoiding the dangers surrounding you.

There are five chapters within this first part of the story and the narrative should last no more than two hours, so factor that in when weighing your game time against the money spent. I truly enjoyed the experience and I felt engrossed in its world and characters, but it’s not likely a game I’d replay over and over.

Visuals:
This is definitely the path I’d love to see more games take in VR. It’s certainly not infused with photo-realistic visuals, or that it pushes the PlayStation 4 to the limit with eye-melting graphical expression.

Rather, it uses a consistent style to tell a story that doesn’t task the system so much that it forces the game to take short cuts in other areas. It looks sharp on the headset, with nary a blurry texture or background object.

Characters are cartoony, but they match the environment visuals as well so it truly makes you feel like you are in a living animated movie where you play the lead.

… another step in the right direction …
Audio:
This is another example of sound done well. There’s a lot of exposition during the first moments of the game. This seems to be done by design, as it allows you to get to know your VR family. That said, this is enhanced by the great work done in the voice department.

There are also some moments of great intensity, where sound, particularly with headphones, excels at contributing to the action sequences. Music is also worthy of note, as it fully encompasses the melancholy and mystical nature of this Viking tale.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is singleplayer only with no online component.

Conclusion:
I often hope that the lack of quality titles does not deplete the relatively strong support PlayStation VR has received since launch. Sony has revealed that even they were surprised by the sales of their headset. But those sales could easily drop off if there aren’t quality titles to keep people playing.

FATED: The Silent Oath is another step in the right direction. It deviates from the VR experience and gives us a game. It’s not a fast-paced shooter or long-form RPG. It’s an adventure game with an intriguing premise and engaging characters that you learn to fall in love with. It’s a little short for my taste, but it’s also not priced as a premium title.

Still, I can’t use that excuse forever, particularly when other similarly priced games will give you dozens of hours of gameplay. It also favors style over realistic graphics, which makes for a sharp presentation and one that doesn’t betray the current limitations of VR. I won’t forget my short time with my virtual Viking family any time soon, though I’m not likely to visit them again until the next installment.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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