Sometimes when you read your favorite story, the words can become meaningful and powerful in their own right. But what if you could take that story and elevate beyond the visual graphic novels and become immersed not only with the story and characters, but based on what you chose, there could be different endings to the story that is being told? Would you continue to read in the same way or take the next step? It is really interesting how storytelling can evolve when you think about it. So does Developer MyDearest Inc. shows us what it’s like to elevate the novel into a visual immersion of a tale? Let’s find out with ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos for PCVR and PSVR.
Before we begin, I will say that since this all about the story, I will not show footage from the later part of the game or tell too much about what happens as I do not want to spoil anything and I am sure, just like with any good movie, book, or game, you would not want that spoiled for you. With that said, let’s continue.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is a story-driven interactive visual graphic novel. The year is 2080 and with it comes the invasion of alien beings called the Meteoras. These Meteoras are of great size and strength. So humanity doing the best that they could create an augmented Tokyo in remembrance of what was, deep underground. You play the role of Chloe, a Designed Human, who is a member of the Anti-Meteora military organization Prometheus. But Chloe as reluctant as she is at the beginning as we start to understand her relationship and her best friend Coco.
Playing as Chloe and seeing the world through her eyes you start to get introduced by the supporting cast that really helps tell the story.
We have Coco, who is Chloe’s best friend and we learn early on, she is blind and bound to a wheelchair. It’s the relationship between Chloe and Coco that you start to see how much Coco has influenced Chloe by allowing her to feel more with her heart and understand why Chloe has a chip on her shoulder.
We have Noa, which an Artificial Augmented Reality Crystal (AARC) and provides support for Chloe in her merch robot, the Alto Makhia.
We have Julie who is the Special Research Officer of the Prometheus and the one that created Chloe.
We have Aoba Iwaza, the operator for Prometheus and the one in charge of communications.
Next, we have Yamata Amanagi, a member of Prometheus and the piolet of Ares Makhia.
And last, but not least, we have Diter, the General of Prometheus who likes to focus and make sure the orders he gives, that everyone follows.
We do learn early on how special the relationship between Chloe and Coco really is. That is until the Meteoras have taken Coco and there are things that Chloe remembers and why she really has this chip on her shoulder and will do anything to get back into the fight in hopes of having things like they were. A lot of the time in ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is about interaction with objects and talking with the other characters. You will scan items to see what they are and that may trigger a thought that Chloe remembers something important to her. Other times, you will be given choices that each one has a consequence, and depending on the choice that you make can result in multiple endings in the game. But it’s the way the choices are presented as you will have a percentage rate of what might be the correct answer. But just like the conflection Chloe is feeling, your choice that you chose maybe be one that you would feel like the better choice if you were in the same situation. So it’s really an interesting concept that really kept me engaged in this story.
When there is a break from the story is when you get to partake in the battle scenes. These battles are not your typical battles. What I mean is, Noa helps Chloe in battle as she helps with the overall functions, but Noa like the people of the Augmented Tokyo, that she is pretty much a pop star. So before each battle, there is a briefing for that particular battle. Noa will sing but in an epic adding to the battle type of way. Yes, you can move your arms, but as you get to interact with the display and being able to form the rail cannons for that final, or at least, you hope it will be the final blow to the enemy., There is no real swinging combat here per se, just more of being in the action of it all. But again, the primary component here is the story and the story invites you in with all the right aspects.
Looking at the graphics and sound, seeing the characters have emotion and passion in how they feel really is a step in the right direction of storytelling. The colors of Augmented Tokyo and how it comes to life as the background and the dialog of the characters and sounds that come alive in a full 360-degree Virtual Reality with multiple hours to get involved in along with multiple endings really is a treat. Again, without spoiling anything for anyone, it’s a story that immerses itself and surrounds you in.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos shows us that bringing novels into Virtual Reality and allowing them to be shown in their true form is something that we all could enjoy and should be the new reality for them. It also shows us that in life, we all have choices to make that will ultimately have consequences that we may or may not have thought long enough about. Sometimes those choices are the right ones and others may have us left wondering about what if, but when it’s all said and done, some of those choices will not provide a second chance of what could really make us truly happy both on the inside and out. And shouldn’t we all take the time before reacting so that we can all have the happiness we want and deserve?
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some choices to make to see the other endings.