You know how when you put on the PlayStation VR headset and magically you are in that new world. Your reality doesn’t exist, but this new world, this new place has become your reality. But what if something in this new reality trapped you. Would you know how to get back home? All very good questions to ask. But does Publisher Rebellion and Developer Dream Reality Interactive show us how to escape from reality to the next? Let’s find out with Arca’s Path VR for PlayStation VR.
So before really getting into Arca’s Path VR, I want to point out the introduction. Dream Reality Interactive did an awesome job of starting the story in almost a comic book fashion. No words are spoken as the chilled electro music of Raffertie that helps tell the story. The different shapes of the frames with the slow movement that brings out this art style that I found to be really beautiful and I appreciated every moment of it.
So what is Arca’s Path VR about and what is it you exactly do? Arca’s Path VR is a story about a wicked android witch where you must find the correct path home so you can escape this simulated world known as Arca. In Arca’s Path VR, you control this sphere through the paths and unlock the truth. But if you think that you will just grab that DualShock 4 or even the Move controllers, well, you might want to just make sure they are not even on and keep them charged, because you cannot in any way, shape, or form use them in Arca’s Path VR. So you might be thinking, how will you do this? I mean for so long you relied on a controller of some sort, now it’s time to use your mind…ok not your mind per se, but if it makes you feel any better, you can pretend to be Professor X.
Actually, you will be moving the sphere by looking at it. So it will take some getting used to controlling the speed and the turning of the sphere around the corner or a path that may not have any sides. There is a triangle that the sphere will follow that I found to be very helpful. After getting used to how you move with your head, you are able to then start judging the space between the sphere and the triangle. The further away the triangle is from the sphere, the faster you will go. The closer it is to the sphere the slower it will go. But there were many times that I fell and fell and fell all because I misjudged the speed. Thankfully each level does contain checkpoints that I found a couple of times to know a little too well…hello again checkpoint 2, it was just like graced your presence…oh wait…I did. Was it a little frustrating at first? Sure, but as I mentioned, once you get the hang of it, making those turns at full speed is rewarding.
Each level will have an image of a girl that you must gaze at the circle underneath her to allow her to transform into this gracious sphere. As you move along the path, you will start to notice that life starts to come alive. Plants and flowers bloom as trees grow. It really made me feel like it in order to be able to escape the grasp that was held on me, I almost had to help restore the life that almost seemed to be locked away.
Another thing that I love seeing is seeing the world and in the distance seeing how far you will have to go. And as you progress the world around you evolves into this beauty of a place. Oh, how I wish Arca was a real place. Progression is a funny thing. On one side moving to the goal and passing the goal is a good feeling to have. But progression also comes with challenges such as different levels that may have more than one path to get to that goal with each path with its own challenges. There are crystals to collect which adds even more dedication, but you will be rewarded if you collect them all in the level as it will unlock a time trial mode. The safety net of the sides of the path to keep you from falling may be gone, platforms can rise and lower, tilt, and rotate making each level after the previous one require just a little bit more concentration.
But what happens when that path that you were sure was the correct one has a dead end? One must look for different ways in the form of switches. Touching a switch could make a path that is standing on one end lower or it may make another part of the path open up where you may have to backtrack to get to where you need to go. Some of the levels will also contain blocks that you will need to move so that you are able to continue on the path. So thank you Dream Reality Interactive for testing my concentration and focus skills…thank you.
If you feel that a level may be too difficult or want to just see what is ahead, there is a free look mode by holding the touchpad. I didn’t use it too much, but the times that I did use, I appreciated it being there. I think that some of my favorite levels is when you are on part of a path that you have to go downhill and take the corners, dodge openings, and sometimes as parts of the path are moving up and down, you have to time it so you get enough air to land on the next platform.
Sound wise, there are some of the soundtracks that some of you may like more than others. I enjoyed the music as it went with the style of Arca’s Path VR. People are going to have different tastes in music and that is perfectly fine. If you find that a particular track of a level is not to your liking, there is an option where you can mute the sound or music if you so desire.
Looking at the graphics, seeing the world come alive and evolve as you move down the path is a nice touch and I appreciated how that helped with my progression of reaching the end of the level. Colors were bright when needed and later levels became this dark world which just helps to tell the story the truth that is being hidden. If there is anything that I would have loved to see it would be to have leaderboards so you can see who has the fastest times on the time trials, create your own levels that could be shared or even a multiplayer where you can compete to get to the end of the level and knock your friends off the path in a race to the end. Is it needed for Arca’s Path VR? No, but again this is just what I would love to see added.
Entering a world that allows a simulated world to become part of the experience is a chance that was taken. Those chances are the ideas and creativity that were part of a dream. And sometimes, just sometimes if we took the time to dream a little more so that our ideas turn into those thoughts that spark creativity so we are given the chances to actually make our dreams come true.
Arca’s Path VR is out now on PlayStation VR and is also available on the Oculus Rift/S, Oculus Go, and Gear VR on the Oculus Store, Steam, and Viveport. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Rebellion, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. To learn more about Dream Reality Interactive, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and follow them on Instagram. To learn more about Raffertie and his music, please visit his site, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, follow him on Instagram, listen to him on Spotify, iTunes, and on Google Play Music.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some time trials to beat.
Mr. PSVR, December 12, 2018, theplaystationbrahs.com