Think about some of your favorite adventure entertainment. It could be your favorite movie, game, series, or even stories that you have read or have been told to you. For me, it has always been visual entertainment when it came to adventure. Movies like Indiana Jones to The Goonies to Willow to even series like Hercules to Alcatraz to LOST. Sure, we have all played games with an adventure that we could have some sort of connection with and it’s always fun to go along with the adventure. But one thing Virtual Reality does is bring you into the world that you are visiting. Allowing you to become part of the adventure. So does developer Rune Skovbo Johansen bring you into the adventure and up it to another level? Let’s find out with Eye of the Temple for PCVR.
Eye of the Temple will have you exploring a vast and treacherous temple using your own feet as you will dodge traps and solve puzzles with only your torch and whip in hand while trying to uncover the mystery of the eye and finding yourself becoming part of its legend. Before we begin, there are a few things that need to be said. First, make sure your controllers are charged as you do not want to be swinging your whip to attack an enemy or move a lever only for it not to work because you forgot to charge them or replace the batteries. Second, you are going to need some room. You might be asking why and the answer is simply this is a room-scale adventure and will need a 2m x 2m space to play. Third, take your time to explore and maybe if you do, you can find all the secret areas. And finally, I will only be showing the early part of the game as I do not want to ruin anything for anyone. Plus, this is an adventure you just might want to go on and experience everything yourself. Also, in any of these gameplay videos, you will see me looking down as I was using the Oculus Rift S and probably should have used the Oculus Quest 2 and using Air Link, but I didn’t, it still worked amazingly, but I just had to keep a lookout for the cable and anything else that might have been in the way. With all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start the game, you do go through how to move throughout the temple. As I mentioned, this is a room-scale adventure where you will be using your feet and body to avoid traps and move. So you will have to step forward or to the side of platforms which can also be moving and ducking when things are in the way or maybe falling and do this all without trying to die because you took a wrong step. One of the things that for me, took a little getting used to is the rollers. These rollers will move on water (which by the looks of how deep the water is, you could stand in it and be fine) and you have to almost keep stepping backward in order to not fall off. After about two or three attempts, I can pretty much say, I have mastered the rolling platform of death. Now, taking a step from a moving platform to a non-moving platform, I did get better at it, but the first few times, death was equally as kind.
Along the journey through the temple, there are jewels to try and collect which also can be hidden in vases. This is the part where your whip comes in and using the whip here, the developer has done a fantastic job with the whipping mechanics. At first, it may appear that you may not be using it correctly, but keep practicing with it, use a little force like a whip would be in your hand, and start using it and show that eye of that temple and any enemies that may come your way, that you mean business and you are not afraid to use it and to make those whipping sounds. There will also be levers that you will need to use the whip for to move them as they can cause gates and other things that will open up as they need to be moved in order to help solve the puzzles. In your other hand is a torch that can also be used as a weapon (sorry evil scarabs for your demise), lights your way when things become dark, and light pedestals. If you are close to a vase that maybe didn’t think to use your whip for, just use your torch as it works as well. There are some new abilities to be had as you get further into the game, but that’s for you to discover to find out what they are.
But it’s you think just being outside with some fresh air while looking at that one foot of water (which does look awesome in VR) along with the trees and the sky is a walk in the park…or temple, think again. There will be walls that stick out that you will have to move to make sure you don’t fall to your death along with traps to avoid. No matter how many times you may take a misstep or not avoid the trap, the time to start playing again is very quick which I appreciated as it will make you want to keep trying until you make it through.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Everything is well done here. Seeing the lamps that hold the jewels to the platforms that move further in the game and seeing the shadows made by your touch just brings you into this world and makes you want to explore all that you can. The sound is equally well done. Using your whip sounds like a whip should. Moving levers sound like they have not been moved in a long time along with the sounds of the rollers moving just sound like you would expect. I also want to say that hearing the music either when there is danger as it starts to ramp up to when there is nothing but the platform and the death below if you take a misstep, really helps add to the experience.
If there is anything I would like to see added is being able to experience the journey to the temple because I am sure that would have some fun attempts as well. The only other thing is maybe having an option to have the game measure your room, if possible, to adjust the scale based on your space as not everyone may have the space or capabilities for a 2m x 2m space or equipment for the best experience. Keep in mind that one person made this room-scale experience and that says a lot and is very impressive. I do hope that they continue to bring the room-scale VR adventures (maybe something like IMAXs Haunted Castle) because there are so many scenarios that could be used and that would work well in room-scale space.
Eye of the Temple does give bring us into a world worth exploring while allowing us to step it up to a new level of play. It takes away our comfort of sitting or standing and makes us move in order to survive. There are times in if our life when we are needing to feel alive. Sometimes it’s just taking that step to avoid the traps that life sets for us so we can have the best adventure on this journey through it all.
Eye of the Temple is out now on Steam. A review code was provided.
To learn more about the game, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, join the Discord. To learn more about Rune Skovbo Johansen, please visit their site, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to see if there are any more secret areas that I may have missed.