Have you ever wondered at times, when maybe daydreaming, listening to your favorite song or even just starting at the night time sky looking up at all the stars and wonder if it were all to end, would what you did with your time be enough would it all be worth it to gain redemption? These are some questions that one could easily ask themselves but may not like the outcome when the answers are given. But does Developer Mantis Games and Publisher Cronos Interactive allow us to answer the challenges of what it would take to reach Elysium? Let’s find out with Journey For Redemption for PCVR.
In Journey For Elysium, you play as a hero without a name who just passed away and wake up to a mysterious voice of this glowing orb by the name of Vanth. It’s Vanth’s job which was given by Greek God, Hades, to guide the deceased through the realms in hopes to reach Elysium, try to find some redemption, and also immortality. But it will not be as easy as just entering the gates and barge your way through. No, you see, like in life, you are judged from your birth to your death and the underworld and the Gods do not let you off quite as easy as you would hope.
But the one thing I noticed from the start of the game that like in life had this color and feel like I have come to my final mark in life, I awoke to this difference of black and white that was so beautiful but filled with this void that I could not describe. It wasn’t until I moved on that I realized that my memories according to Vanth, would have to be regained in order to help me realize my own existence in life. Once I took my steps, I had to begin with my past in order to be able to truly understand the challenge I was actually being faced with.
In order to help regain your memories, you will need to be on the lookout for coins. Each orb takes a certain amount of coins that really can be located anywhere. Some could be on top of another item, others may be in a vase that you can pick up and smash. Once a memory is visible, Vanth well tell you about the memory which for the most part, has to find a particular object. These objects are found either by just being out in the open or part of a puzzle that you must solve in order to get to the object. I will say that the puzzles are not too difficult which is a good thing as I wanted to just admire this place more than anything.
Orbs and objects are shown in this burnt orange color that really plays off the black and white atmosphere nicely. Like the coins that you find, objects you can hold in your hand or will appear in your inventory that you are able to access very easily. Your journey to Elysium is not all on foot, you will need to take on the River Sticks as you must paddle your way to the next hurdle of this challenge. I will say when you first start to paddle, it’s not just as simple as it looks, you do have to paddle as you have to used to the turning and maneuvering on this river is a little tough and I did hit walls just like I probably would in real life. So good job Mantis Games on bringing this type of realism into Virtual Reality…good job.
As you get further into your journey, you will encounter more puzzle aspects. Again, not hard, but luckily it’s not all about rowing and walking, as you will be climbing, shooting a bow and arrow as well as playing the harp in order to help solve these puzzles. Sometimes when you play the harp that you must play the right string in the right order in order to reveal the next part of your destination and sometimes this part of your destination will be timed such as parts of the wall that you need to hold on to and move across to get to a higher level and if you don’t hurry, you could fall and have to start again. Now, I am not going to tell you all the puzzle aspects and what you need to do as this is one journey you need to experience for yourself.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. I really do love this art style. The black and white with a little bit of color through most of the journey is as I mentioned, beautiful. I admire the amount of detail that went into the small as well as the whole atmosphere. To see the birds flying at the beginning to see the clouds moving throughout, it really gives a sense as you are passing through the underworld trying to help you understand what happened and why.
In an area where it could have easily not have been as important, the sound equally helps move the story along. From just the sounds of you walking to rowing to hearing chains move to fire crackle to even the narrative of the storytelling is done wonderfully well. I didn’t find the narrative went on too long in fact, it went on just for the right amount of time to give you a chance where I found I started to ask questions to shortly after, the answers were given.
There are a few minor things that I wish were present. These are not bad at all, just something I experienced. There were a few times when I was using the bow and arrow and no matter how well I thought I aimed, the arrows either were a little off or a little short, but then there were times when I thought I was shooting a little more to the left or right and it would hit the target. This can easily be corrected with an update so that is why it’s a minor thing I came across. The other is I wanted more. I wanted to be in this world longer as I was immersed in the underworld. We get a short time with hearing about Hades, that I would love this universe to continue and being introduced to the other Greek Gods of Mythology.
Journey For Elysium allows us not only to enjoy the beauty within Virtual Reality but also allows us to question our own existence and start to ask ourselves are we doing all that we can in life with the time that we have now or will we end up regretting the time we have lost? If we are not careful, we could end up ignoring the love around us without even realizing it and before we know it, in the end, we could be on the journey for our own redemption.
Journey For Elysium is out now on Steam. A review code was provided.
To learn more about Mantis Games, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and follow them on Instagram. To learn more about Cronos Interactive, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, follow them on Instagram, and subscribe to their YouTube channel.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going back to enjoy the underworld.