If you were part of something that could save humanity, how far would you push yourself and those around you? Would the choices you make, be the ones that could end up harming the chances more than helping them? If it came down to it, would you be able to make every single choice without hesitation or would you have to stop and think about it for a moment? It’s quite interesting when you think about it and how we, ourselves, would react versus others. But does the developer, Archiact, allow us to shape our character and tell the tale in the Sci-fi adventure? Let’s find out with Journey to Foundation for PlayStation VR2.
Journey to Foundation is a Sci-fi story-driven sci-fi adventure where you play as Agent Ward, an intergalactic agent with unique Mentalic powers who must go undercover on a mission that will determine the future of humanity. What begins as a mission to investigate deserters in the Periphery quickly becomes a battle for control of all humanity. Will you fight for a dying Empire, or join the Foundation to help rebuild what has been lost? The future is in your hands.
Now, before you go in and make any choices that could change the outcome for generations to come, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, being that this is a story-driven game, you will want to make sure you have your favorite place to sit. Yes, you can play standing, but with the amount of dialog of a good story here, you might want to play sitting. Second, make sure you charge those Sense controllers. You don’t want to accidentally click on the wrong choice or not be able to shoot all because you forgot to charge them. Third, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone. And finally, just get ready to enjoy the adventure and have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…
In case you may not be aware, Journey to Foundation is based on and adapted from the best-selling Foundation book series by world-renowned author Isaac Asimov. But to help understand the setting, at the dawn of the twelfth millennia, when the Galatic Empire spanned twenty-five million worlds, a mathematician named Hari Seldon predicted the Empire was about to collapse and plunge humanity into 30,000 years of darkness, war, and strife. He proposed a plan to establish a secret colony that would shorten those dark ages to 1,000 years. Even though few believed him, there were still those who joined the Foundation in hopes of proving Hari Seldon right and building a new future. Now, that we have a better understanding, it’s time to bring where we start, which is 200 years later, and playing as Ward, You are sent to the Periphery to investigate the kidnapping of an Imperial royal. And even though, few remember the name of Hari Seldon or the dreams he had of building the Foundation.
When you are at the main menu, just take a moment to enjoy outer space along with the music, there is a calming feeling. Plus, it gives you a chance to check out your gloves before getting started. Once you are ready, you are entered into a simulation and greeted by a hologram of an Intelligence officer who will help you with the Settings. Here you can set things such as your dominant hand, and height, adjust the holster, and select your Vignette Strength preference, Movement, and Audio. You also have a health bar, which is the green gauge on your right arm and your Objective Compass will be on your left hand by turning your palm upwards (if your dominant hand is your left, then your health bar will be on your left and your objective compass will be on your right).
In interacting with characters, you are presented with choices that will keep the conservation going. With these choices, you do have time to decide either to play it how you think it should go to just pick what you feel is right the right choice. From the very first choice, I started to play it safe and didn’t want to question too many things. But later on, even if you think what you feel is right and start to question, it can start to feel like you are being reprimanded at times.
With these conversations that you have with the different characters, you do have times when you can check out the different answers for each choice and reaction of the characters before you need to exit the conversation and move on with your objective. And sometimes when you feel that you are repeating the conversation to get to the different choices, it very well may help you with the information you need. But there will be times when you use your Mentalic powers to help persuade the characters, such as persuading them to fight when they were just talking about how it may not be the best idea, as well as checking out things in the environment that might assist as well.
As the story continues, you will need to interact with the objects around you such as needing to burn things with your plasma torch tool to picking locks. When you pick locks, this will result in puzzles that will need to be solved and become more challenging the further you get in the story. But solving these puzzles allows you to gather things such as more clues from text to hearing voice messages which plays back into some of the choices you make when they are presented to parts that help solve other parts of a puzzle.
In between chapters, you can interact with the Encyclopedia Galactica which will show things such as the people, objects, field notes, and locations you have been to which helps if you want to remember information about the person you just spoke with or those with whom you spoke with from the beginning or places you located.
Yes, you do have the story aspect here along with puzzles, but you also have climbing and shooting mechanics as well. With the shooting, your weapon will have different mods that change the way the weapon operates from a regular pistol to a rifle, machine gun, and even a shotgun. With no ammo to be found, your weapon mod will have to cool down which allows you to easily switch between the different mods. The enemy fire was not so rapid that you could not shoot the enemies when they were moving, which again, those new to VR and those who enjoy a good story, will appreciate. When climbing across areas, Archiact has put in where you can skip and just get to the area that you would have spent time climbing. I think this is a pretty good concept to have especially if you have players who have been playing in VR or those new to VR that may be afraid of heights.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. When coming across the different characters, most of the characters stood out as I was able to just admire the work that was put into the details such as the facial curves of the expressions of the characters that made me repeat some of the conversations just I was making sure I wasn’t overlooking anything. When walking around and looking at the different objects, they were clear, and having the dynamic lighting helped with most of the environments.
When it comes to the sound, yes, you have the music that fits with the setting, but what you have here is the fantastic voice acting with over 90 fully-voiced characters from talents such as D. Callahan, Ry Chase, Francois Chau, Jennifer Hale, Anoush Nevart, Leah de Niese, Ritesh Rajan, and Fryda Wolff, which adds not only to the main story but the conservations of the story, I was having with these characters that just added to the immersion.
There are a few things that I would love to see. First, more mods for the weapon. With this being science fiction, having some futuristic weapons that maybe we have not seen before would be very interesting. Second, updated graphics. While most of the graphics did look good, there were parts such as the background of space when ships would fly by that looked just a little flat. It’s not like I was pulling up a chair to just stare out into space and gather my thoughts as I was looking, even though that would be interesting to do, but it is noticeable as you are passing by to an extent. And finally, more of this universe. With multiple books from Isaac Asimov, it would be interesting to see what Archiact can come up with.
Journey to Foundation gives us the story to shape our character to make their destiny based on the choices we make. When you think about it, the story provides the main parts of it. You have the characters, the setting, and the adventure. When we go into Virtual Reality, the story is taken to another level as we become those characters, in that setting, and on that adventure. In life, we are given choices almost daily. Sometimes we follow what we are told is right, but sometimes, we make those choices based on what we feel is right with our heart.
In case you missed the trailer please enjoy. Until next time, I have some different choices to make.