If you ended up on a mysterious island, how would you react? Do you think you could survive the elements from the weather to whatever may be on that island? Do you think you would ever find your way home? Hopefully, none of us will end up in some strange place trying to figure out these questions for ourselves, but it really is quite interesting how we think we would handle these types of situations. But does developer Ares Dragonis show us the mysteries of the unknown? Let’s find out with The Shore VR for PCVR.
Some of you may have heard of the game The Shore which was released on PC back in February 2021 and is based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The Shore VR, is a separate version with new elements. The game is a first-person story-driven world with an atmospheric environment and narrations. Playing as a man who ends up on a mysterious island where you will need to solve puzzles, find out what’s going on, and try to survive in an unknown world. So before you try and figure out the mystery, there are a few things to be aware of. First, this island and its surroundings should not be rushed. Second, make sure your controllers are charged as you don’t want to face what’s out there and be stuck because you forgot to charge them. Third, I am not going to spoil anything for anyone as the island is a mystery. So a lot of things will not be shown so you can experience them for yourself. And finally, just have some patience and fun with your time. With all that said, let’s continue…
When you first start The Shore VR, you are presented with the menu and how to play. For example, the Grip Button is used to open and close your journal or if you need to reach for your inventory, place your arms to your help or above your shoulder. Just seeing the tutorial of how to interact with things presented on a black screen surrounded by wood and presented in a Stonehenge type way is pretty nice and easy to understand. But it’s even before starting that you look around and see the type of atmosphere you will be in. From the clouds that make it look like it could rain any minute to just the sounds of the music and the birds just gives it this peaceful introduction to what surely will change later on.
But once the game actually starts is where the mystery starts to unfold. You do start to question why you are here as you see a shipwreck, rocks, and of course the shore. There is no real direction to go, but the atmospheric environment is really beautiful. As you continue to wonder and the music starts to play it’s when you come up to the lighthouse that you get the feeling that someone lives here only to not see anyone, but the information they have collected to try and piece things together that makes things intriguing. There are puzzles that you interact with. You will need to find certain objects to solve them. It’s just trying to find the objects and knowing which objects you might need as you pass the puzzles without any indication that you need them to have interacted with after the fact that will make you have to go back and search for the items that can become frustrating for some.
But part of the fun and mystery is trying to find the objects as you keep moving around the island and come across new areas that you didn’t see before even though you thought you visited it before. It’s interesting to be focused on one thing that you see straight ahead only to see something out of the corner of your eye that makes you wonder what else can actually be here.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. When playing the game, the use of atmospheric environments works extremely well in VR to the point that I could see myself visiting a place like this as a hidden gem from a planned vacation. Seeing the water move just slightly as it inches closer to the shore at times just made me want to stop and take it all in. Being able to read items that were pretty clear for the most part to even coming across some of the creepy scenes will really add to the mystery of it all. With the sound, it really is calming with the birds, ocean, and the music playing that I could listen to the soundtrack for when I need some inspiration.
There are a few things that I hope to see get added in an update or patch. For one, your hands. When I first started playing The Shore VR and picked up the journal for the first time, I could not put the journal away. It was bounded to my hand in such a way as my hand was going through the book. There was a patch that fixed this, but there are still times when trying to pick up objects is a little more of a struggle than others. I will say since their patch 0.2, where you can grab the Seagulls as well as additional fragments and interactive objects that have been added. Second, would be the direction. Yes, the game will have you explore, but there really is no indication of what or where you need to go other than just exploring. I get that maybe the point and it’s done so well, but for newer players to VR and even younger players, the indication would be beneficial. Third, framerate. There were times when the framerate would drop. For example, when I got further away from the lighthouse, there were some brief times when the framerate dropped. After that brief time, it picked up again. I know the developer is currently hard at work with updates, so I am sure all this will be addressed in the near future and hopefully, The Shore VR will release on other platforms in the future like Quest/2 and PlayStation VR/2.
The Shore VR does provide the mystery of one man’s hope of trying to get one of the things that matter most back when all is lost while trying to survive. It allows us to be surrounded by mystery while questioning the existence of it all. When something that matters so much to us becomes lost, we will do whatever we can to get it back. But if life is lost, how far down will you dig to find out the reason and receive that closure? Life sometimes may not be fair, but isn’t it better to try and use our time to make those memories now than to ask the questions later?
To learn more about the game, please visit the site, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. To learn more about Ares Dragonis, visit his site and like him on Facebook.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going back into this world to see if anything was missed.