There was a ride at Disney World called Body Wars that allowed you to be shrunk so you could carry out a special mission inside the human body aboard vehicle called Bravo 229. In the ride, you got to enter through the skin to help out the Doctor due to a splinter had entered the body. The riders rode past the lungs, the heart, and the rest of the body. Sadly, the ride is no longer operational, but there was something about that experience that made me think, what if. What if somehow an experience like Body Wars could be experienced any time at home?
Remember in science class how you go to look through a microscope and see some new strange things that were never anything like you imagined? Through that microscope gave us a glimpse into the world of things that we normally would not be able to see with our own eyes. It gave us a new perspective of things almost like how Virtual Reality does. But does Developer Truant Pixel allow us to enter into a world through a new perspective? Let’s find out with VEV: Viva Ex Vivo – VR Edition for the PlayStation VR.
When PlayStation VR launched in the fall of 2016, there was this title that received the VR treatment and I feel that it was one that might have been passed on or overlooked with all the excitement that was surrounding the release of the PlayStation VR. It was a title that just by looking at it, had this vibrant flow about it. So what is VEV: Viva Ex Vivo really about and what do you do?
First, I want to say this. VEV: Viva Ex Vivo is not really so much a game as it is a survival-exploration experience and can be played in Virtual Reality as well as non-Virtual Reality. You control a VEV which is a Virtual Eukaryote Visualizer which is a single-celled artificial life form (think microscopic organism. Your job is to collect food (particles) and avoid the other life forms that are trying to do the same thing. But you have to do all of this while trying to get your maximum level of energy while watching your levels of power. Sounds pretty straightforward wouldn’t you say? So after you get used to knowing what you are supposed to be doing, the movement, and knowing that each session lasts for fifteen minutes…yes fifteen minutes, it really starts to grow on you.
What was interesting is the different types of levels such as Fresh Water and Blood, but also the leaderboards to see who is the top researchers of all time is. You will want to start with Calibration as it really gets you used to everything from movement to the basics.
During the tutorial, you will see your VEV and your objective. You must swim as close as you can to the Organic Particles to collect them for the potential energy that you need. Particles are attracted to your VEV and you know you are close to them when the DualShock 4 controller will start to vibrate. The great thing about once the energy is collected is that it can be absorbed at any time. But you don’t just have to collect one particle at a time as you can collect multiple at one time. Just be careful as you never know what else may be out there in the microscopic world that may want what you have.
You will also want to pay attention to your Total Energy level as it is counting down and you will get a warning when it gets too low. If your Total Energy level gets too low for too long, then it’s all over. But like you would need a microscope to be able to see any of these microorganisms, the particles are not very big, but they usually are moving with other particles. But as I mentioned, just be careful of what else is trying to get the other particles.
Another thing that I found interesting is based on the themed simulation resembles the things we experience every day that we take for granted and within these simulations, there are the different organisms that resemble and modeled after the type of organisms that would be found such as in red blood cells or in freshwater.
Of course, each simulation gets a little more difficult to try to last the entire 15 minutes for that simulation. Creatures are unique and have their own strengths. Some may move faster and some may be bigger than you, which you just have to learn what you can go near and what you can’t. I found some that seem to be able to turn more quickly and all that comes into play as your Total Energy level starts to dwindle and you are just trying to survive.
As I was playing VEV: Viva Ex Vivo – VR Edition, I was not only paying attention to the detail, but to the sound as well. The music was relaxing at times and picked up the beat when it needed to. Nothing to pounding or overbearing, which in this experience, you wouldn’t want anything too distracting. But hearing the water sounds and being shrunk down to the size I was, it somehow added to the experience.
Graphics were well detailed and well thought out. For example, in the blood level, it looked like how I would imagine if we had the ability to actually enter the blood and travel through it. There was nothing that was too flashy and everything just seemed to flow and be well balanced, which again, is an experience like this, I really appreciate.
VEV: Viva Ex Vivo – VR Edition shows us that we don’t have to go too far to be able to find the beauty that is skin deep. At times we are the ones that are put under a microscope to be judged and at times we are the ones that need to take a deep hard look into ourselves so we can grow into the person that the ones who have cared about us all along knew we would become.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to become the top researcher on the leaderboards.