Arca’s Path VR Review

Note: This product was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 with PlayStation VR. It is also available on Steam VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Windows Mixed Reality, Gear VR, and Vive Focus.

Overview

ARCA’S PATH VR is a sci-fi fairy tale for virtual reality. Using innovative gaze-based controls, players don’t need to use a controller to navigate the game’s enchanting, labyrinthine world. Simply gaze in the direction you want to move, and your digital avatar will roll there.

In a dystopian world, humanity has been pushed to the sidelines. Technology has taken over. Scavenging ruins, one little girl discovers a mask that takes her to the enchanting, simulated world of Arca. The girl wants to stay in this beautiful new land, but the more she explores it, the more fractured and foreboding it becomes.

Gameplay

In a dystopian world, humanity has been pushed to the sidelines. Technology has taken over. Scavenging ruins, one little girl discovers a mask that takes her to the enchanting, simulated world of Arca. The girl wants to stay in this beautiful new land, but the more she explores it, the more fractured and foreboding it becomes.

Upon finding the mask, the girl puts it on, and is whisked away to a gorgeous world. In this world, you control a sphere with the head tracking of the VR headset. This means the gameplay is completely controller free, and you don’t have to explain controls when you’re showing off VR to a friend. The sphere follows a cursor, controller by you head movements. The cursor fills up or depletes to signify your speed, which is determined by its proximity to the sphere.

Using these simple mechanics, you’ll roll your way through 25 levels of physics based fun. Most levels have multiple paths to the end destination, encouraging exploration. There are also collectables scattered throughout each level, in the form of glowing crystals. The game features a fairly generous checkpoint system, so you won’t have to restart entire levels constantly. This is useful, if you’re like me, and fall off the map every 2 minutes.

Though you don’t need a controller to play, at any time, you can press and hold the Touch Pad on your DualShock 4 to enter “Free Look” mode. Free Look mode allows you to get a view of the entire level. You can return to gameplay at any time with the Touch Pad. This feature could be useful for those trying to perfect their run or find alternate paths or collectables, but it’s also a nice way to relax, check out the scenery and listen to the game’s soundtrack.

With what the game lacks in depth or complexity(mostly due to being a controller free experience), it makes up for in accessibility. Basically anyone can enjoy Arca’s Path. Those who are less than casual gamers don’t need knowledge of complicated controllers. There’s no reason to worry about motion sickness from it either. It’s the most user friendly VR game around.

Graphics/Sound

While Arca’s Path isn’t a visual revolution, it has a bright, appealing art style. I often found myself rolling around(or rolling off…) because I was checking out the landscape. Early levels are lush with colorful flora that easily draw your attention. Darker, more grimy tones are more present in the later acts.

The experimental soundtrack is likely my favorite part about the game. A relaxing score by Raffertie(a British composer) accompanies the visuals and puzzle like gameplay of Arca’s Path. I found myself taking extended breaks with the game running in the background, just so I could hear the music even while I wasn’t playing.

The weakest element is likely the story. While seemingly going for a dark fairy tale, its mostly lost in translation. The few cut scenes are merely still frame images, akin to comic book pages, with no text or narration of any sort to accompany them. While some people may be able to piece together the story from this, I wasn’t. By the time I continued my playthrough from Act 2, I had completely forgotten the story I had already experienced. It just isn’t memorable.

Summary

Arca’s Path has a forgettable story, and what seems like shallow mechanics. That’s just one way to look at it though. Those craving a relaxing experience, or even just a simple one that involves little effort or risk, will find a good contender here. As both a controller free game, and as a VR game, it’s a prime example of the high potential our technology. Arca’s Path is a unique trip into a vibrant world that every VR owner should take.


Follow Us On Social Media

Arca's Path VR

$19.99
8

Gameplay

7.5/10

Graphics

8.0/10

Sound

8.0/10

Performance

8.5/10

Pros

  • If you can turn your head, you can play
  • Eye catching art style
  • Strange, but addictive soundtrack

Cons

  • What story?

We would definitely love to know what you think below

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.