PlayStation VR Reviews

Fated: The Silent Oath Review: Silence Isn’t Golden

The world of VR is still in a state of flux. Some games like Resident Evil 7 try to mold traditional full size games to accommodate VR. Still others like Batman Arkham VR create experiences with minimal gameplay that are designed to immerse you in the world. These types of experiences, while novel, feel like they will only last for so long as more and more developers learn how to craft larger games around VR. Fated: The Silent Oath fits firmly into the experience category well doing some really smart things to make players more comfortable.

 

The story of Fated is a little bit tough to keep track of at times. When you first start the game you’re awoken by a Norse Valkyrie, informing you that you’ve died. You’re given the option to return to life but at the sacrifice of your voice. As you awaken you find your wife and your clan have suffered a massive attack on their village. Your clan must escape and survive while you discover the reason you were kept alive. Characters are introduced and your connection to them is never made super clear so you can get confused as to who people are talking about.

The entire experience can be completed in about an hour to an hour and a half. While there are a few moments of really cool game play (like when you are attacked on a mountain side and have to drive your cart through this attack) the entire thing ends up being more of a walk around and look at things VR endeavor.

 

A lot of these areas look really good but if you’re not interested in playing a game once through and being done with it, there’s going to be a little for you to enjoy. The main way that the game uses the VR headset is with head tracking. As you go through the game you’ll be asked questions by NPCs. Because you do not have a voice you can nod your head yes or no to give an answer. While this seems to create a branching experience, the head tracking can be very hit-and-miss. There will be times you will nod your head up and down but the game just doesn’t recognize it. It’s hard to tell if there are multiple paths to play through even though there seem to be choke points where your choices may impact the experience.

The story also doesn’t seem to know exactly what it wants to be. There are a lot of moments where the game tries to evoke emotional responses from you. However, the characters are never given enough room and you never given enough reason to really be interested in them. It feels like you were told that you care about them but you never actually experienced a good reason to do so.

That said, as a VR experience, it does make some very smart choices with how it handles space. With motion sickness very clearly being an issue, the developers have added in a number of comfort features to help players who are prone to get motion sick with VR. Things like creating a virtual floor board to give you a point of reference to where you’re standing in the real world can be very helpful at alleviating VR sickness and this is probably one of the smoothest VR experiences I’ve seen.

That said, there’s not a whole lot to talk about. The entire experience can be completed in a single go and never does anything interesting enough happen to make you want to come back. Moreover, the game ends with a cliffhanger, so the whole thing doesn’t really feel finished. It’s probably one of the nicer VR experiences but if you’re looking for a full-fledged game, Fated: The Silent Oath is probably not going to impress you.

SCORE: 5.0 out of 10

A code for Fated: The Silent Oath was provided to Pixel Related for this review.

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