PlayStation VR Reviews

Symphony of the Machine Review: Earth, Wind and Fire

One of the major issues with how the PlayStation VR works is how the PlayStation Camera forces you to use a limited space. Unlike the Vive, or even the Oculus, the space where the PlayStation Camera can see is the only space you can really use. If your headset goes outside this limited space, the tracking gets severely impacted, so PlayStation VR games usually have you staying in a static position. For some games, not being able to move around isn’t much of an issue, but with games like Symphony of the Machine, this issue is highlighted heavily.

Symphony of the Machine has a limited story. Your character goes inside of a tower that has the ability to manipulate the weather. A small robot appears and enlists your help to bring plants to life by creating specific combinations of the natural elements. You do this by using a beam of light and manipulating that beam into four different areas of the tower, each corresponding to different elements like clouds, sun, rain, and wind. You eventually get a filter that allows you to change the beam to a snow or fire beam.

Your robotic companion will hand you different mirrors and splitters to split the beam. As you use each element, a wall will block another element. The game largely comes down to figuring out which elements to use in what order so that you can work around these blocks.

The problem is that on the PlayStation VR, without roomscale, you have to use a teleport feature which is inconsistent at best. Moving around this space clearly be a better option, rather than using your Move controllers to teleport yourself around. What’s worse is that this teleport sequence can cause you to drop mirrors and splitters, and if you do, you have to hit the face buttons on your controller to turn around, teleport back to the last place you didn’t hold the piece, turn around again and try not to drop it again.

Moreover, the little robot has this tendency to use his force field to grab your items. He will move if you move, so if you need to move forward just a little bit to grab a piece, he’ll jump back himself. This can lead to moments where you are literally trying to grab this piece from him and he will be off the side of the tower. Why there wasn’t just a selection tool mapped to the Move controller, similar to I Expect You To Die is a mystery.

Aside from that, it’s generally a non-offensive puzzle game. There’s a decent idea, but you can easily complete everything the game wants you to see in an hour or two. It’s not bad, but it’s not mind-blowing like other VR games have been. It seems like this game would be significantly improved a system with roomscale, but on the PSVR, Symphony of the Machine just isn’t a great game.

SCORE: 4.0 out of 10

A code for Symphony of the Machine was provided to Pixel Related for review.

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