Announced at E3 2017, Moss follows Quill, a mouse who dreams of greatness beyond her tiny world. She finds a mysterious stone in the woods, awakening an ancient magic and summoning evils from afar.
Moss is told from a third-person perspective, namely from your point of view as you accompany Quill on an adventure. Solve puzzles and fight bad guys as you and Quill journey through a fantasy land. From the trailers we’ve seen so far, it’s sort of like Zelda, but in virtual reality and starring a mouse.
Even if we haven’t seen much of Moss yet, there are already a lot of reasons to be excited for the game aside from the fact that it follows a small mouse crusader. And since the creator of Moss, Polyarc, consist of developers who once worked on titles like Halo and Destiny, it’s sure not to disappoint. Here are a few reasons why you should be on the lookout for Moss when it’s released next year!
Immersion unlike any other VR game so far
From its sound to its animation, Moss is an action-adventure-puzzle game that may take VR to the next level of immersion. In the forest, for example, you hear the many calls of forest animals. As you fight beetles in a large, dark room, your attacks will realistically echo throughout the chamber.
Furthermore, you’re not just limited to controlling Quill. As a bystander/mysterious masked character who also serves as the camera, you can also interact with almost everything in the environment. Some puzzles may require you to use both types of interactions before you can solve them, like if Quill has to stand on a button while you lift up and rotate a stone staircase.
Others may have visible consequences later. When you solve a puzzle in one room, you may find that your actions affect a room you were previously in (and can still see!).
Even if you aren’t solving puzzles, your character is still immersed wholly in the environment. For example, you may have to push aside a wayward vine simply because it’ll make the process of puzzle-solving easier, even if the vine isn’t integral to the solution itself.
Implemented in virtual reality, these choices add one more level of depth to all this adventuring, making you truly feel like you’re on an adventure with one of your animal companions.
The mouse is wonderfully charming and authentic
There’s always something to cheer on about an ambitious underdog who is aiming to break out of the confines of a small place. Even more points if that underdog is literally a lovable pipsqueak wielding a tiny blade and battling beetles bigger than it is. That dynamic, combined with the fairytale atmosphere already present in Moss, brings you back to the good old cartoons like Looney Tunes where animals were constantly on the move.
In fact, like those old cartoons, Moss doesn’t look like it will rely on speaking very much, instead using sound and visual cues to guide you along the way. The developers have mentioned that even though Quill can be controlled by the player, she is still very much her own mouse. She can react to your decisions and gameplay.
If you’re stuck, for example, Quill will start gesturing you from the screen, or perhaps squeak out a tiny hint. She may even decide to act on something by herself, so she can help you out. These choices from the developers serve to develop the bond between Quill and the player, making the game even more immersive.
In fact, there are a few other interesting decisions in the works, which aim to amp up the authenticity and relatability of Moss. A few months ago, the developers released an animation of Quill signing “Nice to meet you” in American Sign Language, and received an enormously positive response. As a result, Quill will be signing a few phrases in the final game – mostly puzzle hints, reactions, and emotional responses – in addition to pantomiming clues to the player.
All in all, Moss looks to be a wonderfully exciting adventure, reminiscent of other games like Zelda but standing on its own due to its focus on small details that do wonders in terms of authenticity and charm. We’re looking forward to seeing what the developers integrate into the full release!
Moss will be released for PlayStation VR in February 2018.
Image credits: Polyarc