E3 2017 is now behind us. Between dozens of hours walking the show floor and getting hands-on time with a number of unique games, one PlayStation VR title soared way above the chaos of the show: Moss. Polyarc Games has created something undeniably special with its upcoming title. In the sea of high action, shooter games that have been making their way to VR in recent months (and will be coming to the platform in large quantities in the near future), Polyarc’s beautifully imagined platformer is a welcomed breath of fresh air, built with nothing but heart.
Moss begins with you in a library, sitting in front of an un-opened storybook. Once players are pulled into the book, we are introduced to a mouse named Quill, who then leads us on an adventure filled with great danger and an abundance of puzzles, all of which present their own unique challenges. Using the DualShock 4 controller, players guide Quill through obstacles and enemies; simultaneously, players are also in control of the actual environment around Quill, and are able to move objects to help her through on her journey. The great thing about Moss, though, is that it’s your journey as well. You as a the player, also assuming the role as the “Reader”, are an integral part of this story. Before going off with Quill, there is a moment in which you catch your reflection in the pond, wearing a mask that’s reminiscent of No Face from Spirited Away. It’s a quiet moment, but it’s also beautiful.
That same beauty translated throughout the game during the short time I had with it. The environments you move through with Quill are as stunning as they are dangerous, and when enemies appear, the combat is smooth and fast-paced. The great thing about Moss is that everything is scaled down to Quill’s size, so it genuinely feels like you are traversing this large world as branches tower around you, and as you explore ruins that have foregrounds, middles, and backgrounds.
It’s impossible not to love Quill. In addition to the great environments, Polyarc has created something special with this character alone. Your attachment to Quill becomes strong in a short amount of time, and it’s easy to find yourself talking to her as you maneuver obstacles together. This attachment develops quickly and with ease, because of your ability to interact with Quill, either by petting her or by checking her heart rate after intense battles.
Moss is an experience that will resonate with a variety of gamers, and the team at Polyarc is bringing a wealth of experience from other big games they have worked on in the industry. It will be available for PSVR holiday 2017.