Moss: Book II review for PlayStation VR2

Platform: PlayStation VR2
Also On: Quest 2, PS VR, SteamVR
Publisher: Polyarc
Developer: Polyarc
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards
ESRB: E10+

It?s interesting that I?ve not played my original PlayStation VR in over a year, if not longer, but when I think about my time with it, Moss is the number one experience I will never forget. There was a game with a similar concept I reviewed on PS VR called Theseus which you can check out here.

I bring this review up, because I played this before I tried Moss, and really enjoyed this new top-side camera where you have a true bird?s eye view and control what I feel is like a playset with little figurines. Theseus was more like a rough tech demo/VR experience but left me itching for someone to take these mechanics and elevate it into a full-fledged game. Polyarc, an indie developer, did just this with Moss.

While I didn?t play Moss completely, primarily due to constant motion sickness with the original PSVR headset, I wanted to love the game like I played it thoroughly. Now, I?ve been able to truly experience Moss in its prime with Moss and Moss: Book II on the PS VR2. The next generation console VR experience itself is a complete overhaul in almost every aspect which was reason enough to invest.

Within the first 5 minutes of playing Moss: Book II, I fell in love. I found myself completely immersed and repeatedly delivering audible ?WOW? moments along with giant visual smiles. When you first start, like its predecessor, you are in front of a book you will physically open in the VR world and a story begins to be shared with you.

You play as the Reader and help along a little character known as Quill as they continue their quest from the previous game. Playing Moss, I find myself like a kid with the coolest play room, and as an avid toy collector, this is one of the best aspects of the game for me. Being able to look all around the level and help Quill with solving puzzles by finding items out of reach to them or hidden behind a wall that I can visually look around is such a great mechanic.

While you focus on being the visual navigator, you also fully control Quill like a traditional action RPG, using the D-pad and face buttons respectively. Quill is an explorer but also a hero that has to face danger, so combat is another unique aspect of the game. Quill will fight enemies, but you are able to assist with picking up, stunning, or smashing enemies as well.

If Quill gets damaged enough, they will collapse, but you can revive them by picking them up. The blend of controlling Quill as well as your own roles, proves to be an enjoyable and revitalizing game mechanic. As you progress in the story, you will gain new abilities that will help explore unreachable areas al a Metroidvania. You get the ability to draw branches to create bridges or even grow vines for Quill to climb.

Something that I found as a nice compliment to all I?ve mentioned in Moss: Book II is the Narrator. They tell the story like being read a book as a child, but with the enthusiasm most kids hope their parents will attempt when telling a story. As a dad, I find myself doing voices for my son when I read, so hearing the Narrator potentially perform all the voices along with reading the story, this was a nice topper for my overall experience with Moss: Book II. While it?s not the longest game, I feel VR games shouldn?t be too long due to eye strain and fatigue. I found myself not wanting to stop playing which says a lot for a VR title. Highly recommended especially on PlayStation VR2.

Polyarc provided us with a Moss: Book I and II PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: A