When I first played God of War on PlayStation 2 I was amazed at the scale of the game. Everything felt grand, almost like you were an ant in a giant ant farm. This is the same feeling I get while playing Theseus. Visually, this game evokes God of War by taking place in the Labyrinth while constantly being pursued by the guardian of this domain: The Minotaur. From your first steps to your final ones you never lose that sense of awe and scale. Theseus is going to be a VR game I remember for a long time.
At first, Theseus seems to be lackluster in the gameplay department. To climb you hit the “X” button and to descend down you hit circle. These, for a good portion of the game, are your only commands, besides the left analog stick to move. This all changes when you discover the torch about a quarter of the way through the game. The torch acts as both a shield, by scaring off enemies, and a heavy attack after you discover your sword. Whenever you encounter your enemy, in the form of tar-like spiders, you use the square button to attack with your sword and triangle to push them back with your torch. If you are skilled enough to back them into a corner, however, you can use your torch to engulf them in flames. This allows you to deal the final blow with your sword. This combat is simple and heavy, but rewarding and never overstays its welcome.
I tend to sound like a broken record when talking about VR. When I’m not in VR I forget how amazing it actually is until I get back into it. That being said, Theseus provides a version of VR I haven’t really seen before on PlayStation VR. For the most part, Theseus plays like a normal action adventure game. You have a fixed camera, climbing portions, puzzles, and areas where you have to defend against waves of enemies. What flips this all on its head is VR. I get a sense of scale and immersion that I’ve never experienced before.
As you control your character you almost get a sense of an out of body experience. As you look around the world you will see your characters head moves along with you, yet you never feel like you and the characters are supposed to be the same person. This is emphasized while in specific rooms, as the camera will be placed in unconventional locations that help showcase the scale and focus of the game. You get tight shots to focus on the feeling of suspense, while in combat you get a more broad view for strategic gameplay. The best compliment I can give the camera is that you don’t notice these shots unless you’re looking for them. This is how cameras should work.
The story in games for me are usually my main focus. It is the aspect of the game I am most critical, and the reason I love gaming. That being said, this story was not the main focus of the game. The story does a good job at navigating you through the world, however, has no real memorable portions. Your goal is to get out of the Labyrinth, however, you’re never really sure why you are here in the first place. This is something that isn’t necessarily needed once you start the game. Your only goal is to escape and that’s what the story conveys.
All in all, Theseus is one of the most interesting VR games I’ve ever played and is one of the first times I caught a glimpse at what the future of VR games could be. Most VR games feel like tech demos to showcase what VR is capable of, however, this feels like a true game. For all things VR make sure you keep it locked to Mammoth Gamers!