So far I am really enjoying my PSVR. Whether or not VR is the next big thing remains to be seen, but I do believe it can fundamentally change games in ways we have not seen since analog sticks. One of the biggest concerns over VR is the lack of a killer app. Yes, there are a lot of fun, cool experiences, but will we ever see the game that everyone has to have? Right now, no. However, if you have a PSVR, or are really interested, I am currently playing a game that is the closest I have seen to a must buy.
Tethered is a game I was interested in as soon as it was announced this summer. I already had a PSVR pre-ordered and was looking for games to keep an eye on. Once I saw the initial trailer, I was hooked. I mean…just check it out.
How cute are the Peeps?! In the game, the archipelago of islands the Peeps live on has been consumed by Evil. You are the only remaining Spirit Guardian (the others have been imprisoned) and it is your responsibility to guide the Peeps, island by island, to collect enough Spirit Energy to unlock a totem and release the Spirit Guardian. How do you do this? Through tethering.
When you arrive on an island (at least so far), a single Peep is hatched. You then tether the Peep to a task (i.e. harvesting food, collecting resources, etc.) and begin to revitalize the island. Additional Peeps can be hatched, and soon the game becomes a deep, but accessible, strategy game as you manage gathering resources, the weather, promoting your Peeps to specialized roles, and building out your island…until night comes.
At night the creatures of the island come out to feed. I am not sure what they are supposed to be, but I all them slugs, and they want to ruin all you have created. It is now time to enlist your Peeps (and the weather if you play your cards right) in defending all you have created. Once dawn breaks, if you survive the onslaught, the slugs return to their home and it is back to fixing what may have been destroyed while continuing to earn enough Spirit Energy to unlock the Spirit Guardian.
Let me be perfectly clear about something: I am really bad at this game. Strategy games (especially in real-time) have never been my forte. However, this is the first one in a long time that I want to be good at. It may sound odd, but I really connect to the Peeps. They are emotive, interesting characters, and I feel compelled to help them on their journey. As a result, I will not be writing a full review until I have finished all the islands, or until my skill level means I cannot continue (we will see what happens first). One criticism against VR games is they are short experiences. Tethered has 13 islands to complete, and the last one I played took me close to 40 minutes, so this is likely one of the longer VR experiences out there.
So, why did I bother putting up this Initial Impressions article if I am going to do a full-review in a couple days? Simple. I adore this game so far and think it needs to be on your radar. In the season of big AAA releases these type of experiences tend to get drowned out and I want to shed some light on one of the best games I have played this year. Look for the full review of Tethered coming soon, but in the meantime, I have more Peeps to save!