Book II on PS4 by

Once upon a time there was a reckless little mouse named Quill. Hearing only his determination, he once managed to free his uncle, Argus, from Sarrfog’s yoke. Yes, some stories end well, and that of the young Polyarc studio is a good example. With the first Moss released in 2018 on PSVR and PC, the Seattle-based band garnered over 80 awards and nominations and managed to place their rodent among the best titles to roam around in VR. This sequel aims to hit harder while respecting the exploration/action/puzzle formula of its predecessor. So, is everything smiling once again at the little ball of fur?

faithful to his elder

Many months have passed since we took PSVR out of its box. The very idea of ​​having to launch a tutorial to make the many connections and lock yourself in Sony’s big headphones with slightly dated ergonomics wasn’t very exciting. A challenge that we nevertheless took on humming, since we knew we were going to discover Quill’s new epic, exclusive to PSVR at the time of writing these lines. Free Moss II is the direct sequel to Moss. The events begin a few minutes after the defeat of Sarffog and the rescue of Uncle Argus. Here, Quill is on a mission to retrieve five Elemental Relics to take down the arcane warriors. Like the first episode, the player is in control of the Quill/Reader duo and must join forces to progress up the charts.. The rodent is moved with the left joystick of the controller, while certain elements of the decoration can be manipulated thanks to the powers of the “Reader”, a mystical being that accompanies the mouse in its search. Immersed in the wonderful world of Moss thanks to PSVR, the player turns and tilts his head to better understand his surroundings. In fact, it’s not uncommon to discover a path hidden in tall grass where it’s recommended to bring Quill, or unearth a ledge of salvation hidden in the stone walls. Moss is often said to be an exploration/action/puzzle game. Above all, it tests the sense of observation.

Although the rodent can jump, swing, and cling to ledges, it wouldn’t be able to get very far without the Reader’s magical powers. With the PSVR on the head and the controller in the hands, the user is the only one with the ability to interact with most elements in the environment. For example, he is able to move blocks and thus create paths, make stalactites fall or even operate platforms. Book II obliges, Polyarc brought some additional powers to the entity to generate more actions between the player and the universe.. Thus, a simple pressure on the trigger of the pad can weave organic bridges between different platforms, or even make ivy grow on the walls. Later in the adventure, the hammer grants a chance to unleash hits whenever the player chooses, revealing new gears in the game. All these elements are intended to bring a bit of diversity to the puzzles that the little mouse finds: the further the player progresses, the more powers they gain, the more complex the matchups and puzzles become.

That said, some situations already experienced in the first soft come back from time to time. For example, the duo must always find ways to get scarabs to switches, turn spiral staircases to reach specific locations, and activate purple mechanisms in order to progress. Although we would not have been against more genuinely new elements, Moss Book II brings its share of new ideas in its bag, in particular thanks to the effects brought by the weapons that are the hammer and the Chakram. Enemies to be piled up and then dispatched like pinballs at their brethren is also one of the simple pleasures that Moss offers.

PSVR in the head, stars in the eyes

Moss Book II: waiting for PSVR 2, the little mouse hits hard on PS4

When a game of Moss Book II is released, what jumps out at you (literally) is the depth of field this episode gains. The sets are often gigantic, carefully composed, reinforcing the impression that Quill is decidedly too small to face the dangers that await her. Several times during the epic, we spent long minutes admiring the surroundings for the pleasure of feeling immersed in the world. And the sublime music composed by Jason Graves? Once again, they cover the action extremely well and almost bring us to tears during certain sequences. No need to procrastinate Polyarc went to great lengths to offer an interactive story like no other – Art direction is top notch, graphics are good, animations are numerous, bosses are awesome, storytelling is beautiful. Perhaps we would have preferred a little more diversity in the levels visited. Those who made the first game will surely have the impression of seeing the same atmospheres too regularly during the various round trips. Thanks to the good accessibility strategy employed by the studio, players who have not completed the first adventure will be able to easily understand how the universe works, without friction or frustration.

By opting for a third-person view where the user looks at the paintings, “raised” in the environment, the Polyarc software provides great visual comfort. People who are prone to motion sickness should be able to navigate Moss Book II with a smile on their face. Be careful though, if you decide to play sitting down, plan on a large empty space in front of you, as it is sometimes necessary to move your pad to the back to interact with objects. Overall, the handling would have deserved some tweaking.. It’s not uncommon to miss a jump because the little mouse won’t cling to a ledge, while the inventory system makes it nearly impossible to switch weapons on the fly. Also, some powers aren’t the most practical in their execution, like the one that allows Quill to make a devastating dash, essential for reaching certain areas. To succeed, you are required to charge the sword with the square, then get close to the Reader’s cursor, touch the sword by pressing one of the triggers, and finally press the square again to activate the move. One time out of five, the dash ends up in the hole, since it is not possible to measure the power of the impulse. Fortunately, the concerns we mentioned do not spoil an epic that knows how to rely on the strengths of its older brother to once again deliver a magnificent adventure.. Although the latter does not shine with unbridled originality now that the initial surprise effect has worn off.


point strengths

  • Ever so well thought out gameplay for PSVR
  • Top notch art direction
  • good music
  • Well designed puzzles and levels.
  • Successful boss encounters
  • variety in situations
  • sympathetic vf

Weak points

  • Repetition in situations, enemies, puzzles.
  • Treatment that could have been improved
  • Fairly short and limited gameplay despite the collectibles.

Once the adventure is over after eight hours of play, little Quill leaves a big mark on our minds. By integrating new weapons as well as new ways to interact with both the environment and enemies, Moss Book II gains in depth. Although some environments, puzzles and adversaries are redundant, Polyarc’s work is a delight. The element of surprise is certainly gone, but the design intelligence is still there. Long live Book III!

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