Moss: Book II | Review - A mouse to the test on PlayStation VR 2

Moss: Book II | Review - A mouse to the test on PlayStation VR 2


A storybook, a mouse and a world of adventures. We could not otherwise open our review of Moss: Book II on PlayStation VR 2, the new famous, innovative and expensive addition to the Sony ecosystem, arriving on February 22nd. Today's story, however, is not about this accessory at all, but about the adventure of a little mouse who, in one way or another, was able to make me a child again for a moment. It is precisely the stories that everyone lives that make this world warmer and sweeter, essentially based on paths that anyone undertakes to test themselves and to face fearsome creatures ready to awaken the worst side of any creature that inhabits this earth.

Candidate for best VR game of the year, Moss: Book II is a little gem, continuation of the first Moss, released way back in 2018, a real geological era ago that saw many productions dedicated to virtual reality arrive on the market filling it with news. In the case of Moss: Book 2 there is a particular development story, daughter of the success of the previous chapter, certainly one of the most innovative and memorable works that the world of virtual reality has ever developed. It is currently spreading in Italy as well, reaching the point of creating works such as Vajont , which I have spoken of in depth in recent months, coming into contact with a developer who spoke of the tragedy that occurred in 1963, and who has embraced a different and less caption to show firsthand what really happened on that terrible day.

Moss: Book II, however, is instead a more colorful and lively production, determined to interface with a vast and passionate audience for the best known and most famous fairy tales and fairy tales, the same ones that accompany the neediest in worlds with an irresistible charm. The journey began by accident, as if you couldn't help but experience it: I didn't enter a closet, or cross a bridge or hold a sword capable of defeating an ancient enemy that threatens the classic realm on the brink of destruction .

I didn't even collect the marzipan crumbs to get to the end credits, and I didn't get lost in a forest looking for an enchanted clearing, just as I didn't chase a star hoping to be able toa> recover it and show it to anyone, hoping to arouse the interest of a dignitary, a king or a prince. Developed by Polyarc, a close-knit Seattle-based team, Moss: Book II was the most critically acclaimed product of all. In this regard, I have always thought it was a real shame that it was published exclusively on virtual reality, considering its excellent qualities between story and game structure. Accustomed to productions of this caliber, returning from Fable and similar works, I was hoping that Moss: Book II would even arrive without compatibility for PlayStation VR, precisely to offer itself to a greater number of players, and enthusiasts, than the ecosystem of the giant the Japanese has been boasting among its ranks for thirty years now. A lack justified, however, by its being a video game thought of as one of the best experiences for virtual reality.

Moss, in this sense, was irrefutable proof of how much it is necessary to structure products of this caliber especially in the vast universe of virtual reality, still not fully exploited today. The previous chapter, however, told the story of Quill, a young mouse in search of her uncle who disappeared due to Sarfogg, a brutal creature that came from underground in the guise of a mellifluous and cruel snake. The production, at the time, was a great success because it allowed you to impersonate both the Reader and Quill, allowing you to explore different and detailed sides of both protagonists. A reader lives the story, absorbing and understanding it, leafing through its pages and pinning them everywhere, also remembering what was experienced. The protagonist, on the contrary, demonstrates how much better it is not to collect ancient artifacts from the ground, because one could run the risk of awakening something absolutely powerful and unpredictable.

A mission to save the world

The tale of Moss: Book II picks up exactly where the previous chapter left off, with little Quill having freed his beloved uncle. However, since I cannot reveal important details of the game plot, I can assure you that the experience collects the winning elements of the fantastic genre and expands them in a detailed and unique way just as was done in the past with the previous iteration, but adding a special connection with the protagonist, who adds particularity and intensity to her personality.

The protagonist, in fact, is sweet and caring, decisive and self-confident. She uses her cleverness to solve complex issues while not saying a word, but her team, taking care of her carefully, has created a protagonist capable of moving and making herself memorable, inevitably embellishing the remarkable writing already described on many other occasions. In fact, the mouse reaches the heart with simplicity, as any other animal would do and remembering, in fact, the same intensity that I felt in the past with Trico in The Last Guardian, with the only difference that, in this case, it is Quill who be the driving force behind the story .

Interfacing with works of this caliber, on the other hand, is always a pleasure because it allows you to expand in a peculiar way the characteristics that make the less obvious stories already seen in the past incredible. With an effective and moving story, which puts the player at ease in the role of the cutest mouse in the world of video games, Polyarc has given her even more depth than in the past.

When this happens, it just means that the development study, intending to improve what has been done in the past, intends to tell every detail of the final product in all its essence. The great value of the work, in addition to an intelligent and well-constructed writing, lies precisely in the characterization of the entire narrative context, complex to deal with considering the limited longevity of the product. Just like the past but with greater care and attention to detail, everything is explained in a superb and attentive way, with the aim of creating a work that can tell its story and excite you in a positive and touching way.

There is a desire to win, there is a desire to discover, there is a desire to save the world and, above all, there is a desire to learn every emotion in an overwhelming and positive way. Such a journey doesn't start randomly, it doesn't reveal itself out of the blue and it never tells more than it should, exaggerating and finding itself having to rearrange what it offers. In this case, Moss: Book II is a positive rediscovery that allows anyone to dream, traveling with the imagination and finding themselves, at the same time, in a world to get to know, learn and improve. "Even the smallest creature can change the course of the future", Galadriel said in "The Lord of the Rings", and never a sentence seems more fitting than this when you think of little Quill and her long and exciting journey into the unknown.

Moss: Book II is an overwhelming video game

The game structure of the product captures several iconic gameplay elements already seen in the past with the previous iteration. Inside, well-implemented and multifaceted environmental puzzles are solved, and then later dedicated to exciting and engaging fights. In this new revival, Quill can count on a vast arsenal of weapons capable of inflicting massive damage on various creatures, fighting ferociously around the brilliant and well-finished production level design. In addition to a powerful weapon such as her sword, which played an important role in the first chapter, the mouse can boast of throwing weapons such as chakrams and an imposing hammer capable of launching powerful and overwhelming attacks against the various beasts. Their use, in addition to being simple and clear, even allows you to have greater control in terms of environmental interaction, which proves to be essential for advancing from level to level and getting to know new biomes full of mysteries to reveal.

What does not shine in this respect, unfortunately, is the variety of enemies: some are really too similar to each other and partially ruin the peculiarity that a work of this caliber is able to guarantee. Net of this defect, the work still offers a precise and simple game design, capable of exciting, surprising and pleasantly entertaining for several hours, reaching the complex objective of surprising and making people dream through settings capable of involving.

Even if it doesn't change much in terms of gameplay, Moss: Book II is a proven formula that works very well and is suspended between two realities that have yet to become more familiar. I'm referring to virtual reality and traditional video games, and to the fact that they are now both cornerstones of a constantly changing world, ready to surprise and enrich the entire market. Returning to the settings, it is complex to remain indifferent and not feel empathy and wonder respect for what is shown. The world, recreated in a fairy-tale and inspired way, is polished thanks to a carefree and impactful imagination. I admit it, it is a peculiarity that embellishes a production capable of surprising and astounding, strong in themes and an essential and well-finished gameplay. A daydream through and through.

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