Loading Human: Chapter 1, from developers Untold Games and publishers Maximum Games, is the first part of an episodic first person sci-fi adventure game for the PlayStation VR. Loading Human: Chapter 1 puts you in the body of a young astronaut by the name of Prometheus who’s fresh out of the academy and pretty soon sets the wheels in motion for you to go on a mission to retrieve the most powerful source of energy in the universe to save your dying dad.
The game starts with a rather extended tutorial on how to move and interact with items and objects. It’s all handled with either the DualShock 4 or two Move controllers. I opted for the Move controllers; they represent your arms. When you are close to an appropriate item or object you move your hand towards it and Prometheus’s hand will do the same. Then you press the T button to get Prometheus to grab or press the object. Movement in Loading Human: Chapter 1 is a little convoluted until you get to grips with it. You point a controller to the left or right and tap the Move button to turn in that direction, point it down and tap to crouch, point it forward and hold the button to walk forward, likewise with walking backward, and you can do a 180 turn by pointing the controller behind you and tapping the button.
The narrative of the story is handled via virtual reality memory fragments. These are key moments in the plot such as visiting Prometheus’s father, meeting your science partner for the first time and having your first kiss with the protagonist’s love interest (yup Loading Human: Chapter 1 lets you have your first PSVR virtual kiss). These scenes pretty much follow the basic rules of adventure games; go there to do that but, wait, go get that item first etc. They usually culminate with a rather cool puzzle to solve. An object in the fragment will be missing and you are moved into a wire-frame styled setting so you can recreate it. You select components that you think render the item and are given a probability score, and if its high enough the object is created and the story continues. If not you must continue swapping and changing components until the score is high enough. Top tip – if you have a correct component its description goes green.
The graphics are quite detailed and sharp, and with the headset on you do get that immersive feeling that you are experiencing the events as though you are Prometheus. Look down and you will see his chest, legs and feet instead of your own. Your hands are his hands and you will get a genuine wtf moment the first time you put the controllers down and forget which is which hand when you pick them back up. The only drawback is the cumbersome pace in which you walk – seriously for a young guy he sure likes to take it slow; you’ll be wishing for a run button after a short while.
Loading Human: Chapter 1 offers a break from reality and it’s quite immersive at times, but it’s a little bit too slow paced. There are definite signs of innovation in the game which hopefully can be refined for the remaining chapters. It should be considered as a ‘lite’ virtual reality point and click or walking simulator, though, as opposed to a full on experience and for an episodic title the price is a little too high and the duration a little too short.
NelMaNo Rating – 7/10
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