It was inevitable that with all the games that arrived along with the launch of the PlayStation VR some titles would slip under the radar. In fact it seems to be the case that games which came out in the months prior to PSVR’s release are largely forgotten about. VEV: Viva Ex Vivo, from Truant Pixel, is one of those games.
VEV: Viva Ex Vivo is an exploration game with score-attack elements that is set in a microscopic single-celled environment similar to the BBC documentary “The Cell” or the movie “Inner Space”. When it was originally released it received mixed reviews but credit to the developers though they listened to feedback, altered a few things, patched in VR support and renamed it to VEV: Viva Ex Vivo VR Edition. So we decided to don our PSVR headset and put it under the microscope.
At the start of the game you find yourself in a laboratory complete with a headset and DS4 controller so you can select which mode you want to play. By selecting the VR mode you become immersed in this laboratory setting. The graphics are very realistic and detailed, Truant Pixel have even left you a little note for you on your chair. There’s a manual to your left that you can read through it explains things like; what a VEV is (its a microscopic drone that you control), the basic controls and how to increase you energy. To your right there’s a list of the different samples you can explore. There is four samples for your drone to explore from the start these are fresh water, soil, blood and cerebrospinal fluid by performing well in these samples another three samples can be unlocked. The samples all look different and each has different predators and goals (exploration and survival). The exploration samples are quite calm and relaxing whereas the survival samples will have you dashing around frantically.
The basic aim of VEV: Viva Ex Vivo VR Edition is to explore microscopic samples and stay alive for fifteen minutes. However by exploring you consume energy and when it gets to zero its game over, so you need to find and collect particles which will add to and increase your energy store. You can move at different speeds but the faster you go the more energy you’ll use. When playing on the PS4 your view is restricted by its 2D setting and with no onscreen indication of where particles are it make for a somewhat isolated experience. However with the PSVR it’s a totally different game, VEV: Viva Ex Vivo VR Edition becomes alive, you’re not restricted and you can look anywhere. It feels like you are in the samples, it feels like you are under the microscope.
VEV: Viva Ex Vivo VR Edition may be budget priced but the exploration and survival goals in this microscopic exploration game are worth a closer looking at. If you picked it up when it was originally released on PS4 and now have a PlayStation VR you should definitely fire it up to play it again in VR mode.
NelMaNo Rating – 7/10
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