Since the launch of PlayStation VR back in October, we have been combing through the initial batch of releases and subsequent offerings, making sure to fully experience the titles and atmospheres each individual one is attempting to portray. Loading Human: Chapter 1, the first part in what is supposed to be a three part series, was one of the few titles available that fell into the realm of a first person adventure game, which should be an ideal match for virtual reality. And while it still may be in the future, that time is not unfortunately now. Read on for our full review of Loading Human: Chapter 1.
Title: Loading Human: Chapter 1
Publisher: Maximum Games
Developer: Untold Games
Available On: PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR
Release Date: October 13, 2016
Copy provided by the Publisher for the sake of this review
Loading Human is a sci-fi adventure that puts players into the role of an astronaut that has just recently graduated in the year 2184. Your name, Prometheus. This is a tale of setting out to save a dying family member. Prometheus must scour space to find a powerful element known only as Quintessence, which will allow certain nanobots the ability to save his dying father. Here’s the catch though. His father is the one that invented the Dark Matter engine that enables people to be able to travel the universe at will. If only something like that could become a reality! I still hope that we will achieve interstellar travel at that capacity one day, and that I’m around to see it.
From there on out, the rest of the story is driven by the relationship Prometheus has with his father, and is very forgettable. Throughout Loading Human: Chapter 1, you will explore and prepare for this space journey on the Antarctic base where you are currently stationed. Interactions and storytelling are very limited, as the only other human on this frigid base with you happens to be the only other person you can speak to, Alice. And I wasn’t very interested in what was occurring around me, which is a real disconnect when trying to sit there and play a game in virtual reality. The whole idea behind the technology is to immerse you into the created world and become the character you are portraying. Instead, I was left completely disengaged, thanks in part to a story that really just wasn’t ever able to hook me.
The control scheme is what you would expect for an early adventure game on PlayStation VR. It’s a standard point-and-click style of movement and interacting with various objects. You can control Prometheus with either the DualShock 4 or the PlayStation Move controllers. I tried out both control schemes throughout the time I spent with Loading Human, and while neither option felt like a perfect fit, I think I would recommend playing with the Move controllers to someone interested in giving this a try. You really can walk right up to things, which is a cool feeling, and interact with almost anything you see lying about the base. Loading Human also holds the honor of being one of the few titles currently available for PlayStation VR that did not leave me with an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and make my head swim. The locomotion was handled well enough that I was able to devote the time needed in just two sessions, without having to stop every thirty minutes to an hour and take a break.
Unfortunately, Loading Human is at the mercy of the current technology for VR, and I had a hard time adjusting to the visuals within the headset. The graphics are very rough, and you aren’t able to tell that through a screenshot on a website. Only after seeing it through the headset will you truly understand what I mean here. Text is difficult to read, even after adjusting the headset, calibrating it, and making sure it was properly fitted. What set out to try and be a showpiece for the technology behind PlayStation VR ultimately ended up showcasing just how far we may be from a completely immersive world to explore in a virtual reality setting.
In the end, I was left feeling disappointed with Loading Human: Chapter 1. I wanted to like this game, because I felt the idea behind it and the promise it had as a trilogy was strong. But after taking the four or so hours needed to complete the journey, I’m skeptical on the future and for Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. I’m hopeful for a turnaround and for an amazing Chapter 2, whenever that may be.