FATED: The Silent Oath
FATED: The Silent Oath is a first-person story led adventure game where you take on the role of Ulfer who lives in a movie-style adaption of a Viking village with his wife Freja and daughter Liv. Throughout the game you must be brave and courageous to face off many dangers in order to protect your family and survive in this mythical world. Frima Studio seem to have focused more on the story-telling and virtual world instead of the actual gameplay.
The story starts with Ulfer having made a deal with a Valkyrie; your own resurrection for your voice. You awake to find your wife happy that you are alive, but quickly realises you cannot speak. In order to communicate with her you must use the VR head gestures (shaking and nodding) to respond to her questions. Having a husband without a voice is a dream for Freja who never misses an opportunity to make you nod "yes" or shake your head "no" and of course Liv is a typical youngster, full of intriguing, interesting and often daft questions (so not many chances of the man of the house saying "no" then) plus she has the penchant for getting herself into trouble which you inevitably have to get her out of; making FATED both fun and slightly edgy for the player.
The story progresses quickly and you soon find that your village has been completely destroyed. Despite having no voice it seems it is down to you to gather a group of brave villagers together; then the main journey begins… who destroyed the village?
The simple nodding and shaking of the head to answer questions comes across gimmicky and a sly attempt to use the VR headset just because you can. The movement is limited and slow, but does keep you focused on the amazing VR world you are immersed within.
Graphically the world is amazing, crossed between the cutesy animation of movies like "Frozen" and the gutsy adventure tale "Lord of the Rings". Everything from the characters to the scenery is beautifully designed and easily allows you to become completely immersed in this fantasy world.
I found it to be more ‘involved in telling a story’ than actually ‘playing a game’ but this is not uncommon amongst the current range of available PSVR titles. The lack of ‘free’ movement is somewhat disappointing but once you get past that you really begin to enjoy the story and the direction it takes you.
Many of the obstacles that require user input are simple puzzles - balancing on logs, dodging axes and riding a horse and cart etc, which again are more proof that this is an interactive story as opposed to an actual game. The tasks are relatively easy once you’ve mastered the VR basics, thus for more serious gamers, these obstacles are not hard enough.
As with many current PSVR titles, the gameplay only lasts around 2 hours, which again lends itself to the interactive movie genre instead of the MMORPG that we’re (certainly myself) are waiting for. Titles seem to be around this time due to the ‘health and safety’ recommendations of not using the VR headset for too long at a time, however I feel that over time the gameplay length will increase to a more conventional and respectful duration. From my understanding FATED is the first title in a series that will continue and expand the story.
Available on the Playstation Store for only £7.99, this is well worth every penny. If you are just getting into PSVR adventuring this is a superb starting point because the graphics are stunning and it contains lots of good puzzles; although many of them are a little easy they jolly the game along rather than bog it down.
Review by Greg