Virtual reality is still in its infancy. Although technology has evolved and gotten stronger over the years, I think we’re still a long way from having a truly perfect VR experience.
Sony hopes to change that with its new VR headset, the PSVR2. But even then, as I mentioned in my review of the PSVR2, it’s far from perfect.
So we’re once again seeing upgrades and PSVR2 ports from previous VR games, many of which have been carried over from PSVR1 and Oculus Quest 1 and 2. An indie company called 17-BIT first released Song in the Smoke in 2021, a survival exploration game with a very unique art style.
This latest installment of the game harnesses the power of PS5 to make the game run smoother and look better than before. While that’s true, it still includes many of its earlier editions and isn’t perfect.
The focus is on exploration, combat and resource management and its simple nature allows the player to immerse themselves in a world that is both frightening and surreal. The first time I saw the crows looking down at me and then a head popped up was really unsettling to say the least.
One thing this game has in abundance from the start is atmosphere. This is reinforced by the amazing 3D soundstage where I could hear the rustling of leaves, snapping branches and the chirping of insects. And then you can’t hear the screeching of the crows, which really kept me looking around. As night falls, you can hear the footsteps of something in the dark, following your every step but nowhere to be seen.
I never really knew what was happening most of the time and the game wants you to do your own thing. There are purple markers to guide you in the right direction, but the game isn’t holding your hand.
As with most games of this type, you have to be careful how often you use something because eventually it will break or run out e.g. B. swinging a club often enough or wasting arrows. Song in the Smoke: Rekindled gives you plenty of crafting materials, although your inventory isn’t very large, so you’ll have to choose carefully what you carry.
Her inventory opens up like a cloak and is very easy to access, making it ideal for getting there when you need to quickly craft arrows or repair your bow in the middle of battle.
The user interface is kept to a minimum, so you can use your left wrist to see your hunger and tiredness. To prevent starvation and exhaustion, you need to set up camp, build a fire and have it lit, and get some sleep in-game.
The adventure itself is divided into stages, collecting a set of glowing bricks and a set piece at the end of each level. Most of the time you’ll be doing mundane things like cooking food, gathering resources in the wilderness to craft weapons, while making sure you survive what the night might bring if you let the fire go out.
When it comes to survival, hyenas, lions and other weird and magical animals will want you dead. So it’s always important to be prepared. With what looks like a chalkboard with a map drawn on it, you can get your bearings, but only by exploring and opening up new parts of the map.
That being said, when it comes to the PSVR1 predecessor’s actual upgrade and the Rekindled name, there really isn’t much of a difference between the two versions of the game. The tactile feel of the headset is a nice feature, as is a new controller setting for moving, but I still got a little nauseous when moving. But there are definitely many different settings to change this, which will help anyone suffering from VR vertigo.
The performance of the PS5 gives a boost to the graphical detail and fluidity of the game compared to the PSVR1. The changes to this version are subtle, and unless you really want to see what’s changed from the previous version, it’s hard to recommend buying again.
Platform: PSVR 2
Release date: February 22, 2023
Song in the Smoke Remake: Rekindled PSVR2.
Mark Tait The good Great atmosphere Very good use of 3D sound Nice graphic style The bad Not much difference from the PSVR1 version Motion sickness may occur depending on control configuration Gameplay type not for everyone It’s just a standard remake with little additional content