Having never heard of Fated when I was asked to review it I wasn’t expecting too much, but I must say it’s been a joy to play and even before you continue reading through my review I have to recommend it because this game in my honest and early opinion demonstrates what games need to achieve in today’s gamer times – a fine balance.
Fated, The Silent Oath places you back in the time of Vikings and their mythical God’s, you play mute warrior Ulfir. The game starts with your character’s abrupt demise, flicking between the last moments of your life in the arms of your wife and the other realm you soon see a “Bright Light” appear which slowly takes the form of a lady- your personal guardian. At this point you are offered a second chance at life to protect your family and escape from the forthcoming destruction by the giant Nordic God’s. Having chosen resurrection from the clutches of death you have had to make a sacrifice for this new lease of life – your voice.
At first it can seem a little strange having no audible responses for the forever vocal NPC’s but Frima Studios have managed to use this omission to the games advantage, all communication is with a simple Yes nod or No shake of the head which is a nice simple tool the PSVR can handle easily and avoids the annoying on screen text which can dilute the whole virtual reality experience, in my opinion anyway. While on the subject of communication the dialogue in Fated is exceptionally written and helps pace the game well, I never once became bored or felt the need to try and press buttons to skip anything.
The story in Fated is a simple tale of Family and honour, an attack on Ulfir’s village by the aforementioned Giant God’s early on sees his family dispersed, Ulfir’s first task is to locate them but it doesn’t take too long before you are reunited with everyone and begin to fulfil the promise you made to the Guardian. The adventure then centres around the trials and tribulations of both the impossible task ahead and the daily dealings of a Viking Father and Husband. (I don’t know any Viking fathers or Husbands so I can only presume). However, I must say each family member is thoroughly believable and conversing with them all is an absolute joy.
The visually presentation of Fated has a similar tone to Telltale’s Walking Dead series and because of this choice it never suffers from any framerate issues, even during a very entertaining horse and cart escape late in the game with lots of onscreen action did it ever stutter (something Telltale could maybe make a note of).
Your surroundings are beautiful animated and the landscapes varied with exceptional note going to the cave system you explore towards the end of the game. And again because of the developer’s choice not to over complicate the visuals the VR never feels underwhelming or uncomfortable and I can’t see anyone suffering any serious motion sickness issues from this title. If, however you are susceptible, motion options are available from the home screen to adjust to your VR comfort level.
Fated in my opinion must go into the “Walking Sim” genre as the majority of the game is exactly that, but throughout your quest you are required to complete challenges or puzzles (some life threatening), but none of these are ever too taxing and once again help the whole experience flow at a comfortable and enjoyable rate.
Overall Fated: The Silent Oath is an excellent addition to the PSVR catalogue. It has a very interesting time setting, excellent character development and a story that maintains its quality throughout and everyone who owns PSVR should certainly give it ago. The only negative point I have is its playtime, approximately 1.5 – 2hrs dependant on player ability but in consolation to this short adventure the two hours spent within Frima’s Nordic world are as engaging as many 10+ hour games can be and rumours of it being an episodic series only excites me for more episodes. A truly exceptional VR showcase from a long proven developer and I can only heap praise upon it, a longer playtime would have raised the score by a point but sometimes they say the best things come in small packages.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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