Moss is atypical for a virtual reality game. It puts you in first-person, as most VR games currently do, but you’re not the main character. That honour falls to the game’s tiny mouse star, Quill.
In Moss, you’ll take on the role of the reader. You find a book in a library that transports you into its world once you start reading it.
It’s Quill who will play the game you’re expecting. Your perspective is from side-on, the typical perspective for a platforming style game. Quill jumps, attacks and interacts with the smaller objects in the environment.
You’re not a camera or a passive onlooker here though. As you guide Quill through the world of Moss you’ll need to reach out and interact with the world itself, grabbing and moving various objects in the environment. It trades on the core strength of virtual reality – the strong sense of inhabiting a place, actually feeling like you’re inside the game.
Quill and the reader are a team. They interact with one another. She’ll usher you along, smile and wave at you when she’s happy. When she’s facing an intimidating threat, she’ll take on look at you and steel herself, drawing strength from knowing that you’re there. And thanks to virtual reality, you are there.
“We want to make sure that [Quill] has her own agency. It’s very easy to rob her of the agency if all of the focus is around giving her input and guiding her. So for every moment possible, without breaking the gameplay itself, we want to give [Quill] her own life.
It’s a double win because it makes her alive and real and gives her personality. And it turned into our hint system. When you need help […] she can help you out.”
Moss is as much about building a relationship between yourself and Quill as it is about Zelda-style dungeons and puzzle solving. Both are equally important to what makes Moss such an interesting looking VR game.
If nothing else it’s probably the most adorable game at E3 this year.
Moss will launch Holiday 2017 exclusively on Playstation VR.