A GEARVR QUICK REVIEW
Orion Trail by developer Schell Games is not something I feel belongs in VR, at least not yet. Not in this way. The premise is pretty convoluted but I will try to boil it down.
You take Minecraft, the first Star Trek TV series, and the Oregon Trail retro adventure from the 70’s and try to make them not only fit together somehow, but do all of that … in VR. The results are less than stellar. And way less than ... Interstellar.
You pick your crew, your captain, your 1st officer, and starting fuel, hull plating, and a few other options and set off into space, stopping (or getting stopped) at way points along the way. You also bump into random “events” which can occur mid route.
You make some choices and try your best to reach the end of your journey, a space station on the far end of the universe. Every move you take reduces your fuel, your food, your crew numbers … so that toward the end, you’re scraping the bottom of every barrel and trying to coast into the Space Port on the steam from your own breath.
I read VRGiant’s review and he said the game’s “luck engine” was geared toward the super unlucky side of things (haha) and that he tried to win this half a dozen times and never could even once. I don’t know how, I wasn’t trying to, but I won it on the first try. I think VRGiant may not like hearing this (haha).
This game is a choose-your-own adventure based on 3 choices you get at various break points along the way as the “events” occur. Yo chooses yo option and takes yo chances.
The graphics are so minimal, even with the 3D-Depth turned way up, the game was abysmal to look at. I guess now I know what 3D-Depth’s limitations finally are. Even the coolness of depth information in a game can’t make up for graphics that look like they were scanned off of the images found on postage stamps.
The Oregon-Trail aspects were not very cleverly done either. The writing wasn’t smart or funny, it was a little disingenuous and a tad “smarty pants”-ish. It didn’t feel like the author took the time to build creative solutions and outcomes to the paths this game could take. I didn’t enjoy one story result that came up.
The entire library of possible outcomes needs to be re-written by someone who would really enjoy this game themselves, because it feels like the writer wasn’t interested in this aspect of his own game.
I remember Oregon Trail (I’m sad to admit, haha) and it was FUN! It was witty. It was a learning experience. I could not put it down for weeks. While the inverse was true of this one: I could not put it down fast enough. Lucky for me, Mr. VRGiant, I won it on the first take. ; )
Unless you really are a fan of retro-style games that don’t particularly impress in any way, you might want to steer clear of this one … unless it’s FREE or on sale. While it’s docked in the Home Store for repairs, why not grab a different game, set a course for “the first star on the right,” –and go– “straight on until morning…” ?
If you’re a Trekkie fan, you’ll know what that means, wink.
This game has no motion events, so I would rate the comfort level as “very comfortable.”
Categories: Quick Reviews