We have really enjoyed both the Pixel Ripped games from ARVORE, so when we first heard about The Line, we were really interested in checking this out. We have now experienced The Line, so what did we think of it?
Firstly, unlike Pixel Ripped this is not a game, and is a short narrative driven story with interactive elements throughout the experience. The Line tells the story of two miniature dolls Pedro and Rosa, who are perfect for each other, but there is some reluctance to live out their love, due to the fear of change.
Without going any more into how the story plays out, as this really is something you need to experience yourself, let’s take a look at the interactive part and the part you play in the story.
I would like to start this by saying The Line uses the hand tracking technology in the Quest for you to play your role – and is one of the first batch of titles to launch on the Oculus store using this feature. As mentioned the main characters in this story are miniature dolls, so, this is all going to take place within a scale model of 1940’s São Paulo. This means you are placed in a room in front of this model and you are going to have to interact with set control mechanisms to move the story along, be this pressing buttons, pulling on knobs, turning cranks and more. In doing this the team at AVORE have ensured this story could only be told using VR and gives the user a true sense of immersion and the feeling of being in that story.
This love story is also brought to life by the whole charm of how the world and the characters are animated, which really gives you the feeling of being stood at this miniature model world. With this beautifully animated setting you are also getting very clear narration from Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld) bring the whole piece together.
The team have also included two ways to play this experience, this offers either room scale or seated. We really found full charm in The Line when playing in room scale, so we would highly recommend playing this mode if you can – but, the game still has plenty of charm when seated, so do not worry if you cant. What gives the room scale that extra charm and feeling of presence in this world is you are just going to walking to the next part of the model, where in seated you get moved to it in a transition.
Either way these seamless movements around the model in both modes, and the comfortable nature of the experience makes it perfect for introducing people to VR and what it can do. Add to this the hand tracking being used in order to interact with the model means no pesky controllers for those not used to VR too.
From first stepping up to the miniature recreation of the 1940’s São Paulo setting to the experience ending we felt all the charm on offer from The Line. From the animation of the parts of the model world and characters, the interaction with the world and perfectly delivered narrative, you can see the hard work and love that has gone into both the story and bringing it to life. All while adding the feeling of having presence in the world and story with the use of both a room scale option and hand tracking. Taking all of this into account its no surprise The Line won “Best VR Experience” at the 76th Venice International Film Festival last year, and makes it an experience we would recommend picking up – especially at $4.99.
For the purpose of transparency, this hands-on was completed using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a free code does not affect my judgement of this product.