CrossSide: The Prison Review (Windows Mixed Reality)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
Escape room style games are now becoming a lot more popular in the VR medium, the team at ARVI LLC have joined in with genre with CrossSide: The Prison. But, do ARVI bring something new to genre?
In the game you are placed into the shoes of an officer of the law, who has been framed from a murder you did not commit. Unfortunately for you the justice system is corrupt, as you are sentenced to death for the crime. What these corrupt villains didn’t know is you wont go down without a fight, and on the eve of your execution you plan your escape.
This where the gameplay comes in, and if you have played an other escape room experiences in VR, you will know what to expect from CrossSide: The Prison. However, one thing I found with this game was although the puzzles were difficult in places, they did not cause as much as stress as others. All you are going to have to do is find the parts for the puzzle and use your brain to figure out your next step – working your mind and not those reflexes that are required for other games.
As I have mentioned there are places the puzzles might seem difficult, but in most cases you will not find them overly complex. One thing you are going to need in this game though is a keen eye, because the puzzles do blend in well with the game’s setting. The puzzles are going to see you completing a number tasks like finding keys, a way through walls, and the most tense and challenging part of sneaking by some guards in the food hall.
The parts with the guards brought a good challenge and for me the most enjoyable part of the game. As you will feel very on-edge and tense as you work your way past them. This is because if you are spotted you are instantly shot, and the game builds a great atmosphere to make you worry that this is going to happen.
As the game starts the tutorial seems to give you the feeling you are going to playing this in some sort of fantasy setting, as the world is all distorted – but, don’t worry this is only the tutorial section. After this the presentation does an awesome job of creating the mood and setting for your prison escape. Visually everything about the game is sharp, and the use of the lighting is what sets the mood perfectly.
Where the visual presentation does a great job, the audio all is a bit of a mixed bag. The atmospheric sounds are all great and keeping you immersed in the setting, however, there is little niggles with the audio outside of these. Firstly there seems to be no player sounds, meaning you can be as loud as you like and it causes no repercussion. But the worst part of the audio is the voice acting over the intro and outro of each level. This really leaves a lot to be desired and can be very distracting from the experience.
In order to play the game you are going to have to be standing and room-scale is required, due to the amount you will need to move and crouch down in order to do parts of the game. Other than this the game offers both teleport and free locomotion, although the free locomotion system takes some getting used to. For your turning you can turn yourself or use click turning – meaning the game offers all movement options. The other buttons you will use are the triggers and grip buttons in order to interact with items, as that is all is needed in the escape room experiences that VR offers.
When it comes to time spent on getting out of this prison, you will be looking at around about an hour to get through this escape room experience. The team have offered some replay value by timing you in each chapter. Meaning I you do want to try to beat some chapter times you can return to these from the level select screen, but if not, you are only going to get that hour out of the game.
CrossSide: The Prison does exactly what you would expect with the escape room genre, and takes no risks in what it doing – but that is not a bad thing. It brings with it a great atmosphere to keep you in the world the team have built, but I wish there was just a few more sneaking mechanics and sections added into it. But, for £10.29 it will give you a solid experience.
Also available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Developer: ARVI LLC
Buy on Steam