Journey to Foundation brings Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series to Virtual Reality, with a game inspired by the books over Apple TV’s series adaption of the same name. But, did the jump to the VR medium work out?
Release Date: October 26th 2023
Developer: Archiact VR
Publisher: Archiact VR
Price: US $39.99 / CA $53.49 / €37,99 / £31.99
Reviewed On: PlayStation VR 2
* Code Provided For Review *
MAKE IT TO FOUNDATION
Around two centuries ago Hari Seldon predicted the fall from grace of the Galactic Empire, and created the Foundation to avoid the chaos to come. You are placed into the role of an agent for the Commission of Public Safety, that keep peace in the Galactic Empire. What starts as investigating traitors in the Periphery, soon becomes much more. With your superior in your ear, and the governors daughter by your side, you must make the journey to Foundation.
THE BEAUTY OF CONVERSATION
Journey to Foundation plays like an immersive role-playing adventure, where the story and scripting takes centre stage, over being full of action and fights in space.
With this is mind the game relies heavily on the dialogue and the conversation you will have the cast of characters you come across. This is where the game really branches out, as the game will throw choices at you, and the choices you make come with consequences and will shape your story through the galaxy. The team have made the conversation flow as naturally as possible, by using the eye-tracking to select your choices. This just makes it feel like it flows better than needing to select the options with your hand.
Outside of the dialogue selection, you do have an ability called Mentalic’s. You can use this ability to read minds, influence people and change their emotions. This can help you find out some useful information you can use to switch the outcome of your conversation as well.
When not in conversation there is multiple elements to the gameplay, as you take on disguises, hack, climb and blast your way through the galaxy. With a couple of tools at your disposal that will allow you cut through objects or hack locks. All of these parts work well, and the hacking puzzle could make a fantastic puzzle game in its own right.
Throughout your travels you will learn more about the Galactic Empire and the Foundation, and also find new chip sets your blaster, which you can switch between on the fly to give you the best weapon for your current situation. Although I found I switched between two out of the four in most case.
Archiact have done a fantastic job of bringing the world of Journey to Foundation to life in virtual reality, but does come across as a bit of mixed bag. It seems there are sections that look great and will give you the WOW factor, but then next you are in an area where the background is like a 2D-painting in the distance. Where this is noticeable at first, it doesn’t break the immersion that much, it’s more of a ‘that looks odd’ situation, that is soon broken as you concentrate on what is going on around you or your conversation.
The voice-acting is fantastic in the game, and with it being so heavily based on conversations this was going to be essential – and the cast have really brought the characters and story to life with their performances. Each of the settings around the galaxy have the environmental sounds to match being in-doors or out-doors. With the musical score suiting the source material and being out in space playing in the background.
Archiact have done an outstanding job of bringing Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series to virtual reality. With the choice of making it an immersive role-playing adventure allowing them to work with the base materials strengths and keep you engaged via a great use of an arching storyline. Sprinkling in multiple gameplay elements as you explore the galaxy, that do a great job of keeping you entertained between the story and for the whole experience.