Video Game Review: Loading Human (PSVR, 2016)

Loading Human is a PlayStation VR title. A sci-fi exploration experience, it tasks you with saving a mission gone awry.

The plot revolves around your character of Prometheus. Your dying father, a genius scientist, summons you to his Antarctic science lab with a grave request: travel deep into unknown space and retrieve the Quintessence, apparently the most powerful source of energy in the universe to save your Dad’s life.

I finally picked something up!
I finally picked something up!

The game’s promise was that it would be the first truly immersive PlayStation VR game (rather than an experience), providing the ability to interact with myriad objects and even become emotionally bonded to another character within the game and feel their emotions. Sounds great! What is not to like?

Sadly, not a lot.

I was really looking forward to the first big studio VR game in Loading Human, however I was so distracted by its broken controls and queasy VR motion gameplay that it couldn’t hold my interest for longer than a few minutes at a time.

When the game starts up and the title screen loads, the first thing that was immediately more than distracting were the graphics. I can understand a game that has an aesthetic, cell shaded style, but this, this just looked cheap. On top of that, the first thing you’re are asked to do is put in your height and measure yourself so the game can track where your arms and head should be within the VR world. No matter how tall or short I made myself, I was either so close to the ground within the game I couldn’t see over the bathtub or too tall I couldn’t even reach down to turn off a tap without breaking the in-game barrier that shut the VR into darkness.

The controls were also disorientating, using the VR headset to look around and the required PlayStation Move controllers to move back and forward sounds easy enough, but it’s far from it.

You can try shaking her hand!
You can try shaking her hand! Provided you can grab it. Which you can’t.

To explain as best I can, the Move controllers were also your in game arms and hands on screen, and wherever you moved them, the arms would follow. Not a big stretch, we’ve seen this in plenty of other VR experiences. The game’s biggest issue, how it registers spacial awareness, comes into play here. You try to get close to a button on a console you need to press.

Nope. Can’t press it. You’re too close to the console on the wall, so now you have to lift your right arm over your head, pointing the controller behind you and then hold a button to slowly move backwards. Once you have moved back far enough, the game will finally figure things out and let you properly reorient yourself. Wait, no, never mind, we’ve gone into the wall and fallen through the geometry, missing the console entirely and leaving you puking all over the living room floor from vertigo. It’s like playing an impossible-to-win game of Twister except when you miss the spots the floor drops out and you want to die.

I can’t even talk about the story and the characters that possibly inhabited the rest of the game because I simply could not get through certain areas due to game-breaking bugs of this sort.

It really is a truly sad disappointment and a very, overpriced first chapter. Maybe they will fix the issues with some major downloadable update in the future. Too bad it will be too little, too late for me and this title. I am now waiting in hope that the next big full game title Robinson: The Journey by developers Crytek, will be the game that makes this VR Hardware a must buy.

Score: 3.0 out of 10
Highlights: Interactive environments, especially the Vinyl music players can be fun. Environments looked intriguing, A.I. voice acting was pretty good.
Lowlights: Controls and not being able to reach the Vinyl Music Players, main characters’ voice acting was drab and boring. Did I mention controls?
Developer: Untold Games
Publisher: Maximum Games
Release date: Out now
Platforms: PlayStation 4 VR

Reviewed on PlayStation VR.