From Frima Studios, FATED: The Silent Oath promises a look at the future of storytelling games. Previous titles in this genre have often been a mixed bag, often met with criticism for lazy design or lackluster player engagement, but just as often with acclaim for their fantastic stories. FATED shows us that this style of game might have just been waiting around for VR to truly shine.
However, as promised, a look is all we get. While I really enjoyed this experience, it shares faults common with many early VR games and falls just short of expectation. It’s clear that the team had vision and passion, however it’s clearer that this title was rushed out for the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (a mark it missed by a couple of weeks incidentally). It really could’ve oozed polish and been a real standout, but that would’ve taken several more months in the oven to bake.
Next, Frima is obviously capable of decent character animation, even utilizing natural facial and body language cues in conversations with success. So, a little nuance for the rigid background characters would have gone a long, long way. It’s lack also makes progression triggers way too obvious; characters walk away and become completely motionless, or suddenly spring to life when you enter their action radius. This is honestly hard to gripe about since as long as NPCs have been used in games they’ve behaved this way. However, it’s particularly jarring to witness in VR; a character standing in front of you has real substance and a physical presence, so it becomes extremely obvious when they’re otherwise lifeless.
Finally, most of the interactive elements of the game were simply boring mini-game tropes. Push some panels in a certain obvious order. Walk a maze in a certain obvious path. Avoid perhaps the most egregious giant axes swinging in your path I’ve seen yet.
I’ve given FATED a lot of grief, but I did enjoy the experience and consider it to be a worthy addition to my growing VR library. It’s largest failing might simply be that it shows so much potential for this style of game in the future, it’s that much more disappointing when it falls just short of the vision.
Written by: Pat King