Fated: The Silent Oath Impressions0 Comments
Frima Games really went all out when I arrived for my demo of Fated: The Silent Oath. I was guided to a wagon seat covered in furs and handed the reigns — fans and mist ominously at the ready to bring me a true 4D experience. I put my faith in the hands of the development team, carefully strapping on the Oculus headset, immediately plunging into the world of their first virtual reality project.
A lot can happen in a ten-minute demo, it seems. The preview opened in a beautiful forest valley, golden-yellow leaves falling from spindly birch trees as a wagon train rolls its way along the trail. Prior to the demo, the developers explained that Fated is an experience focused on storytelling and emotion, hoping to draw a response from the player as they build a connection with the story and its world, and they've executed it wonderfully if the ten minutes I had with the game is anything to go by.
I focused on the trail ahead as my wife, sitting in the back, talked about the adventure at hand. Suddenly, though, I felt a thump next to me, and turning my head (both in real life and in the game, mind you) I saw a little girl with wide blue eyes gazing up at me — my daughter, Lif — perched in the seat next to me. The demo is presumably set in the middle of the story, so I knew basically nothing about her. Yet at the same time, I felt drawn to this character, even protective.
Towards the end of the demo, our group rolled up into the mountains, a sheer drop of thousands of feet to our right-hand side. It wasn't long before the horses started to gallop slightly faster as they began to sense the approaching threat, the encroaching fog as heavy as my building sense of foreboding. Inevitably, a massive giant with glowing blue eyes rumbled out of the fog, hurling boulders at the other wagons. The horses panicked, and we careened along the narrow switchbacks, I, myself, doing my best to steer the horse and prevent us from tumbling into the abyss. At one gut-wrenching turn, one of our fellows confronted the giant, putting up a brave fight, but dying in a spray of blood as the giant gripped the man in its merciless grasp. Lif shrieked at the sight, and I felt instantly sorry that she had to see such a thing.
Fated builds a connection between player and game in other ways, too, though. Driving past a roaring waterfall, the actual mist tickling my face, I was struck by how beautiful this game is. Fated is not hindered by its cartoon-ish aesthetic, rather embracing it to great effect. Even without the mist and the real-life horse cart, I can see this game easily capturing players. It's incredibly important that a narrative-focused adventure like this one knows how to build a magnetic atmosphere, and Frima has succeeded. The voice acting, the animation, and the writing, not to mention the unparalled immersion offered by the VR platform, all work in unison to achieve Frima's goal, to truly connect the player with Fated's world and cast of characters.
Fated: The Silent Oath launches on April 28 for HTC Vive and Oculus, with a PlayStation VR version also pending.