Your dying father needs your help. He summons you to his Antarctic base and gives you a mission: retrieve the Quintessence. With it, you will have the power to reverse the aging process and save your father.
Loading Human: Chapter 1, developed by Untold Games and published by Maximum Games, is an episodic VR adventure set in a sci-fi future. Find out what we think of this first episode in our Loading Human: Chapter 1 review.
Loading Human – GDC 2016 Trailer | PS VR
Excerpt of the story from the game’s website:
You are Prometheus, the son of the most important scientist in history. Your father is dying. How far will you go to save him?
Set over a hundred years in the future, Loading Human explores the powerful relationship between science and humanity, love and loss. With your father, Dorian Baarick, trapped in a life-extending device of his own creation, you’re faced with an impossible decision. To survive, he needs the power of the Quintessence, an energy source located across the galaxy that you, a scientist fresh out of training, have the ability to retrieve.
But your father isn’t the only person that matters to you. Alice, Dorian’s assistant, represents a tug in a different direction, a complication to your father’s wish. You’ll navigate interactions with her, experiencing incredible emotional depth through powerful virtual reality technology. As you develop a closer connection with characters like Alice and Dorian, you are drawn further into Prometheus’ world.
Loading Human dives deep into complex questions of familial and romantic love, duty and sacrifice, science and romance. Step into a realistic vision of the future in which nothing is quite as it seems.
The story is intriguing, and the events unfold at a pace that will keep you engaged, pushing you forward. If you like lore, there is a lot for you to dig into. You will find TV screens with broadcasts of what is going on in the world and portable devices that give you access to news on politics, sports, and many other topics.
The graphics are not mind-blowing, but they are well done and complement the story. What I enjoyed the most are all the details in the environment and the many objects to interact with. For example, you can interact with the food cooker in the kitchen to prepare different dishes. There is also a vinyl turn-table that you can use to play vinyl records that are laying around the room. I appreciated the music in the game and particularly liked listening to the different vinyl albums.
Loading Human plays in a similar fashion as other adventure games, like the many great releases from Telltale games. Instead of a third-person view, the game uses a first-person VR view and the Move controllers allow you to interact with your environment and progress the story. It’s a fun concept and a great way to make use of the strengths of VR.
However, my main complaint about the game are the controls. They are a bit cumbersome and can make it hard to move around. You need to point the controller in front or behind you and hold the Move button to walk in that direction. Pointing the controller to the side and pressing the Move button will make you “Blink” and rotate to face that direction. This turning by increments instead of being a smooth motion makes it hard to turn just the right amount. Finally, you can pick objects by holding the T button. Picking and placing objects can also be glitchy while you try to position your hand exactly like the game wants you to. All these makes solving straightforward puzzles harder than it needs to be, and makes evident the growing pains of the PS VR hardware. I would also have liked it if the character moved at a faster space – he walks too slowly for my taste when moving from room to room.
At a later point in the story, you will play three mini-games: a game where you dual-wield pistols to shoot down asteroids coming toward you, a game of reflexes where you must quickly hit panels floating in front of you, and one where you pilot a small ship. They are short, but they offer a nice change from the “push-this-button-and-take-this-item-from-here-to-there” gameplay for the rest of the game.
Overall, I enjoyed the game’s story and I’m wondering what will happen in the next episode. The game doesn’t overstay its welcome and seems just the right length at around 4–5 hours. I suggest you give the game a try if you are a fan of story-driven adventure games.
This Loading Human: Chapter 1 review is based on a PS4 copy provided by Maximum Games.