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Robinson: The Journey

Robinson: The Journey Review

An absolutely gorgeous game from Crytek but a little rough in the execution

Reviewed by Griffin on 4th November 2020 on Windows Mixed Reality

Review

WMR is not listed as supported on the Steam Store page however I played the entire experience using the WMR HP Reverb with no issues specific to the headset.

In Robinson: The Journey you play as a young teen on a space station set out to colonize another world when it unexpectedly crashes on the a planet. You along with A Higgs Unit (A Robot assistant) and Laika (A baby dino) must explore the world and find out what happened to Tyson station and if there are any survivors.

The game took me about 3 hours to complete. If you are just rushing to beat the game this could take less or if you stop and explore and find every little extra there could be a decent amount more content in game.

Systems Specs I used:

i7 7770k

GTX 1080ti

16gb ram

HP Reverb

Performance in this game was pretty good. I set the game to use 2x resolution in-game (the steam super sampling did not seem to work) and used the normal AA and got a pretty good image, though still shockingly a little blurrier than expected I suspect I was not 2x the HP reverbs resolution of 2160x2160 per eye but instead the game had some sort of hard coded resolution set.

The games Temporal AA that was on by default was terrible and I recommend turning that off.

Graphics & Presentation

For about 90% of this game it is visually amazing and one of the best games I have seen to date, and this is impressive given the games original launch date of 2016 for PSVR and 2017 for PC, it is truely a really good looking game.

I do say for 90%, this is because there are a number of odd lower quality assets that really don't look all that great and towards the end of the game the Games LOD (level of detail) seemed to glitch out a bit and I did see a number of blurry models.

Laika the baby dino was another odd choice as he is notably a little more cartoony than the rest of the game though this is to emphasize the cuteness of him I still think I would have preferred a more realistic design.

At times in game you get an aerial view of the world and this is also really cool, a bit like a Moss style view of the game.

Sound FX & Music

The voice acting for your own character and HIGGs were really good, very professional and they had a fun dynamic the whole time (if not a little predictable)

The environmental ambience and Dino sounds were also very good, this really helped sell the aesthetic styling of the game.

I don't believe there was any music in game apart from some subtle humming in the menus.

Gameplay & Immersion

The gameplay is decent, 2 parts walking sim 1 part climbing 1 part basic puzzles/mini games, there is also a really basic stealth section near the end.

The walking sim part, this is what you will spend most of your time doing is walking. You walk very slowly in game but I didnt really mind as I was going to take my time anyways as mentioned earlier the visuals were really the best part of the game and you should take your time to look around at everything.

Climbing was the other big part of the game, and the game requires you to climb a fair bit. All the grab points are always inexplicably clearly marked in a bright orange, this works like most bigger budget games I have played with climbing such as the wizards or Ionia. There is not much physics to the climbing and you can not really throw yourself while climbing.

Two points of note were that the mantling at the end in which you must quickly pull your controllers down to your hips worked really well, the other point is for some reason when you are climbing the game seems to arbitrarily design how you should be facing and moves the camera around. I think its trying to be helpful but for me it was annoying, and if you are the type you might even get motion sick from it.

Controls

For WMR by default the game only uses trackpad for movement and turning, but rebinding move to the thumbstick was simple. The controllers also do not line up with your player hands but this causes no in game issues.

The biggest let down is the controls:

As mentioned above, the climbing can be a tad annoying at times, and there is also the issue with the look movement speed being tied to the look angle, so if you were looking up while walking you moved even slower and if you look too far up or down your hands seem to become anchored to your head orientation which is odd.

There is also the interaction where you can pick up a number of items with a sort of gravity gun, but I could not find a way to reorient the object while grabbed, which made some puzzled a bit more tedious. There are also a few levers which are activated by button rather than physically.

Value & Replayability

There is a decent number of mini game type activities and things/creatures to explore that could keep you busy for many more hours than the main story, however ultimately that is all rather simple and basic, and I don't see that many people being that interested.

Final Thoughts

This games biggest draw is its visuals and boy do they deliver, even 4 years later at the time of this review they still look really good. The games story is also surprisingly good fun, however due to a short campaign, lack of any deep gameplay, and awkward controls, I would recommend only picking this game up on a decent sale.

  • Visually one of the best looking VR games
  • A rather fun story
  • Good voice acting
  • Short campaign
  • Gameplay lacks depth
  • Bad Controls
  • Could use a few more visual options

Reviewed by Griffin on 4th November 2020 on Windows Mixed Reality

6 out of 10

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Robinson: The Journey
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