The Great and Not-So-Great Things About The Mage’s Tale PSVR Edition
First of all, let’s be clear: The Mage’s Tale, from inXile Entertainment, is a great game. Our own Derek Miller reviewed it on the HTC Vive last year, and he loved it. And now that those of us who own a PSVR get our chance to crawl its monster-infested dungeons with its recent release, I can confirm that it’s just as much fun as ever. But hey, no game is perfect, right? So here is COGconnected’s 3 Up, 3 Down list of the great … and not-so-great things about The Mage’s Tale, PSVR edition.
To start off, let’s take a look at the 3 things we loved.
1) It’s a deep, satisfying RPG
It almost seems odd to say this, because of course, The Mage’s Tale is a fantasy RPG, so it should obviously be a full RPG right? But keep in mind that this is also a VR game, and history, unfortunately, shows us that VR games can sometimes be shallow, simple experiences that rely on the novelty of VR to mask their light content. But The Mage’s Tale is a really deep, well-crafted tale with a full dungeon-crawling story that spans a solid 10 hours at least. You’ll be treated to lots of well-designed maps with plenty of scary enemies and boss battles along the way, and you’ll have to use your brain to solve smart puzzles in addition to all the challenging combat. Bottom line, The Mage’s Tale is a full RPG game that happens to be in VR, and that is impressive.
2) It’s got top-notch production values
The great voice acting, music and visuals in The Mage’s Tale are outstanding. You play first-person as a silent, lowly apprentice to a great wizard who is kidnapped, but there are a host of engaging characters that you interact with, and they are all voiced with excellent feeling (and pretty solid British accents). Dungeons all have a realistic feel, with that genuine claustrophobic effect as you make your unsteady way through them in immersive VR – right down to the wet, slick sheen that I imagine real oozing dungeon walls to have. The sound is well-designed as well, and you’ll often want to turn around to check out those footsteps you keep hearing behind you. Playing The Mage’s Tale gives you the feeling that you are a character in a Disney movie come to life.
3) The immersive PSVR experience
The Mage’s Tale is a great example of how the VR medium is perfect for fantasy RPGs — something I also found with another great VR RPG, Moss. Seeing fantastic creatures and scary monsters in a 3D, first person point of view adds a whole new level of realism and immersion to the experience, and your heart will be racing at times as you shoot fireballs and dodge attacks in epic fantasy battles. Plus, the good news is that it’s more polished than ever for the PSVR — a new smoother movement option has been added to replace the teleport-based locomotion of previous versions. After playing a game like The Mage’s Tale in VR, you’ll find it hard to go back to a “vanilla” RPG game on a flat TV screen, and here’s hoping that games like this will inspire developers to make more great RPG experiences in the virtual reality platform in the future.