Cast VR

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Cast VR – Review

This mysterious and magical focused game sets up a challenging and meaningful encounter everywhere you go. The plot is narrated to you and the narrator also serves as your guide through a journey of discovery and intrigue within the vast castle set before you.

From what I’ve experienced thus far the story, which is mostly being told from the perspective of the Kings’ daughter, is very interesting. For those who enjoy mystery and intrigue, this plot is full of it. The primary driver is finding the missing King, however in each room there seems to be another element of story being told, which in some cases I have not yet worked out. The first room after your tutorial will give you some background information to the time period as well as what this child has been through so far in their life.

It is as yet unclear if this background knowledge will become useful to remember moving forward. The unknown aspects of parts of the plot are further adding the mystery and help draw you into the game.

I have now played through a couple of hours in the title ‘Cast VR’ using a Vive headset and a mid range PC running a 1070 GPU for reference and these are my first thoughts.

Graphics and music:

This game looks and feels like a castle from the 13-1400’s. Through the design of the rooms to the furniture and the drapes everything is aesthetically fitting for the feel that the game sets up. It really looks and feels like a castle should for the time period. Having explored 4-5 rooms so far the details in each further cement the idea that the room is for a certain purpose or person. The king’s room, for example, is large, spacious and has a very large bed in the centre of the room. Even small details have been considered with the paintings being thematically accurate and clearly thought out.

The music and sounds that the game has implemented give an eerie feeling from the first step into the game. From the clanking of metal armour in combat to the background music each change is musically purposeful and clear. The voice acting and narrating also sets the tone for the experience. It was a nice change of pace to have someone telling me in the introduction what the game mechanics are, rather than reading them on a screen in front of me.

Controls/mechanics:

The controls of a VIVE game have always been potentially problematic as anyone who plays on a VIVE knows. The grip buttons are, as we know, fairly useless where they are positioned as we know it is awful and always has been. With this in mind, the VIVE controls for Cast VR have been clearly thought about. The grip buttons are usable to do things like interactions with the world and/or your spell book, however they are also not required. You can play the entire game without them as the trigger key binds do the same/similar things which is a really nice design and makes my hand not feel like it wants to fall off after 20minutes of play. Controls in game for the VIVE wand are great, however the actual mechanics of the game feel a bit underwhelming for a spell casting game.

As with any spell casting in VR, finding a way to cast spells quickly with meaningful actions and no voice has been challenging. Cast VR’s approach is, I feel, still not quite right, however it still feels meaningful. The approach they have used involves using the spell book in your left hand to find and select your spell then use your wand in the right hand to aim and cast. If you want to recast that spell with the book closed you can touch the last cast spell for quick recasts. This added closed book recast spell is very nice and makes it much less clunky, however swapping between spells mid combat is still a cumbersome process that will get faster with more familiarity with spell locations.

Overall, this game has a certain appeal, and to those who seek mystery and magical mastery in particular, this title is certainly worth a look. It took some time to get used to the mechanics and understand what it was the game wanted me to do in some areas but that’s part of the exploration and fun of these types of games.

The Good

  • Immersive setting with era specific decor
  • Easy to control
  • Supports either grip buttons or standard trigger activations
  • Interesting and compelling story

The Bad

  • Spells can be a little cumbersome to cast mid-fight
  • The story can be confusing and lacks direction at times
3.5
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5
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Written by: Daniel Hill

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