Torn Review (PSVR)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
When Torn first got my attention, I could not wait to get my hands on what looked a beautiful puzzler, because this genre can be done so well within the VR medium. Well, the wait is over and I have finally had chance to play the game… the question is did it live up to what I was expecting?
The game puts you into the body of Katherine Patterson, who is a blogger looking for her next big story. She soon stumbles across a rather interesting looking mansion within a forest, and her next big story soon falls right into her lap. Once inside the mansion you are soon introduced to a light orb that you find out is Dr. Lawrence Talbot who went missing 64 years ago. Talbot soon asks for your help.
This is all I want to say about the story, because the narrative and story is something you need to experience for yourself. It really is one of the strongest parts of the game. Lead writer Susan O’Connor who has worked on titles like Bioshock, has really woven an engrossing story and narrative on par with the aforementioned game.
As mentioned this a puzzle game, with all the gameplay playing out using the Gravity Tool the enables you pick up anything that is not nailed down – never mind the size of it, everything is moveable. The idea of the puzzles is making sure the circuits around the house are completed, this where the Gravity Tool plays its part.
You can trace the floor, walls and roof of the rooms with this tool, and you will find the circuits that need completing. In these circuits they will be icons, and shining the tools light onto the objects in the room will unveil that some of them have these icons on them. As you guess you then need to pick up these items and place them onto that part of the circuit and rotate them so they match, which will then complete the circuit and bring power to the room. The only real addition to these puzzles is the use of pressure pads you need to place the correct weight onto that start the electric running down the circuit. Once all the circuits are completed in that room, you will be teleported into a more surreal area and will find out more about Dr. Lawrence Talbot, and his story.
With all the puzzles being the same idea, and quite simple, it didn’t really scratch that puzzler itch I was hoping it would. However, they still do the job of keeping you entertained as you work on unlocking the narrative and being told the fantastic story.
A hugely impressive part of Torn is the visuals in the game. Even at the game starts and you are walking towards this mansion is so picturesque and takes your breath away from that point. This continues as you enter the mansion with everything inside being just as beautifully detailed. Everything about the visuals keeps you one hundred percent immersed in everything the team have created. One issue that you will find with the visual presentation, is it can be subject to jaggies at times, but this is not too distracting from what you are taking in.
Then adding to this all the excellent voice acting that plays out the narrative perfectly, and keeps you company on your journey. There really is a huge amount of voice work in the game and every line is delivered clearly and perfectly, making sure you are kept inside the world of Torn even more. It really has near perfect presentation and for me is one of the nicest looking games on the PlayStation VR available to date.
When it comes to playing the game, you can play it either standing or seated, if you play it seated just make sure you have the camera angled correctly – or else you will get some tracking issues. The game can only be played using two Move controllers, with each controller being the corresponding hand in the game. The restrictions brought with the Move controllers not having analogues has been handled well by Aspyr Media. You will hold the Move button down to walk in the direction you are looking and then X or Circle on one of the controllers to turn in that direction. Outside of the free movement you can also use a teleport option, but we all know how unpopular this seems to be. Given the way they have done the controls with the Gravity Tool and movement make sure you are not to focused on the controls, and keep your attention on the game.
It will take around four to five hours to get through the game, depending on how much you want to mess about with the Gravity tool and explore the details of the mansion. I think this was about the correct length for the narrative and story being told, and an acceptable time for the £24.99 price point. Although once you have completed the game, you will find hard to find a solid reason to get back through it.
Torn has ended up being quite a strange one for me, as mentioned I was looking forward to a new puzzle game in VR, but the puzzle element wasn’t all that difficult and a bit repetitive. However, I did not mind this one bit, as the narrative, story and visual presentation really steals the show for the game – all at level we see seldom in the VR medium.
Also available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Developer: Aspyr Media
Buy on the PlayStation Network