Preta: Vendetta Rising 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.
I would like to add at the point of writing this review I have invested about 10 hours into the game, and I feel like I have barely scratched the surface. The team at Illion do boast over 50 hours of gameplay, and the way it is going I can certainly see that being the case.
Preta: Vendetta Rising has been available on HTC Vive and Oculus since July 2017, and it has now made it’s way over to Sony’s headset. Hack and Slash games have been a favourite genre of mine since the release of my of my favourite franchise Devil May Cry back on Playstation 2. Is this something I wanted in VR?… Hell Yeah! – but does the game do this genre justice?
In Preta you are placed into the world of Akirion, which is under threat from a deadly epidemic that turns the living of this peaceful land into flesh-craving Pretas. The people of Akirion are pulling together to try to defend their homes, but unfortunately capable warriors are now dime and dozen. Now Arkirots are in desperate search for mercenaries to join their fight, and that is where you come into the game.
It’s hard to talk about Preta: Vendetta Rising without mentioning it’s similarities to the Diablo games, because it plays very similar to the series – which to be honest is not a bad thing.
When it comes to the combat it takes the hack and slash genre, but seems to bring a little of shallow feeling to it. When like me you are used the many varieties of combos and attacks hack and slash usually entails, Preta only brings a standard attack and three cool-down attacks with it. Mixing in with this one block and one dodge mechanic and you can see why it would feel this way, however, I never felt myself getting bored with the combat. I think this is helped by the game’s level of difficulty and getting the combat/dodging down perfectly is certainly going to take some time – even at 10 hours in I am still not 100% with it.
To try to keep the game feeling a bit fresh, they have included three character classes into the game. All of these play in a different style, which are typical cast of characters in the RPG genres bringing with it a two close quarter characters, one that is slow and takes more damage, one that is quick and takes much less damage and a ranged combat class. Given their attributes you are going to have to approach the game in complete different ways with each one.
Now, I feel I must warn you the Preta main approach is very much a grinding system, so if grinding is not your thing you might want to avoid the game. Everything in the game to do with your weapons, armour and potions all come from vendors in the main encampment, but these are all locked out at first and unlocked by completing certain story missions. In order to use these vendors you are going to have to collect the materials required or use the game currency. The games currency is crystals, and in order to get these you are going to have to get gold from completing the missions, and trade this for the crystals. But the amount of crystals needed for some of the larger items it’s best to revisit levels to get that material loot at the end.
This is where the grind comes in, you will be required to keep revisiting quests and playing them again. If you are asking why is this essential? Well this is to collect the material to upgrade, which in turn might make that level you are struggling to get pass that little be easier. Also, some of the upgradable items might not be available until you have passed that set stage, meaning the grind to get prepared for that stage is required. This system is not something new to the Action RPG genre, so it is not out-of-place, it just means you have to be prepared to spend time revisiting parts of the game you have already done. But, given this grind factor, once you have done enough to get what is required for that next piece of equipment you have been working hard for, it really does give you the sense of achievement and love for that item you have crafted – until the next item comes along.
Given the way this system works you can see where the 50 hours of gameplay comes into the game, but I can see it certainly opening up for a lot more play-time, if you want to get each character to a build you are 100% happy with.
When it comes to presentation, the visuals are good-looking but come with both plus points and a few issues. The main glaring issue comes in the form of repetitive environments and enemy design – leaving you with a bit of a stale feeling. The game can be played in two perspectives and those are isometric and first-person. Although given the Action Role Play Game genre of the game and the way the combat works I found the first person view really didn’t work – meaning ninety-five percent of my time in the game has been played in the isometric view-point. Some of the areas I really liked were the light now in the encampment looks great and that when speaking to the non-playable characters it goes into a close up view of the character like they are stood in-front of you.
When it comes to the audio this is done well, other than you combat sounds and the groans from the enemies, you will find what I can only describe as music in the Metalica ilk playing in the background. The game also brings with it some solid voice acting, but the main issue I found with this was the NPC’s seem to speak one line and the rest has to be read, and the line they speak is not one-hundred percent accurate to what is shown on the screen.
Given the length and the genre of the game, this is to be played in a seated position, there is no requirement to ever be standing. This also moves over the controls, given how the game plays it only supports the DualShock 4 controller, but as there is so much to the gameplay this is required. When it actually comes to controlling the game, every button on the DualShock has a use, and if you are not used to these Diablo like games mastering these will be as difficult as the combat system – however, it’s not as time-consuming and you will have these down after an hour so. But, if you are used to Action RPG games these will seem second nature.
As mentioned at the beginning of the review the game claims to have 50 hours of gameplay, and I can certainly see that being the case. Although the only way you are going to last that amount of time with the game is if you can put up with the grind, with this really being required to progress in the game – you wont get through it without the grind being involved. The team have also added some multiplayer element to the game, which can help you with the grind as you have company while doing it be strangers or a friend, this can take away some of the sting of the grind and even prolong it for people. But overall if you can stick it out for £15.99, you are getting a lot for your money.
Preta: Vendetta Rising certainly brings the feeling of Diablo with it, and until playing it I didn’t think it was something that was needed in VR. If you are prepared to put with the grinding to get your gear and progress, I can see this game taking up more that the reported 50 hours of gameplay, but if the thought of grinding as a main gameplay mechanic is not your thing it is difficult to recommend it to you. Also expect a steep learning curve and some frustration as you try to get the combat and dodging down, but as soon as you are comfortable with it there is a sense of achievement when taking down the larger/boss Preta’s.
Also available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
Developer: Illion Corp