The Oculus Quest is a beefy virtual reality platform that’s easy to set up, simple to play with, and provides hours upon hours of entertainment. Myth: A Frozen Tale is one of the few games available on the platform that was made exclusively for it. Developed by Australian studio 1st Playable Productions, Mythis a beautiful, frustrating game that utilises the power of Quest to create an immersive experience unlike anything currently available.
It’s important to know that this isn’t the type of game where you’re going to be slaying dragons or fighting space marines in a futuristic setting with lasers and jet packs. Myth is a very different kind of virtual reality game – it’s a puzzle game with light RPG mechanics built-in, along with some platforming elements. The protagonist of the game is Thora, daughter of Freya, who must battle hordes of fiery demons to save her frozen village from certain doom.
The gameplay in Myth is quite simple to pick up but very difficult to master. You can move left and right, jump, block at the right moment with your shield, cast spells to freeze or burn enemies and use a secondary weapon to attack enemies directly in front of you. You have one primary weapon which you equip yourself with at the beginning of the game – for me, it was a bow and arrow.
The story is told through fully voiced dialogue and hand-drawn comic book style cutscenes and remains interesting throughout. There is no text or dialogue whatsoever in the game, yet it does a great job at telling you what you need to know and nothing more.
The controls of the game are intuitive; for an action-adventure VR title they’re also very simple, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun.
I’ll start off with the good aspects, of which there are many. First of all, this game is beautiful – I don’t know how the developers did it (and probably never will), but they managed to make a VR title feel so real and immersive. The graphics have a cartoony yet realistic look to them, which can be explained by the style of drawing used for the cutscenes. The environments range from dark caves lit up by lava underneath your feet, to frozen wastelands resembling a scene from Game Of Thrones. The enemies you face include ice demons, fire giants and giant bosses that require some thinking as well as reflexes in order to defeat them successfully.
The puzzles in the game are simple to complete yet difficult to figure out at first, which is a good thing. The platforming elements require you to time your jumps and blocks well in advance in order to be successful, which adds another layer of difficulty and immersiveness that I found very appealing. One odd thing about this game that surprised me was how long it took me – I got stuck at level 4 for hours (literally) before making any progress whatsoever.
This brings us to the bad aspects, of which there, unfortunately, aren’t too few. The biggest problem with Myth: A Frozen Tale is how repetitive it is; every puzzle looks exactly the same as the previous one, sometimes even using the exact same layout but with different enemies or a slightly different background. Although I personally didn’t mind this much, it could get boring for some people who’d rather be slaying dragons instead of freezing the same enemies for the millionth time.
The puzzles are also very easy to complete, which is good for people who don’t want too much of a challenge but bad for those that do. In my opinion, there needs to be a mode where you can play with increased difficulty by using only one weapon (the bow and arrow) instead of two (one ranged, one melee). It would make things more interesting without removing the RPG elements of the game altogether – since you’re still allowed to cast spells.
Despite these problems, however, I enjoyed playing Myth: A Frozen Tale from the very beginning to the end, and I’m glad that it was free for me considering how much I enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a VR game with RPG elements that’s not a hack-and-slash or a wave shooter, then you should definitely try this one out.