I’m not sure how to feel about Tokyo Chronos. On the one hand, it is a very well made game for VR – on the other hand, there are many aspects of it that make me uneasy – and yet at the same time it captures my imagination
The first thing you will notice about Tokyo Chronos is the incredibly expansive world they have created. If you pause to look around during your playthrough, no matter where you are or what you are doing, it’s impressive how much care went into making this world big. It’s full of little touches waiting to be discovered by someone who has an eye for them.
You’ll see things like clocks set every so often so players can mark their own pace through the game, toy windmills turning slowly in the background, lamps lit by hand instead of automated lighting, and other nice touches. It is incredibly easy to get sucked into this world because it feels alive.
This is a world that has not been seen before – but then again you’ll feel like you’ve been here before. It draws from real-life elements such as Japan, but with a sense of fantasy mixed in. The town area especially gives me uncanny valley vibes from older anime shows I have watched since I was a kid – and yet I can’t help myself from finding it beautiful.
There seems to be some inspiration drawn from Steamboy which comes to mind immediately – with its always moving gears on the sides of buildings. Some inspiration also comes from Bladerunner, with its many neon signs at night. It’s clear that a lot of time went into making this world look good, and for an open-world game, it works well.
I am especially impressed by how much attention is given to small details in this game – although some elements are not so small, like the vast city area where you can spend hours exploring if you wanted to. The number of things tucked away in every nook and cranny of the map just waiting to be found by someone who wants to take their time really makes me appreciate how immersive this game is. Even without any sort of multiplayer aspect, there will still be people who get lost inside this game.
The biggest issue with this game is that it doesn’t really offer anything new or interesting, gameplay-wise. If you just look at the screenshots and want to pick up the game without doing any research, you might be disappointed by how basic it is. It’s noteworthy due to its extensive world – but I feel like since there isn’t much in the way of core mechanics, interactions, or other VR mainstays, Tokyo Chronos will probably fade into obscurity until VR hits some sort of mainstream (which seems unlikely).
I would hope for a sequel once VR has gone more mainstream – because much like No Man’s Sky when it first came out (not even considering that these two games are nothing alike), Tokyo Chronos is a game that I feel everyone should try at least once.
The Verdict: 6/10 – Good
This game is well put together, and was clearly made with much love. It’s very pretty but lacks the depth of other VR games. The details are what make this game great, but it falls short in every other aspect. If you’re looking for something to get lost in, Tokyo Chronos might be right up your alley. However, if you prefer solid gameplay mechanics, then it will probably not hold your interest for long unless it captures your imagination like it has captured mine.