There are many unique games for PlayStation VR so here's my review of the abstract and breathtaking Arca's Path.
Arca's Path is unlike any VR game that I've ever played. For starters, you don't need to use a controller at all as you play the game by merely aiming your head wherever you want the ball to move. Your goal is to work your way through tricky stages while trying not to fall off along the way. Once you inevitably perish, it's back to the previous checkpoint. Meanwhile, all of the blocks that you pushed and tiles that you smashed remain where you left them so restarting isn't as tedious as it could have been. On the other hand, you may have broken tiles that composed a shortcut so then you'd have no choice but to take the long way around. Anyway, the intricately designed stages are generally quite massive complete with plenty of puzzles, narrow bridges, nifty mechanics, moving platforms, and the like which makes mastering them feel all the more rewarding.
The environments in Arca's Path are stunning. You'll find yourself rolling around weird abstract stages that come to life as you progress and their colour schemes and desolate nature are nothing short of compelling and engaging. Meanwhile, its science fiction soundtrack with loads of glitch influences creates an almost constant sense of unease as you play. All of this is masterfully accomplished and the story is equally as strange. Basically, a young girl is in some sort of wasteland when she finds a VR headset then puts it on only to play... well, Arca's Path, I guess? The cutscenes from then on show a devious robotic creature who eventually forces her to play the game and other unexpected scenarios. All of that being said, it's probably best if you try and piece it together yourself.
Arca's Path is a brutally difficult game. If you try and rush through stages, you will perish more times than you can count so the key to victory is to move carefully through each stage. Thankfully, whenever you aim your head directly at the ball, it usually stops dead in its tracks. To add some replay value to the experience, each stage features crystals that you can collect and upon obtaining them all, you unlock a time trial for that stage. Considering Arca's Path requires patience and precision, these time trials are incredibly difficult to beat within their gold medal thresholds. That being said, those who are looking for a substantial challenge will not be disappointed.
I really can't stress enough how challenging Arca's Path is. In fact, I can't recommend it to any gamer who lacks patience because anyone who fits that description will probably get too frustrated to continue after a dozen or so stages. Personally, I found the levels in chapter 3 (about three fifths of the way through the campaign) to be a little too demanding. Anyway, there are only 25 stages in the campaign which isn't that many although they are significantly long and will likely require a lot of attempts to complete if you're at least as skilled as I am. Finally, even though there are collectibles and time trials, I wish there were more modes and challenges to master because the available content simply doesn't do enough to provide a solid amount of replay value and variety.
Arca's Path is a VR game that'll keep your heart in your throat as you attempt to master its super-challenging stages while trying not to fall into the abyss below. Its abstract and captivating world is just the icing on the cake.
- + Challenging ball-rolling gameplay with plenty of twists and turns along the journey
- + Awesome visuals and glitch music
- + Time trials and collectibles add replay value
- - Difficulty can be downright brutal so less patient gamers need not apply
- - Only consists of 25 somewhat long levels
- - Could use additional modes / challenges