Moss Book II Review: A Terribly Big Adventure

The sheer scale of VR has never been better realized than in this sequel to the popular 2018 adventure starring a tiny mouse named Quill.

One of the absolute gems in the PSVR catalog now has an even more polished brother as the brave Quill returns to fight in a medieval castle riddled with danger. The mouse must traverse beautiful dioramas and slay beasts large and small while getting just a little help from the player, who hovers as a god-like figure with watchful eyes.

The juxtaposition of the meticulously detailed foregrounds with the soaring backdrops of mountains and crumbling stone pinnacles gives Moss II an awe-inspiring backdrop. Secrets lurk in nooks and crannies, prompting the player to lean and stretch across the landscape in the headset to discover every tiny detail. Sometimes just stopping and looking at the soaring walls and dizzying chasms is entertainment enough.

Gameplay is similar to the original Moss, with Quill controlled directly via the thumbsticks, while the DualShock controller’s motion-sensing controller powers a magical grab that can displace large objects or harass enemies. But Book II introduces several new tricks into its pages.

The Grabber can be used to build new paths, grow ladders and smash level furniture to give the mouse health. Quill himself gains the power of a hammer, enabling new strategies in fighting the beasts. All this added complexity means that the gameplay tends towards an older age group versus the original’s gentler challenge.

Boss fights can be frantic, forcing you to juggle multiple competing targets while directing Quill while manipulating the grapple to fend off other threats.

The first game also suffered slightly from the inconsistent tracking of the PSVR hardware. Thankfully, Book II has fewer frustrating moments where reaching into the screen toward the background can lose your cursor position.

Sony seems to have forgotten all about its VR headset, leaving the release schedule virtually barren as it gears up to launch PSVR 2 late this year or early 2023. But Moss Book II shows that even the aging technology (launched in 2016) can still serve up a treat. The cartoonish visuals make the most of PSVR’s slightly compromised fidelity and position the player at the center of a big and beautiful adventure. It’s the rare sequel that recognizes what was great about its ancestor’s design and writes a new chapter that’s even more compelling.

video of the day Moss Book II Review: A Terribly Big Adventure

Fry Electronics Team

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