Developer: Frima Studio
Publisher: Frima Originals
Platform: PS4 (VR), PC (Oculus, Vive)
Tested on: PS4 (VR)
FATED: The Silent Oath – Review
VR is a thing as of late, especially now with a handful of different devices on the market that actually support real games, instead of just pictures or small apps on your phone, so we couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to review Fated: The Silent Oath, a character drama with Vikings in the lead. Nonetheless, as it was one of our first experiences with a fully fledged VR game, we dived in unknowing what to expect and while many items exceeded our expectations, we were mostly left with mixed feelings about this particular game.
Even though this game might be story driven, you don’t get that much content in this first part, at least we think it’s the first part. You are a simple Viking that decided not to become a warrior, thus you’re a farmer or the equivalent of a stay-at-home-dad for that time. Nonetheless, the game begins with you slowly dying, when suddenly you are approached by a goddess, something you actually don’t believe in, who then offers you a second chance. This second chance comes at a cost, as you’re asked to protect your family at all costs, but you’ll also lose your voice. When you, your wife Freya, and her father, the jarl, Oswald, head to the nearest village, the entire village is in ruins, and you’ll have to find your family again, in order to continue your journey.
As this is a very short game, it would ruin a lot to tell even more about the story, but you’ll have a few exciting moments that ensue, which involve trials of the gods, as well as giants that cross your path. Overall the story content is fairly decent, but you’ll be left with a lot of unanswered questions.
The graphical quality of this title left us with rather mixed feelings, as many of the environments are stunning, as they have a reasonable amount of details, and a lot of items for you to process when gawking around with the VR headset on. Nonetheless, the characters may look appealing and somewhat cute, they look equally dated, lack proper emotions, and may even resemble characters that could have fitted in games such as Fable 2, which was clearly a last generation title. As stated earlier, the environments are often a lot to take in, but upon closer inspection, there are hardly any proper textures on the floor, as the floor is completely flat, and every pebble and so on, is just equally as flat, making it rather awful to look at.
Mixed feelings aside, the game has a lot of graphical bugs, where your hands go through other people. More than once our torch when through the body and skull of one of the protagonist’s family members. Funnily enough there is one giant mistake where the protagonist’s nephew turns around completely, but his body and head both move in a different direction, thus breaking his own neck in the process, but apparently this painful sequence is just another ‘normal’ item in this title.
When you’re enveloped in a game such as this, the music is less noticeable, and this is quite true for Fated: The Silent Oath. Nonetheless, the game has a fairly atmospheric/adventurous soundtrack, that only surfaces during key moments. The game however is fully voiced, which means that all of the dialogues are actually spoken, safe for your mute self. The voice actors do a formidable job and add a lot of character to this game, perhaps being one of this title’s best features.
Fated: The Silent Oath is a story driven adventure game, with a bare minimum of actual interaction. Most of the time you’ll be enjoying your surroundings, slowly walking around, listening to the other characters or solving tiny puzzles and/or overcoming short obstacle courses. As this game is only about one and a half hour long, there isn’t all that much actual gameplay to wade through.
As expected, the controls are quite limited in this title, as you’ll only be able to nod yes or no, use the left stick to walk around, and us the L2 and R2 buttons to use your hands. The latter is used for pretty much every occasion, from using your bow to raising a torch in the dark. While all of these controls are fairly responsive, as you’ll be aiming with the movements of your head, it’s actually changing the direction you walk in that’s both annoying as well as nauseating. When you flick the right stick, instead of turning around, you’ll turn in a fixed angle in less than a heartbeat, which takes away the smoothness of the game. What this game also misses desperately is a sprint button, but if there was one, we’d probably plow through the game in half its current play time.
Fated: The Silent Oath is nowhere near being a bad game, but it isn’t close to being a top title either, as it only lasts an hour and a half before the credits start to roll, with an unfinished story. While it’s clear that this game is probably an episodic adventure, it’s unclear whether or not you’ll have to purchase the extra episodes or not, or when they are due. All these uncertainties make it hard to fully recommend this otherwise nice title, story wise, as the gameplay portions are also rather simplistic. Fated: The Silent Oath has a lot of potential, and honestly, we hope to see it properly unwind in the future.