Developer: Mindfield Games
Publisher: Mindfield Games
P·O·L·L·E·N is a sci-fi atmospheric exploration adventure that is available for both VR and non-VR. However, the compatibility with Vive is to be patched in at a later date, so I played without using VR.
The core of the game focuses on exploration, and learning information about what happened in the base and the people who lived there. You learn about the story through various tapes with audio recordings from the characters, as well as other notes and books left around the base. I liked the audio files, and learning about the characters that way, but I found it very strange that for all the object interaction that this game has, I don’t understand why I have to bring the audio tapes to a static location to listen to them on a tape player. I really think I should have just been able to pick up the tape player, and bring it along with me to use, and listen to while I’m still exploring.
At first I was really excited about being outside on the surface of Titan with the threat of an approaching storm, but I am slightly disappointed that this opening was the only time I got to experience the outside, and everything else takes place inside the base. Don’t get me wrong, the base and everything inside looks wonderful, but I still wanted to be outside more with the storm approaching.
- intriguing story, and you will appreciate it more if you take the time to explore as much as you can
- you can interact with almost every object
- audio voices, music, and other sounds throughout the game are done very well
- immersive atmosphere, and the environment looks really good both inside and outside of the base
- depending on how much you want to interact with things, and how much you explore, the completion time of the game can vary
- even though you can interact with so much, most objects serve no purpose
- you have to find a tape player to listen to the audio tapes and wait around while they finish playing
- sometimes long delay when opening doors I hadn’t used yet, and stuttering when I first went into areas for the first time (after I had been to the area at least once, everything seemed to load normally, and without delay)
- some very noticeable texture issues – when moving towards and away from them, the textures change (it was really weird, and a bit distracting – I feel like it hurt the immersion a bit)
- very short game for its cost
My biggest complaint about P·O·L·L·E·N is how short of a game it is. It took me less than 3.5 hours and I found almost all the collectibles that were relevant to the story. But still, I feel like the cost of the game is way too much for how short it is. I don’t really feel the need to replay the game, but I might replay it anyway, just to see how it is when it becomes compatible with the HTC Vive. Overall, I still enjoyed the game, but I do regret how much I spent on it.