KONA - A KGK Review
Although Kona has been out for over a year, it was originally a kick starter game, in which we were promised VR support as a feature to be implemented at some point from the very start of the campaign, we now have that support and instantly makes the world of Kona more immersive and less… well flat!
Personally I love VR, whether a small indie game or a massive blockbuster title. Being immune to the ill effects of VR such as motion sickness and headaches is a great bonus when playing a game for a long period of time.
Kona is the first game in a series of games being produced by Parobole.
This first games story starts you off as Carl, a private investigator hired to investigate a private summer home in Canada, you get instantly thrown in the deep snow of Quebec and it’s not long until you have to learn to survive on your own while still trying to figure out what is going on! Once you get to your first stop off point you need to quickly turn detective and have to follow your job description, feel free to grow a mustache and change your name to Magnum as you walk inside to find a crime scene that needs to be solved.
Having tried several control methods, I think it would be best to stick with the move controllers in VR mode, you are easily able to look around and teleport to the next node, for those that get disoriented easily this is a much desired option.
However using the ps4 controller allows you to use the smooth movement mode which normally I prefer however with the point to point turning it is horrible, you can’t turn that off on this game and for those that like being able to turn properly like me it isn't ideal. Though if you get queezy with VR you should be fine with this turning feature as this is less likely to make you feel ill.
Note: The standard controller works perfectly in the non VR mode of the game. I instantly got captivated by the story, the narrator is a good idea to bring the story to the player (think the Stanley parable) however he can get annoying.
One glitch in the game I encountered in a scripted part of the game where you cannot exit the car normally, he proceeded to tell me on loop that I knew where I was going and had no need to exit the car, however I couldn't even move the car never mind get out of it if if my life depended on it, what happened if there was a bear? Or a train coming? Maybe being able to turn him off would be a good option!.
All in all Kona is a great story experience type of game, with some easy to moderate puzzles and later some combat elements including a pistol and rifle! You can even channel you inner Frank West and take pictures with you camera.
So far the only thing I have had issues with while playing Kona in VR (apart from the glitch mentioned above) is being able to read anything in the world, it is quite important to be able to read your journal from time to time but it is very hard to see it, this may just be down to the PSVR being lower quality than the Oculus Rift and Vive Headsets though story items such as notes are easily read in game. Thankfully when using the move controllers Turn on/off or inspect etc is labeled on you hands so you can easily see if a switch needs turning on or if you are on a specific setting!
Though this is a problem here other games such as Resident Evil 7 has no issues at all with the PSVR. Overall Score 8/10 Verdict: Overall Kona is a pleasing game to play in VR or even standard mode, VR certainly makes the game better though, if you already have the game on PC or PS4 you should certainly make the small leap into the VR world, it is worth it to just see this beautiful interpretation of Canada in all it’s glory.
Developer: Parabole Publisher: Deep Silver (UK) Release Date: 17/3/17 VR Release: 19/6/18 Price: £15.99 File Size: 3.86 GB Playstation 4 copy provided for review purpose.
Available on: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC / MAC