The game starts with a tutorial to the locomotion system which is different to anything I’ve experienced in VR so far. You’re in an EVA spacesuit, your face in a helmet with a small hud in front of your virtual chin. You use your right hand to rotate your body, so if you want to tilt forward, pull the trigger on your right hand and tilt the controller forward. Want to turn to the left? Rotate your controller to the left. To move around you point your left controller at where you want to go and pull the trigger. It sounds easy, and to be fair it is, but it takes a little getting used to. I can now easily enough move around in the general direction I want to go, however it will take practice to perfect. It’s a fun and interesting system to use, but I can understand why some people who easily get motion sick are unable to play this game.
After you’ve got to grips with the controls you’re flung into space. The moment the spaceship doors open and I ventured out into the void my draw dropped in awe of the visual beauty of what was around me. The light from the star shining through asteroids, lights flickering from nearby structures, it was a stunning sight. Then I noticed that I had limited oxygen and I thought I better stop admiring my surroundings and try and save myself, which is the aim of the game.
The gameplay is more puzzle solving than action based. You’re tasked with reactivating different modules throughout the open ‘map’ that you’re stranded in. As you progress, you unlock abilities for your suit, such as a shield, speed boost and rockets. I personally wouldn’t call it fast paced, but more of a relaxed ride through the beautiful environment. That said, you do have limited oxygen so you can’t float around too long, but there are plenty of oxygen and fuel canisters for your suit to collect along the way.
So far in the game I’ve only died from my own stupidity, or from being over confident of my ability to control the EVA suit. If you bump into anything with force you’ll notice cracks appear in your helmet. This is a really neat way of displaying your ‘health’ and is an eerie feeling! Smash into too many things or at higher speed and it’s the end of the game for you.
There is a lot of exploration required in Detached with very little hand holding guiding you from point to point which is nice to see. This isn’t some arcadey ‘move here, shoot that’ game, you have to work things out for yourself. There is little hand holding which adds to the sense of satisfaction as you progress
As well as the single player story mode, there is a multiplayer 1vs1 Capture The Flag mode, and although I’ve not tried this yet, it does sound fun!
Multiplayer mode pits you against your friends in an entirely new take on capture the flag. Race against each other to gather the necessary skills and complete your mission. Every second is precious, and every choice you make can be the difference between life and death.
From what I’ve heard it isn’t all about killing each other either, it can be a more tactical experience where you can use your skills piloting your EVA suit to navigate around the environment to be the first to complete the objective.
I’ve not finished the game yet, so at the moment I’m alone in space with the occasional radio communication from the guy that left me behind, but I have a feeling at the end of all this, I’m not going to be on my own!
Detached is a beautiful experience with some really novel controls. If you don’t easily get motion sick and you enjoy space based games, this is an experience not to be missed.
And yes, I’ve used far too many screenshots but that’s because it’s such a beautiful game!
Please note I was very kindly given a review copy by the generous developer. However this has not affected my review in any way.