After my frankly dismal attempts to get anywhere near being able to play Bloodborne, yet become master of it that I wanted to become. I found myself trawling through the PlayStation Store in search of a game to take my mind of my(failure tat wouldn’t punish me so much for the tiniest of mistakes. A game that just wanted me to play it and to enjoy and something as far away from Bloodborne as possible and so I settled on Polybius. With bright lights, foot tapping soundtrack and ever present for you in your tiny little space craft to go ever faster. It looked like the exact opposite of Bloodborne’s dark corridors filled with beasts around every corner and the need for you to move ever slower just to plan your attack just to stay alive that little bit longer an ever present of the game.
I should do some research
Really, I should and one day I will – today isn’t that day though. For it turns it turns out that Polybius isn’t the sedate wander through a brightly lit garden, listening to relaxing Techno as you go. No, Polybius has taken one or two leaves out of the Thumper book of Rhythm games, For Polybius isn’t the sedate pleasuse similar that I thought it was no, Polybius is more a torture simulator for your eyes and one I can’t stop playing. You see if the aim of the game is simple go fast and shoot things, go faster and shoot more things, being the general gist. Then in actuality its anything but that for you to go faster you have to go through these strange bull horns found either on the ground or above you or on the sides but, the game doesn’t tell you that it simply states ”do what ever feels natural” and what I thought was a simple on rails shooter becomes a gorgoues, but panic stricken ride through levels filled with things to shoot, things to avoid, points to collect and cows! to kill. its very odd and as you progess you will somehow want to go faster and then suddenly in a matter of seconds be going to fast, crash into something, slow down and want to carry on again and again.
I should have guessed.
Something in my head gave of a little warning sound in my head when I saw the name and now I know why. For Polybius is a homage to a game that didn’t exist. An urban myth thrown around in arcades in the 80’s and the myth is this ” The game Polybius was installed in arcades by the FBI – Yes that FBI. The FBI had a plan and the plan was simple, leave the machine in certain arcades and run a top secret phycology experiment an experiment to find out certain physcoactive and addictive traits of the game. To test the addictive ness of the game, who was susceptible to it and who not. Sounds a bit off to me but that hasn’t stooped the rumour from running round and round until it became myth. And now here we are with Jeff Minter yes that Jeff Minter of Tempest 2000 fame making a homage to a game that doesn’t exist. I am glad it though for it is a wonderful harp back to an earlier time. A time where the only play games was waiting in line for a 5 minute go at your local arcade and hoping that one day, you would get your name on that high score list. For that’s all this game is. Its a high score challenge but, one of highest order
I must go on. I have so much praise to throw this games way.
If you like the sound of it so far know that its great in the 2d world but absolutely transcendent in the 3d one. Yes for the brave of you out there in the world of the internet, know that if you can handle it the game is available for the big shiny white headset and its one the best games available.
Just a little note here. Its very, very trippy in VR. On my first try to play it in VR I accidentally let it play in normal mode but, through the headset and that was a sensory over load, in itself. The VR game play its a step up. The levels are the same but with a sense of freedom you just don’t get playing it through the TV, levels that are not much more than corridor shooters suddenly become open expansive playgrounds. I had more than a few moments where I felt that I couldn’t take it any more only got the sensation to pass. Usually when I crashed into something, only to wish I could go that fast again to fill that sensation again and again, when only moments before I had been on the edge of my seat wishing for it all to end.
Plus there was a moment when I just had to close my eyes. It got a bit to much. The flashing lights, thumping techno ( that soundtrack) and feeling of speed where just so much. I guess what I am trying to say is. Take it slow and be safe 🙂
Anyway the game was a wonderful diversion from my ever increasingly pathetic runs through Yarnham and the VR addition is incredible
If you fancy having a listen to the soundtrack please listen to it here https://polybius-ost.bandcamp.com/releases
The link is something I stumbled across. Its not mine nor to I have any rights over it. Its fantastic though