Ancient Amuletor Review
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Platforms: PlayStation VR
Ancient Amuletor combines a first-person shooter with tower defense to bring a very under-explored genre to PlayStation VR. However, in most tower defense games, players build and upgrade their towers and defenses to protect their towers from waves of intruding enemies. In Ancient Amuletor, the only goal for the player is to protect their tower, which in this game are big blue crystals spread out through the map.
Players begin by choosing from four different heroes, with two additional hero slots marked as “Coming Soon”. Each of the four different heroes play very differently, which requires a bit of strategy from the player. One hero is an archer that you have to nook the arrow and pull back to shoot, which requires precision but gives good range and damage. Another hero dual-wields pistols that you can shoot rapidly while flicking upwards to reload. While this hero can shoot much faster than the archer, the pistols have far less range and damage than the archer’s bow. There is also a mage that summons orbs from a spellbook and then throws them down at enemies with a magic hook, causing a bit of splash damage where they hit. These orbs give medium range and damage. And lastly, there is a puppeteer that throws down a metal golem that mimics the moves you make, giving you the ability to melee enemies.
As I said, Ancient Amuletors also has FPS elements. Players do not run around like in a traditional FPS, they warp to different platforms around the map and attack the waves of enemies that come from various directions. Thankfully, you can swap heroes on the fly, so if one hero isn’t able to perform at a certain time, you can switch to one that may better suit the situation. This is essential for beating levels solo, particularly on harder difficulties. It can become quite a fast paced game of moving to the right platform with the right hero to take down the variety of enemies you’ll be facing.
The controls for each hero work very well and playing as each character is a lot of fun. I found it can take some time getting used to warping from point to point because of the way the game adjusts your forward position on each platform. It takes some getting used to, but once you get it down it isn’t much of an issue.
Ancient Amuletor currently has two areas to choose from, Desert and Empire, with two levels in each are. There are two additional areas that are locked and labeled “Coming Soon”, which could come as DLC or a future update. As is, Ancient Amuletor is a very short game. It took me less than an hour to run through the four currently available levels.
Once you play through the four levels there isn’t much else to do. Thankfully, there is a multiplayer co-op mode to add a little bit of replayability to the game. You can team up with up to three other players and battle it out. Each player can select any hero they want, even if another player has already selected the same hero and players can stand on the same platform as their teammates. I am not sure if I would rather have only one player per platform and no duplicate characters or not. Either way, the multiplayer mode adds some much needed replayability, but not a whole lot.
Speaking of replayability, there’s an unlockable endless mode for each level, as well as a second, more powerful unlockable weapon for each hero, but they are mostly cosmetic while being more powerful. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to figure out a clear way to unlock these weapons. I’m not sure if it is random or objective-based. It would be nice to have some sort of information regarding this.
Ancient Amuletor is a very fun VR game in a genre that fits VR very well. I would love to see a sequel with much more content. The gameplay mechanics are great and it is some of the most fun I’ve had playing a PSVR game yet, but being so short it feels like a demo. Yes, there is some “Coming Soon” content, but even doubling the levels and adding two more heroes may not be enough additional content. Also, it is not yet known if this will be free or paid DLC.
There are a lot of good pieces in place here, with the gameplay mechanics and the co-op, but they’ve been packaged in a very scant box that doesn’t do them justice. Ancient Amuletor needs to be more than a short PSVR experience that is barely longer than the demo that’s already available for free. Perhaps all of the elusive “Coming Soon” content will fix that, but at launch Ancient Amuletor finds its quiver running out of arrows too soon.
- Great gameplay mechanics and controls.
- Character and weapon variety.
- Multiplayer is a lot of fun.
- Very short with little replayability.
- Positioning can be awkward when teleporting from platform to platform.
Thank you to Time of VIrtual Reality and TiGames for providing us with a review copy.