Mervils: A VR Adventure Review
As time goes on, PlayStation VR games are starting to become longer and more in-depth. Mervils: A VR Adventure is an action-adventure platformer with RPG elements. You take control of an adventurer who is sent out to find the pages and bind the Great Mervil Book so you can defeat the dark sorcerer "Balazar the Evil."
The first thing you do is create your character. You might expect to have this option in a game that has RPG elements, but in fact, this is the first PS VR game that I've played that included it. Once you're done with your creation the fun really begins.
Each world is wildly different from each other. There's a fantasy kingdom, the wild west, an arctic level, a pirate level that includes an underwater portion and a final boss level. Within each level, you'll find a bunch of quests to complete, hidden areas, treasure chests, a final boss fight and of course, pages of the Great Mervil Book. The interesting thing is that you don't actually have to find all of the pages of the book to continue to the next level, however, if you don't find all of them, it makes upgrading your equipment incredibly difficult.
One of the most difficult things for VR games appears to be addressing the camera/movement. Mervils uses a technique that keeps the camera in place as you run around the world until you reach a certain distance and then it resets. You can also press L2 to reset the camera and bring it closer to you. The majority of the time Mervils' camera works fine, but there are times when the camera positioning can cause you to die, because you are unable to see what's hitting you. This setting can be changed to always make the camera follow you, but this has it's own issues. I'd recommend playing around with the different settings so you can find out which is the best for you.
Normally I don't get too hung up on voice acting, but this is probably the biggest flaw in Mervils. There are a ton of different voice actors, which isn't bad, but the accents are all over the place. You'll talk to one person who has an english accent, only to talk to someone who has a southern accent who is standing nearby. If the accents were consistent to each level it wouldn't be nearly as bad.
One of the my favorite aspects of Mervils is that almost each world includes a level that switches from platforming to something else. For example, the wild west world has a level that is just riding on a mine cart and collecting coins while jumping over broken pieces of track and avoiding objects. The arctic level includes a sleigh ride and the pirate level includes a pretty awesome ship battle scenario. Mervils could easily have been a pure platformer, but the fact they included different types of gameplay shows that the developers really wanted to make a memorable experience.
Mervils also features a good amount of puzzles that you have to complete if you want to find all of the pages. Some of these puzzles took some serious time and trial and error for me to complete. For the most it's easy to understand the objective of the puzzles, but just because you understand what you have to do doesn't make it easy. I have to give the developers credit for creating tough puzzles, because it seems that lately puzzles are typically not that hard.
Overall I really had a good time with Mervils: A VR Adventure. Sure, the camera and voice acting could be better, but ultimately this is a solid action-adventure, platforming, RPG that is definitely worth playing through. Finally, I want to say that the virtual reality comfort level was great. I spent about 10-12 hours in one day completing the game 100% and I never had any motion sickness.
4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to VitruviusVR for providing the code.