As Obduction is from the people who created Myst and Riven I was very excited to get to play this on the Oculus Rift. If you want an adventure and puzzle game that is not going to hold your hand and force you to really, really think and pay attention to what you are doing, Obduction is a game for you.
The story of Obduction is something that I really do not want to spoil for you guys. I have beaten the game and I must admit; I am still not 100 percent sure of what the heck was going on. Basically, you are “transported” away to a very strange place, but while this place is strange it has a sense of familiarity to it.
You see the first place you go to is a rocky kind of place that has areas from different parts of American history in it! There is an old West town and an old school gas station and it gives you a feeling of “this place is ok” however there is just something sinister about the whole thing and the soundtrack plays into this! But you never really feel at ease.
Amplifying this weirdness is the holographic characters that you come across. These are actually played by real actors and they all do a great job. There is just something very “off” about them and this helps add to the overall mystery and strangeness that Obduction is throwing your way. The ultimate goal is to find your way back home, but this is much easier said than done. I think the story is great and honestly is the kind of thing I would watch on TV or read in a book.
The gameplay of Obduction is something that you will like or hate. The puzzles in this game do not hold your hand at all. Some games will light up objects of interest a mile away. That does not happen here. Something will let you know you can interact with it when you get close to it. This means you have to pay attention and look for levers, doors, keypads and other things you can manipulate. It requires a ton of exploration and backtracking and while I liked this, I can see why for some it is too much.
Some of the puzzles that the game throws your way are very cryptic. I found myself more times than I would like to admit getting frustrated and made at not knowing what to do. However, after reading another note, looking closer in a particular area it would all come clear. I would solve the puzzle and get to move onto one of the games other breathtaking areas that it had in store for me. This kind of gameplay is certainly not for everyone, but I like it!
Now the visuals and the use of VR. I think that it works very well, I did not feel motion sick at all and the moving around was nice and smooth. It does help that Obduction is a breathtakingly beautiful game. Seriously there are so many little details all around that if you are someone who likes to explore, you will really be in your element here.
Overall, I think that Obduction on the Oculus Rift is a fantastic adventure and puzzle game. I found myself really wanting to know what this strange place was all about. The puzzles are tough, but you feel like the smartest person on the planet when you do figure them out. I do recommend this, but just make sure you have enough time to invest into it!
The story is very engaging
Some very tricky puzzles
The game has some very interesting areas
You feel super smart when you figure out a puzzle
The real actors they use are great
This kind of game is not for everyone
Some puzzles are a tad too cryptic for their own good