TEST: Horizon: Call of the Mountain – The hoped-for VR workhorse from Sony?

Horizon: Call of the Mountain - Gameplay Trailer

With the release of the Playstation VR2 Sony has that too PS5-released the exclusive workhorse of your own VR headset: Horizon: Call of the Mountain. This should not only fans of Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West are addressed, but in general the muscles of the PS VR2 are proudly presented.

We fought, sweated and climbed dizzying cliffs through the VR action title to give you an impression of the game from developer Guerrilla Games with our test.

Horizon: Call of the Mountain review

One thing you should definitely be if you dare to play the exclusive PS VR2 title Horizon: Call of the Mountain from Sony and developer Guerrilla Games – and don’t be afraid of heights! Because the majority of the gameplay is made up of dizzying but fairly undemanding climbing passages.

Most of the time you have to scramble up steep walls, use ziplines to get back down and unpack various tools in the meantime when you seem to be stuck.

Since you have to constantly stretch your arms up with the two Sense controllers in your hands, the VR trip can be quite sweaty on longer missions. You hardly ever have any real problems finding the right climbing route, as it is almost always pretty obvious.

A real graphic cracker?

But let’s start with what is probably the most obvious feature of Call of the Mountain. Of course, we’re talking about her graphic backdrop, which is literally thrown under your nose in the PS VR2 title. Thanks to a resolution of each OLED displays of 2000 x 2040 pixels per eyeyou will be presented with an optically absolute treat that underlines the performance of the PlayStation VR2 and the PS5 with a thick line.

In general, the PS VR2 delivers a very clear and sharp image in “Horizon: Call of the Mountain”, in which details are not lost or washed out. Nevertheless, you should focus on the so-called Screen door effect (fly screen effect), which most of you will hardly notice after you have gotten used to it.

A perfectly clear one 4K imagelike her on a OLED TV but you shouldn’t expect it to be offered for 2,000 euros.

See also  Xbox Game Pass: FIFA 23 trial date with EA Play is set
A river trip, that’s fun. © SIE/Guerrilla Games

What awaits us in the plot?

Although Call of the Mountain also plays in the post-apocalyptic future of the two PlayStation titles, you will not be offered a complex plot including a complex open world. Call of the Mountain is sort of the little, somewhat special, VR brother of Zero Dawn and Forbidden West.

The action takes place in that Sunny Kingdom Carjawhich under the consequences of bloody red raids suffers, which cost the lives of thousands of people. These only ended when Prince Avad his father, the crazy one Sun King Jiran, crashed. The aftershocks of Jiran’s reign shattered the Carja tribe.

Two groups were then formed. Some celebrated defeating the Sun King, while others remained loyal to Jiran and stormed the citadel in Sunfall. They eventually regrouped as Carja in the Shadows. Ryas as so-called Shadow Carja starred in kidnapping the boy Prince Itamen from his homeland meridian an important role. Now he is trying to atone for his deeds and regain his honor.

At the beginning of a mission there is a short briefing. © Sony/Guerrilla Games

At the beginning of the game, Ryas allows himself to be captured by the Carja, sparing his life from the tribe. Because for the tribe Ryas is as master archer and gifted climber of great importance. But we don’t want to reveal more about the story at this point.

Anyone who has played the other two Horizon games will get along well with the storyline and will consider this a good introduction. However, newcomers to the series are likely to have their problems with the events that keep pouring down on us.

In summary, you shouldn’t expect an Oscar-worthy story in “Horizon: Call of the Mountain”, the focus is clearly on that climbing passagesthe Battle and the beautifully designed one Game world in virtual reality.

Sweaty climbing without demands

You spend most of the time in the game climbing. With the two sense controllers you look for suitable places to pull yourself up bit by bit. This works wonderfully intuitively after a short period of getting used to it and can be a lot of fun, but it also quickly turns out to be extremely sweaty.

It’s a pity that it’s low demands of the climbing routes. If you don’t have problems with fear of heights in VR games, you won’t steep wall really demanding. Because unlike in games like “The Climb” there is neither a stamina display nor particularly complex sections. Not to mention alternative routes or shortcuts to keep your eyes peeled for. In most cases it is enough if you put one arm in front of the other, you can almost always find a secure grip. Here and there there are minor obstacles on your direct path, but they do not present you with any serious problems.

See also  Kingdom Hearts: Square Enix is ​​considering more Final Fantasy characters
Just aim well! © Sony/Guerrilla Games

However, a few places require a little courage, for example when you are waiting for your first daring jumps at great heights. But once you’ve mastered them, those game moments feel a lot less adrenaline-pumping over time, because you basically can’t go wrong here.

In the course of the missions you get additional tools, so that you are prepared for every possible situation. These include, for example two climbing axes, in order to be able to find a foothold on rough rock faces or ice like Lara Croft and to be able to climb up them. The practical one is also cool grappling hookwhich allows you to swing over huge chasms.

Good integration and Combination of all these gadgets makes climbing a little more varied. It’s especially exciting when you have to select the grappling hook from the menu while you’re hanging on a ledge with your other hand and the ground below you seems to be miles away. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

However, if you have experienced such situations several times and also know that there is no stamina meter, the tension quickly decreases. Because theoretically you can stay indefinitely on the steep wall – after all, Ryas is a master climber!

Limited arena battles

After a longer climbing tour, you are usually allowed to do the very linear game world explore, smaller minigames or check out the musical instruments and other interactable items scattered throughout the environment. In such moments, the game gives you complete control and you can move freely as far as the levels allow.

For example, you can look for smaller ones secrets like optional collectibles that can be examined at any time in the game hub (a kind of small museum) or find upgrades for your armor. However, the latter hardly have a really big impact on the gameplay, especially since the fights are too easy and undemanding.

See also  George P. Wilbur, actor who played Michael Myers in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, dies

Because these almost always take place in their own arenas, in which you cannot move completely freely. Ryas can then suddenly only be moved to the right and left to dodge or more ammunition, respectively Health in the form of apples.

Occasionally, however, there are minor deviations in the fights, for example if you built in a fixed structure ballistae can use in the arenas to shoot at the huge machines.

Fighting a Thunderjaw is definitely a highlight of the game. © Sony/Guerrilla Games

Basically, you just teleport yourself around your opponents non-stop and shoot them with various arrows that you have assembled yourself in advance. As usual in the Horizon series, there are the machinery namely also here certain vulnerabilitieswhich must be hit in order to cause a lot of damage.

Become arc and the general one Gameplay mechanics of the VR title but has understood and with a little practice how Legolas fires one arrow after the other in a matter of seconds, the machines hardly have a chance.

It’s a pity that the developers probably wanted to focus more on VR beginners in the fights, that the combat system same with this attempt greatly simplified became that VR connoisseurs simply lack the demand and variety.

Still, it’s cool to be able to see the huge machines and all their details up close and from a VR perspective in Call of the Mountain. I can’t deny that it’s 24 meters long and ten meters high Thunderjaw can’t be extremely intimidating when he suddenly appears in front of you and is in a very bad mood. At the latest when the monster makes the ceiling tremble over our heads and the vibration motor everything is at the front of the PlayStation VR, the immersion is perfect!

Finally, what is incomprehensible to me is the missed opportunity that the sneak mechanic was hardly used in the game. This is used briefly here and there, but far too little attention is paid to it. It’s great though intuitive and extremely exciting when im high grass really have to bend down to avoid being discovered by the machines. The pulse can go up to the ceiling!