It may have taken four long years, but we are finally getting a continuation of the adventure of the heroic mouse Quill. Kicking off from the concluding events of the original Moss, Polyarc’s Moss: Book II brings players back into the world of VR and delivers an improved version of everything to love about this series, even if the technology of PlayStation VR struggles to keep up.
Reuniting with Quill, players need not necessarily have played the first to be able to enjoy the fairytale-like trappings of this sequel. In essence, we are going to be aiding our heroine in fending off the winged creature Tylan, and throughout an adventure that winds through various memorable locales, learn more about this world and the colourful characters that are its inhabitants.
There is definitely no cliffhanger this time around, but the new revelations and knowledge gained do set the stage up for a third game in the series, and that would be certainly welcomed if you love the puzzles and combat of Moss: Book II.
Polyarc has taken the community’s feedback to heart, and it shows in almost every aspect of the game. Combat against the dastardly Arcane minions in Moss: Book II is now more varied, as Quill can wield more weapons like a hammer or a chakram.
The enemies have more up their sleeves as well, with new additions to the roster to give players more of a problem. Other than specific enemies that can only be defeated by special equipment, there is flexibility in how players can fight as Quill, with the weapons catering to different play styles, and that is a welcomed addition.
These new weapons also factor into the platforming and puzzling sections found in Moss: Book II as well. Quill is able to charge any of her equipped armaments, and the player can then activate its special ability by physically reaching out. It could be dashing across longer gaps by using the sword, or using the hammer to create a copy that can be dropped as and when it is needed.
Of course, Quill is not the only one that needs to do their part. Players, who assume the role of the Reader, are going to need to pull their weight as well as you progress in the game. The world is full of obstacles, and in addition to the special skill activation mentioned above, the player will be required to lend a hand when it comes to moving blocks or even disrupting the enemies.
Moss: Book II also gives the Reader more abilities to help beyond the physical manipulation, such as growing vines to help Quill reach heights. All of this helps freshen up the level design in Moss: Book II, and the opportunity to use them in combat sequences is always good fun too.
It does take some time before all of these new additions come into play, which is probably only a problem if you have played the first game. With a much longer playtime this time around, there is much more for players to experience and enjoy, especially if you are the type who likes searching for hidden collectibles.
Needless to say, the presentation of Moss: Book II is amazing, with both the world and the characters being full of life. Quill is undoubtedly the star of the show, showing off a personality that simply endears her to the player at almost every turn. Her relationship with the player will grow over the course of the adventure, and one cannot help but root for this feisty gal with the odds stacked against her.
The third-person perspective continues to work wonders as well, allowing players to explore and see everything from every angle by moving physically, essentially giving Quill her own personal diorama to explore and play with. It also makes the hunt for secrets that much more engaging in every sense.
However, the technical side of things might just be a dealbreaker for some. While the original Moss was excellent on the PS VR, trying to enjoy Moss: Book II is not helped by the outdated limitations of the headset. The need for a DualShock 4 (with its light bar) is already annoying, especially if you are playing on a PS5, but using the headset also surfaces the limited field of view and inaccurate tracking with the PS VR. The game is set to come to the Meta Quest 2 in the coming months, so maybe being patient would be better.
At its core, Moss: Book II is a splendid sequel that does everything right. The world is bigger and more detailed, characters are more interesting and brought to life well, and the action, platforming, and puzzling sections are always fun to play both as Quill and as the Reader. Despite the PS VR providing some stumbling blocks, this is still an amazing VR title that must be experienced, and here’s hoping that Polyarc continues the series with a third game.
Moss: Book II is available on the PSN Store for $54.90.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Everything is better in Moss: Book II, and Quill’s adventure makes for a fun time whether you are new to the series or returning for more, and it also makes the case that the PS VR 2 cannot come sooner.
Gameplay - 9/10
Story - 8/10
Presentation - 8.5/10
Value - 8/10