I feel RTS and VR is a natural clash by design. I can only imagine a frantic amount of units being controlled by mouse and a combination of hotkeys. I say this as a longtime Starcraft player – not really great but able to hold my own up to platinum solo. I expected to be able to have half a clue what I was doing in Cosmic Trip but I felt outpaced by the natural ebb and flow of the game and overwhelmed by what exactly I was supposed to do.
The game begins with a tutorial. It made sense. It explained how to collect resources, build workers and kill the enemy base. Everything made sense. Then I took the plunge into reality by clicking on “Strategy” which was basically this game’s skirmish mode compared to other RTS games. I was expecting a campaign, you know – you can build a single thing and ease into the game through a story but, there was no such thing. I was in a full fight for my life vs an opponent that had no difficulty choice and wanted my blood. I was killed before I knew it, twice. I tried turtle-mode and spamming soldier bots but I could not hold the line. The game was essentially taking you from 0 to 100. I can’t imagine a classic RTS doing this. Warcraft 2 showing you how to build a worker and harvest lumber then throw the full array of units at you and saying “good luck”. When I began the skirmish for instance, I didn’t even know I could build batteries or how I made units. In the tutorial, it shows you to vacuum up so many things but in the actual game, there wasn’t much laying around. Research and the unit variety was certainly ignored in the tutorial or general overall strategy.
A perfect example of what I kind of hoped for was something like Kittypocalypse. Arguably Kittypocalypse cranked up the difficulty quickly(third mission) – but at least you had a chance to whet your appetite before being crushed. A slice of victory gives a much higher incentive to continue compared to slamming your head against a brick wall. I can’t really add much more than that about the game as I didn’t feel it was worth my time. The concept, visuals and controls all seemed great and polished. It’s just like this lack of gradual difficulty was lost upon the developer which really amazed me with all the effort put into the game elsewhere. If this game gets a gradual difficulty campaign, I’ll give it a definite go but as of now – I can’t recommend it.
Cosmic Trip - The Good
- Polished look
- Advanced, complicated controls but made sense
- Basic tutorial exists
- A lot of game modes
- Music and sounds were great
- Innovative way to use navigation in VR for RTS
Cosmic Trip - The Bad
- No campaign
- Tutorial doesn't explain what is in the very first strategy mission..
- What do any of the goods matter if you have no game to play?