The Examination of the Eye of Atlantis
Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis is one of the first new Oculus Rift releases of 2021, but unfortunately, it didn’t get the year off to a good start. Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis is a first-person puzzle game that only gives players a short prologue and two chapters to complete, though its incredibly short length is the least of its problems. Most VR games aren’t as long or fully featured as typical PC and console games, but they tend to make up for the lack of content with a greater sense of immersion. While gamers may not get 50+ hours of gameplay from a VR game, the trade-off is getting a truly unique experience that can’t be replicated in a traditional setup. Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis makes it impossible to get properly immersed in the game thanks to some graphical quirks and audio issues that suck players right out of the experience. One of the most damaging situations in Ryte is whenever players encounter a human NPC. In Chapter 2, a woman named Danae starts following the player around, but she doesn’t act like a human being. His jogging animations are awkward and unintentionally hilarious, while his facial animations are wooden and at least a decade behind the times. The human NPCs are somewhat reminiscent of those in older Bethesda games, although for reference’s sake, Ryte’s animations are a step below The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion – and that came out in 2006. When players aren’t making fun of human NPCs, the voice acting will make them cry. As if Danae’s weird jogging wasn’t enough to make her seem like one of the less human NPCs imaginable, the voice acting in the game drives that point home. No one in Ryte speaks like a real person, with some odd phrasing choices and emotionless performances made worse by how powerful the characters are if players get too close to them. Luckily, Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis doesn’t have too many NPCs that players encounter in the game, and Danae is the only one that sticks around for any extended period of time. Much of the experience is spent on your own, exploring the tight quarters of Atlantis and solving puzzles. And while the NPCs look awful, at least the game world itself is beautiful. The environments have a nice level of detail to them, with impressive lighting and an art style that perfectly matches the Ancient Greek vibe the developers are going for. It’s a shame that exploring the world of Ryte is a limited experience, with the game never realizing the promise of players going on a time-traveling tourist trip to Atlantis. If it weren’t for the supernatural Atlantean technologies that players acquire in the game, they could actually visit any generic ancient Greek city, and it wouldn’t make much of a difference to what they see. The game is essentially a bunch of disconnected escape rooms anyway, and thus doesn’t take full advantage of its potentially interesting setting. Although clearly inspired by the classic puzzle game Myst, Ryte’s puzzles are less difficult, and most players will likely be quick through the game. The only time they can get out is if they can’t find what they’re looking for to solve the puzzle. For example, there’s a puzzle in a forge where players have to use a slingshot to free these huge hammers, but the slingshot is sitting in a box in a corner and there’s no visible indication that it’s any different than the others. garbage lying around the room. In these situations, players will eventually find themselves frantically scrambling for whatever they can to progress, and that doesn’t make for an enjoyable puzzle game. Another frustrating puzzle occurs a bit earlier in the game, where players have to adjust mirrors to aim a light beam around a room. This type of puzzle has been featured in countless video games before, but it’s never been this irritating. Despite the fact that our hand is clearly in front of us and in the mirror while adjusting it, the game continues to think that we are instead reaching behind our back to pull out the suitcase that players use to place items around the world of game. After wrestling with it for a while, the best option was to open the briefcase and let it hang in the air while we tried to make minute adjustments to the glasses to solve the puzzle. Despite these obstacles, most of the puzzles in Ryte are fairly simple, and most players will probably be able to complete the game in a few hours as a result. There’s even an achievement for beating it in one hour and 30 minutes, and with only two chapters, even stuck players can make short work of Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis. There is some replay value in that players can go back and make different choices at key points in the game, but this can lead to some other frustrations. A choice players must make in Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis is that they must drop an item into a vortex or attempt to use it. This part of the game has players rooted in place, so they can’t teleport closer to the vortex if that’s the choice they want to make. Even playing the game in a decent-sized room, it was a pain trying to get close enough to drop the item without leaving the confines of our Oculus Rift S Guardian. Players who experience this issue will have to choose another option to make game progress, even if that’s not what they want to do. There are several other instances in Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis where players will find themselves unable to move, and it’s a shame that these sections have very little interactivity as they’re probably the more visible moments in the game. . Several times while playing Ryte, players will find themselves standing on a balcony as a massive tidal wave rushes towards them. There’s a sense of awe as the tidal wave crashes over the player, and it’s a shame the game doesn’t have more of these moments that take advantage of virtual reality technology. There are a few other scenes similar to the tidal wave, and while they’re less impressive, they still feel like a useful break from the monotony of the game itself. The only downside is when these visions occur too often in a level, a problem in Chapter 1, and so players are hit with one loading screen after the next, which certainly doesn’t help the problem of game immersion-breaking. But perhaps Ryte’s biggest issue is its lack of options. Most VR games make it a point to give players multiple movement options so they can figure out what works best for them, but Ryte sticks firmly to VR teleportation. This can make positioning yourself properly in front of certain puzzles an unnecessary hassle, and to make matters worse, the game allows players to teleport through walls and literally every other environmental matter. If players find themselves against a wall, it’s like they’re underwater and the game usually won’t let players teleport unless they physically lean their head back into the open air. The lack of movement options in a VR game was more understandable when the technology first came out, but in 2021, it’s a pretty severe oversight. With a lack of movement options, poor character animations, some truly terrible voice work, and dull gameplay, Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis is something VR enthusiasts should skip. There are better VR puzzle games available that are more worthy of one’s time. Ryte: The Eye of Atlantis is out now for PC and is compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets. Today Technology reviewed the game on an Oculus Rift S.