Detached is a new virtual reality game set in space from developer Anshar Studios. While it seems like I’ve been playing a lot of VR games set in space lately, Detached does have things that make it a bit unique and set it apart from most anything else on PlayStation VR currently.
Detached places you on a Space Station that’s in pretty rough shape (big surprise) and your primary goal is to get it back in tip top shape. You’ll do this by exploring not just the interior of the station but venturing into the vastness of space to explore the exterior as well. When you find the problems you’ll have to do some puzzle solving to fix them. While doing all of this you’ll have to come to grips with the control scheme which is played with a Dualshock 4 only. You move forward with the left stick and R2 and L2 move you either up or down. Pressing the left stick in will bring you to a stop and the R1 and L1 buttons handle your rotation. The face buttons themselves are used for interacting with things. Overall I came to get used to it pretty quickly although I provide fair warning that you will have a greater chance of getting sick in this game than others. There are three comfort options to pick from called Arcade, Astronaut and Simulation. The developer warns that this is an extreme experience and while I personally felt fine for the most part playing on Arcade, those who have gotten sick from movement systems in other titles should know what they are getting into here.
After becoming comfortable with the controls I really enjoyed moving about the space station. Yes we’ve seen this kind of environment plenty of times but I was still impressed at the sense of scale and the visuals on display here especially coming from a small studio. Venturing out into space itself in particular left me with an amazing feeling and the lighting effects in the game are really well done. There are tons of little details everywhere and just moving about and around the environment was a sight to behold. I don’t know if the game looks just as good on a regular PS4 but on the PS4 Pro I was pretty impressed. The audio in the game is very minimal giving you that feeling of really being alone on this station. There is dialogue spoken when talking with your captain and it’s done well but outside of that the rest of the audio comes mostly from your character breathing.
The single player isn’t particularly exciting as you are mostly going around interacting with computers or similar things. The movement system itself is mainly where the fun comes from but you will have to gather fuel and oxygen cans as you go so keep an eye on your levels for both of those. It also isn’t always clear where you are supposed to go as there is no in game objective marker letting you know which led to me just wandering around a lot. There are a few more exciting moments in the campaign but for the most part I wish my 3 hour journey through it involved a bit more.
While Detached does offer a solo experience it also has an online PvP mode that you can play either 1v1 or 2v2. In my play time It was kind of difficult to find other players but I was able to get into a couple games to try it out. There are two modes of play here with the first being Package Extraction which is like a Capture the Flag mode. In this mode there is an item floating in space and you are battling the other player(s) in order to grab it and bring it back to a terminal. Race mode sets hoops out in the environment an you have to get through them the fastest. There are two maps for each mode and for what I got to play I really enjoyed both. It’s just a shame I wasn’t able to find games more consistently and I worry how big a player base this game will have.
Overall I found the real enjoyment in Detached comes from it’s zero gravity movement. It does a great job of making you really feel like you are out in space both with its control scheme and the visuals and sense of scale that it provides. While the single player wasn’t memorable and I worry about the size of the online player base there is no question that this is a unique experience that is worth checking out at some point.
*Detached is out now on PlayStation VR. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review key provided by Anshar Studios and we thank them for it. Check out all of our VR reviews on vrgamecritic.com