Updated: Sep 9
Winner of The Gamerheads Podcast Best of PAX West 2023 Award
Journey to Foundation was hands down one of the most captivating games I experienced at PAX West. Based in the universe of Isaac Asimov's iconic sci-fi series, Foundation, the game delves into a specific moment in the saga. Its enthralling narrative, stunning visuals, and exceptional gameplay easily earned one of our Gamerheads Podcast Best of PAX West 2023 awards.
From the moment I put on the headset and transported to the world of Foundation, I knew I was in for something special. The demo starts with you returning from a mission to rescue the governor’s daughter, who separatists had allegedly abducted, or so the governor believed. As the governor entered the room to greet me, I was prompted to salute the dignitary. It was a seemingly simple gesture, yet it set the stage for this game's profound depth and immersive nature.
The demo continued to deliver, offering me branching dialogue options that affect the overall story. Soon, the action kicked in as the deserters started to attack the space station. I followed the governor's daughter into battle, and this is where the game truly excelled. As an agent of the Commission of Public Safety, a mysterious organization skilled in both armed combat and mental powers, my character had the ability to dual-wield. With one hand, I could drain the enemies' health using my mental capabilities, while in the other hand, I wielded a blaster to eliminate the approaching invaders. The powers were something that they pulled directly from the description in the books, and this gameplay mechanic was a standout feature that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The abilities extended even further than combat. At one point, I found myself unable to access a room, and my only option was to extract the passcode from the thoughts of a soldier on the verge of death. Again, it was a straightforward mechanic but added an undeniable sense of depth to the game.
One thing that prevents me from playing a lot of VR is the fact that I experience motion sickness. However, surprisingly, I didn't feel sick at all while playing the demo. I had a conversation with the creators, who explained that thoughtful placement of enemies and objects helps alleviate motion sickness. Additionally, I asked them how they managed to balance the storytelling aspect and the duration of time someone can spend in VR. They shared that they crafted the story in a way that allows players to consume it in smaller increments of around twenty minutes. This way, if a player needs to take a break, it feels like a natural pause in the game.
Journey to Foundation is a beautifully crafted game - visually, it’s stunning. Archiact, the studio behind the game, focused on a compelling story that draws the players in and well-crafted game mechanics that stay true to the source material and feels good while playing the game. I’m excited to get back into the world of Foundation later this year.