Fated: The Silent Oath is one of the first attempts of story-telling in VR; it isn’t a movie, or a game with platforming or combat, but rather a mixture of the two. The game blends narrative with puzzle-solving and a fully voice acted script, so is it successful, and does it pave a foundation for the future of this genre?
I went into Fated with little to no expectations and very little information as to what it was about, and I feel this is the best way to approach it. I will try to avoid story spoilers throughout this review, and only briefly touch upon them. Avoid this review if you want to experience this game the way I did.
Fated is all about the story and it is clear from the outset, the visuals are simple to today’s standards, it almost looks like a game in the Fable series. Cartoon-like visuals and exaggerated large eyes litter every character’s design. The music is beautiful and I stayed on the menu screen for a while just to listen to it! So in terms of presentation, whilst not amazing looking, it works well.
You play as Ofer, a man who finds himself close to death. He is offered a second chance at life by a spirit, but he must give up his voice as a trade. This introduces one of the main gameplay interactions, which is that you nod or shake your head to answer questions posed to you by the supplemental characters. Each nod or shake will prompt a difference response, however this doesn’t change or branch out the narrative in any way, but it does help you engage and feel connected with those characters.
Based in the Viking era and at a time where giants are attacking, the story for Fated: The Silent Oath is very grounded, it focuses on family more than combat, and the only time you will be using a weapon will be the short hunting section.
For the majority of the game you will be walking from point to point and listening to dialogue, there are a few moments where the gameplay is mixed up and it is paced out fairly well. The starting drags on a little, but some puzzle sections, albeit simple, and a horse racing segment really add to the enjoyment of the game. It is an emotional roller-coaster with some heart-wrenching moments that you have to experience.
Voice-acting for the main characters is very good, and during tense and emotional moments it is superb. It is one of the deciding factors in a game like this and the story would have suffered without it. Fated: The Silent Oath is a short game, which is as the developers intended. It is a first person VR narrative, and by the time it ends you won’t believe it has already finished. I was hoping for more, and maybe a way back to potentially alter events, but alas there was no way to do this.
- Replay Value