Preta: Vendetta Rising Review
Take control of three dynamic characters as you face off against hoards of pretas (terrifying fantastical enemies) that are attacking the world of Akirion. This true hack and slash action RPG boasts impressive graphics, lengthy game play, detailed combat mechanics and a truly unique PSVR perspective. While completing quests, you will be challenged by a vast array of enemies, bosses and obstacles as you fight along side companions and potentially battle alongside other players (co-op capability in the making).
Game Style: Action Role Playing Game Price: $19.99 Game Length: ~50 hours (according to devs) Controller: Dual Shock Controller PlayPSVR Score: 9
As you first begin Preta: Vendetta Rising the title screen foreshadows the gruesome and combat heavy game play by having the player overlook a snow covered land with bodies hanging from tries, dead carcasses lying on the ground and watching as your character sits peacefully, yet cautiously, by the fire. After this very first screen I knew Preta was going to be something special. This is one of my favorite title screens of all time. In PSVR, it's a close call, but I would say it is the second best title screen, only behind Final Fantasy: Monster of the Deep (the immersive nature of this title screen gives it the win).
Be warned, I will be making a lot of Moss references in this review, because Preta and Moss are quite similar in terms of style. However, Preta is like Moss on steroids. Where personally Moss under-whelmed me with the combat mechanic, Preta mystified me. Moss has the much better story line and the plot unfolds in a much more elegant manner whereas Preta's is somewhat predictable and uninspiring. But between the two.......I would choose Preta: Vendetta Rising.
I want to talk specifics now and I will start with the graphics. I was blown away by how the game looks and how they created an eerie and creepy atmosphere. I am playing on an original PS4 and it still looks incredible. I would say it looks just as good as Moss, but the main difference here is that Moss has much more playful landscapes with fun colors. Preta is all about darkness, evil and barren wastelands. But even the small details of levels and areas are done well and look fantastic. I suppose with this type of 2D/3D game the graphics are capable of being better, but still I was blown away. If you want a good looking game, Preta is for you. Easily top 3 in terms of graphics, and I am not sure it isn't in the top spot. It just depends on if you like Moss' fun atmosphere or a darker and more menacing area like Preta.
As I mentioned earlier, the plot isn't anything to lose your mind about. I am several hours in so I don't know the entire plot yet, but there is some mystery components in there where you aren't sure how these characters play into the entire plot but most of the plot is driven by quests. The goal of the game to fulfill quests to find eggs, firewood, defeat specific monsters, etc for different townspeople. Each quest lends itself to a reward and a host of materials that can be used to forge new weapons and equipment to make you stronger. Granted, this doesn't sound too interesting, I know. Very basic, but thankfully when playing the game it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the main focus: the combat.
So let's dive into the combat now. This is easily my favorite part of the game and is the component that the game is revolved around. Some people I talked to say the combat is too easy and simple, but I disagree. Granted, you can just mash the X button and that would get old and represent a classic button masher, but it doesn't have to be that. To be skilled you will utilize all three different skills (special attacks that are character dependent), block, dodge, utilize potions, choose companions (some call them pets, whatever) and strategically plan your attack, especially at levels where you are not at the recommended combat power. To do all this you will use all four main buttons, R1,R2,L1,L2, and analog sticks. And the combat is fast paced and real action. Not turn based. So really, to me there is a lot going on. I don't know what more these people who say it is simple combat want from a RPG, but for me it is perfect.
The combat keeps me on my toes and is so enjoyable, even after playing for about 8+ hours. Although when you play a level, the environment is the same and the enemies you face will be the same, but each time seems different and presents new challenges. I love that this fast action combat is the focus of the game and exactly what I wanted. This gave me what Moss didn't. If wanted to tear up because a cute mouse beat the odds and fought enemies for the love of her family I would have read a kid's book, not play VR. I want to bash skulls and end somebody. I want to see my character wrap her weapon around the enemies head and rip it off in one swift yet powerful tug then stab it in mercilessly in the heart. That is what I'm talking about baby! Is this the point in which I convince you I'm not psychotic? Anyhow, I know this is just me and many would rather the Moss style of game play, but for a serious gamer who wants some real combat, Preta embarrasses Moss and probably has the most engaging and physical combat compared to every other PSVR game on the market now.
Some fun things about the combat are that with each downed enemy you gain rage, which once full, allows you to go into rage mode. Essentially this is like going super-saiyen. Your attacks are more damaging, you have this aura of power surrounding you, you're faster, stronger, can use all your skills (which are also stronger), and have better defensive stats. This allows you to annihilate people which is so much fun. At times you have to strategically use these too, so you can't just go into rage mode immediately when you can, but it better serves you to use it on the upcoming boss fight or group of enemies. Also, I eluded to this earlier, but as you deplete the enemies health, when it gets low enough you can perform a finishing move by using R1. It reminds me of Mortal Combat, just without the "Finish Him" voice. Each character has their own moves and all are pretty darn sweet. It may be cutting the head off the enemy, or throwing them into the air and impaling them on your sword, it could be stabbing them in the heart then performing a move that rips them limb to limb, etc. It is pretty awesome stuff and these aren't humans you are facing and there is no blood, so it really isn't graphic. But holy crap is it satisfying.
The thing I don't like about the combat is the way in which it is used in terms of leveling up. So instead of most RPG's where once you defeat enemies you get some experience and once you get enough experience you level up, Preta goes a different route. It doesn't matter how many enemies you kill, your stats will never increase. However, with each successful quest you will earn materials, gold, recipes and other items that you can then use to forge weapons, armor, accessories, etc that will make you stronger and increase your combat power. So there are no levels, no personal stats, etc. I wish that your character could level up in some way through the battle system. This is somewhat disappointing because you may have to play the level over and over in order to get enough materials to forge a new weapon. And the weapon categories are common, uncommon, epic, legendary, etc. So it's not even like you know what you will receive. So you can't be like, "Oh I want that awesome sword with those impressive stats so I have to have these materials". It's more like I get these materials to create an epic weapon, let's hope that it actually is better than something I already have. I haven't been burned by an item I have forged being worse than what I currently have, but surely it's a possibility.
Another thing to note is the game length. After playing 8+ hours I realized that I wasn't even close to scratching the surface on this one, so I broke down and asked the devs what they thought was a reasonable amount of playing time. They told me 50 hours, which is a butt-ton of time. So Preta also is far and away the best value on the PSVR at $20. Yeah I know you can spend tons of time in Skyrim too, but that game was much more expensive, so just simply cost to time ratio Preta takes the cake. Also remember, that is for one character. Each character has their own story and items/weapons/skills don't transfer over so you have to start all the way back to the beginning. So this game is insanely long and with people literally constantly complaining about game length in PSVR, this is one I don't want to hear a dang thing about.
Although I love Preta and it's great so far, it isn't perfect. The biggest complaint I really have is that it seems like a grind-fest. Granted, duh, it's a RPG what do I expect, but I just don't like those type of mechanics used. If I had to play a quest over and over to increase my level then move on, okay I can live with that. But to play the same level 8 times because it is the only one that will give me an advanced belt making tool that I can then use to forge a belt that will make me stronger kind of sucks. I feel like they took the long way around making a character stronger. As of now, I still love the combat and haven't found it annoying or too grindy. But once I am on my 40th hour, I could see how I don't want to just play the same levels over and over.
Preata: Vendetta Rising is an impressive mix of high intensity combat, great looking graphics, incredible value and fun game play that will leave you coming back for more. Although at times the game will make you grind to progress your character, this is offset by the shear enjoyment of going "ham" on every preta in sight. If you like RPG's, want a lengthier game to play or want one of the more graphically stunning atmosphere's in PSVR, I strongly recommend picking up Preta: Vendetta Rising.
playpsvr score: 9