The Persistence

A black hole has wrecked your ship.  The only path to survival is through hoards of mutants and a deep will to survive.  As you crawl, battle, and sneak your way through The Persistence, be prepared to encounter daunting obstacles, heart pumping battles, and soul crushing darkness.  With a lengthy single player campaign, survival modes, and highly replayability, The Persistence sets itself apart as one of the signature PSVR titles on the market.  

Quick Notes
Genre: Rogue-like Horror
Controller: Dual Shock
Length: 10+ hours (based off personal skill level)
Price: $29.99
PlayPSVR Score: 9.5

The "knock-your-socks-off" exclusive and PSVR defining game is finally here, folks.  The Persistence is everything that one looks for in VR titles, and has something for everyone regardless of your game preferences.  It will delight horror fans with its dark, creepy atmosphere,  strategic gameplay that has you traversing randomized maps, a healthy assortment of weapons offering different paths to victory.  Combat is up close and personal, and it can be as physical or mental as you want it to be.  It has a wonderful plot that drives the game further, making you yearn to uncover more and more.  I could go on, and on.  

However, before I dive into the game, let's establish some background.  You play as a clone who teams up with one of the creators of The Persistence, the eponymous space ship.  A black hole has disrupted your interstellar travel plans, and mutants have devoured all but one crew member. You were designed by this crew member to fight against the enemies to help take the pair of you back home.  

To do so, you have to navigate around the ship's various decks, achieving different objectives that will help bring power back to The Persistence.  This requires stealthy maneuvering, a considerable amount of strategy, and a bit of luck.  

As you begin you are very weak, dying in two hits.  However, you can suck stem cells from mutants when their back is to you and these can be used to upgrade your clone's physical stats such as health, melee, dark matter, and stealth.  A stealthy approach is advantageous, as absorbing a lot of stem cells is how you acquire these necessary upgrades.  By sleuthing around you also collect fabchips and other goodies that will upgrade your equipment and unlock and upgrade more weapons.  All these things make you stronger and are necessary as you progress further and further into the ship.  

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This game is unique because in it you are expected to die.  It's necessary even.  So you will begin going out into the ship and at some point you will get killed.  You will spawn back at the original recovery cell, however, will keep all the previous fabchips, stem cells and other things you collected.  It is at this point you can upgrade yourself and head back out, stronger than you were before. I immediately fell in love with this loop.  In the beginning it was rough, because the mechanics were new, the ship was dark and scary, and only 2 hits lead to my death. Generally speaking I was very weak.  With each play through I could see myself get stronger and stronger.  It simulated a beautiful journey in which persistence and willpower will lead you to victory.  

To avoid repetition, the map of the ship changes each time you die.  No two trips are the same.  Each new life brings new enemies, new power ups, new rooms altogether.  It's awesome.  If you think about it, this was a necessary to prevent staleness and monotony.  But they nailed it.  I'm wasn't even mad when I died, because I'd come back even stronger, and that transition was so satisfying. 

The enemy assortment is also spectacular.  There are mutants that just want to kill someone, mutants with guns, some that explode, huge behemoths, ones that can't be killed, ones that hide in the shadows and so on.  The enemy variety keeps things fresh and dials up the need for strategy.  For instance, one enemy is a complete tank.  He has tons of health and you will risk your life and use all your resources if you try to shoot him down.  So you have two options.  Either upgrade your weapons out the wazoo or use more creative tactics, such as seducing him with an IVY serum that makes him an ally, or crush him with the gravity grenade.  Each enemy has different weaknesses, and this adds to the strategy of the game.  Also adding to the strategy is the decision making required regarding how many rooms and how many mutant encounters you want to take on.  You can either fly through the deck and avoid picking fights and getting power ups, or you  can take your time and methodically search the entire premises, risking death from each encounter.  

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I have seen differing opinions on how scary the game is.  For one, I found the first 2 hours and all subsequent new areas terrifying.  The suspense is absolutely killer, the moaning of the mutants is  terrifying and the anticipation of an enemy encounter, enemy awareness, and enemy placement cranks up the intensity quickly.  Not only that, but other obstacles such as electrical fires, falling ship-parts, and loud gas leaks provide the perfect number of jump scares that aren't too common so as to petrify without becoming a nuisance.  Is it as scary as RE7? I don't think so.  But it certainly isn't a walk in the park.  I would definitely add it to our Top Horror Games for the PSVR. 

The game play length will be vary based off player skill. Risk-taking, luck-of-the-draw power-ups, and other factors will determine the amount of time spent completing the campaign.  But most players should expect to spend around 8 hours completing the main campaign, with a survival mode adding more content.  For the $30 price tag, it is worth it.  There are some games that, despite the value, you have to play.  This is one of those games.  Ignore the price.  It will be worth it to you.  You need to buy it. 

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It's worth mentioning that The Persistence is a PSVR exclusive title.  There are no PCVR ports and no flat PS4 modes.  It's simply good ole' PSVR.  I know this is very very selfish of me, as a rabid supporter of PSVR, but I am so glad that this is the case.  Exclusive, quality titles drive the relevance of PSVR, and we need titles that people must play.  If every game we have can also be played on the PS4 or other VR systems, we will have middling, but sustainable, support.  I love this game so much more because it is a PSVR exclusive.  Yeah I know, a great game like this , despite the passion of the fan-base.  While this title should be shared with the masses, it's nice to be able to wave our flashy, cool new toy in front of everyone's faces and make them jealous.  

Honestly, I don't have much to complain about the game.  Some might be put off by the repetition of the game.  In the playthroughs where you are mainly looting for resources, it can begin to feel like a grind as you spend a long long time crawling through tunnels, opening panels, walking around, and picking up small amounts of stem cells or fab chips.  It becomes a time intensive effort at times, though I have yet to really mind it.  However, I can see how some would find it monotonous and boring.   That could be a big issue for someone who isn't a fan of this type of game. 

The Persistence flourishes with high intensity gameplay and unbeatable replay value. It is overall one of the best experiences on the PSVR, and is without a doubt a must buy. It is the only game that challenges Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for the title of "top dog" on PSVR.  I cannot praise this game and FireSprite Studiso enough because it and they have provided everything PSVR fans are looking for: a top-notch exclusive that provides riveting gameplay with a perfect blend of combat, strategy, plot, and aesthetics.  

PlayPSVR Score: 9.5