As a PS VR2 launch title and a PlayStation Studios first-party game, you would expect Horizon Call of the Mountain to be something pretty special. At first, I thought Horizon Call of the Mountain would be more like a tech demo for the PS VR2, much like Astro’s Playroom was for the PS5 and DualSense controller. But it turns it its much more than just a tech demo, it’s a great and pretty lengthy VR game that does showcase the PS VR2 tech but also provides some great gameplay set in the Horizon universe,.
Horizon Call of the Mountain Review – a great PS VR2 showcase but maybe just a wee bit too much climbing
Horizon Call of the Mountain is essentially a VR climbing game, it’s right there in the game’s tagline “Climb to new heights.” And there is a lot, and I mean a lot of climbing in Horizon Call of the Mountain.
It’s just as well then that the climbing mechanics of the game are done really, really well. In fact, it’s probably the best climbing mechanics I have ever seen in a VR game. Climbing isn’t just done using your floating hands to grab onto things, as you progress through the game and the story, you will acquire various climbing tools like the pickaxes, ropecaster and grapple.
Horizon Call of the Mountain offered a lot of different things to climb from mountains and rocky cliff sides to icy cliffs and modern structures left over from the old world.
Although I did think there was a bit too much climbing in the game, the climbing was pretty exhilarating. And the views and sense of scale when looking down or out to the horizon from a high peak was simply breathtaking. The OLED screens and the crispness and clearness of the PS VR2 display made them just simply incredible.
Too little combat
Where Horizon Call of the Mountain provided ample amounts of climbing for any VR climbing enthusiast, I felt it lacked somewhat in the combat department. The combat itself or rather the mechanics of combat were perfectly fine. The bow felt great to use and aiming and hitting targets didn’t feel awkward at all.
There are also different arrow types to use with your bow and if you have played the main Horizon games you will be familiar with shock arrows, tear arrows and the like that are useful against different machines.
The main combat events in Call of the Mountain were somewhat static affairs. The combat consisted of you only being able to move left or right within the combat arena. You could also dodge out of the way of an incoming attack but again, it was only to the left or the right.
There are a couple of “open world” sections where you could shoot your arrows at watchers or some other machines but overall it just felt like the combat was few and far between.
Although combat in Call of the Mountain was a little too thin on the ground for my liking it was highly enjoyable and fighting against Thuderjaws, scrappers and Fireclaws in VR was quite an amazing experience.
In Horizon Call of the Mountain, you play as Ryas, a former Shadow Carja who goes in search of his brother only to stumble upon a plot to lure machines into the city of Dawns Grasp.
The story and narrative weren’t quite as polished or fleshed out as in the main Horizon games but I suppose there is only so much you can do with VR in terms of long story arcs and fleshing-out characters. VR games are usually quite short and there’s only so much you can fit into the game. With that being said though I thought Horizon Call of the Mountain consisted of a decent amount of gameplay and replayability.
There are a total of 12 chapters in Horizon Call of the Mountain with some being longer than others. And although it was not anywhere near the length of a full-fledged Horizon release I found it offered enough story and gameplay to keep me entertained and to feel like I had gotten value for money.
The most exciting part of the story was of course meeting Aloy. And just like the story, Aloy was also short. I am not sure if the scale of the game was a bit off or Ryas was just 7 feet tall or something but Aloy looked really short. After playing as Aloy in the main Horizon games and seeing her in cutscenes I honestly thought she would have been a bit taller.
Horizon Cal of the Mountain Review – The Final Verdict
Horizon Call of the Mountain is a great showcase for the PlayStation VR2. As you would expect with a first-party PS VR2 launch title, Call of the Mountain uses all the fancy features of the PS VR2 and the Sense controllers to show what PS VR2 is capable of.
Content-wise the game is fairly lengthy for a VR game and if you take into consideration all the collectables trophies and the challenge hub there is a decent off of content that keep you playing for a while.
There is also the Machine Safari mode where you just sit in a boat and watch the machines as they run and fight right next to you. Although this mode is a great introduction to VBR for anyone not familiar with Virtual Reality it didn’t give me that “Wow, this is awesome” moment that I got when I first tried VR on the PS VR1.
Overall, Horizon Call of the Mountain is a great PS VR2 game that definitely should be played by and Horizon fan as it’s a great little spin-off for the series. And although the climbing mechanics are great I felt that there was just a bit too much climbing and not enough combat and exploration but I suppose that is to be expected from a VR game.
Horizon Call of the Mountain - The PSF Verdict
Horizon Call of the Mountain is a great showcase for PS VR2 but perhaps has just a bit too much climbing and not enough combat