Altdeus: Beyond Chronos
Top Critic Average
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos proves that visual novels can work surprisingly well in virtual reality. The ways in which your mode of interaction are worked into the setting are clever and really help to increase the sense of immersion. It might not feel like many of your choices have an effect on the story, with most branches being a result of clear binary choices at set points, but I have enjoyed my time in the world of Lieutenant Chloe and will delve back in to seek out the last couple of alternative endings.
As long as you go into the experience knowing what to expect, Altdeus: Beyond Chronos has the potential to be genuinely entertaining. However, on the scale of interactivity, this really doesn't qualify a game. The inability to take full advantage of the VR platform ultimately seals it's fate as nothing more than an acquired taste that will prove to be off-putting to many.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos places players smack dab in the middle of a living anime story, with all of the cool world-building and unique characters implied by that statement. Players used to a lot of action in their games will have to adjust to the slower pace of this plot-driven experience, but will quickly discover that it yields its own unique rewards.
VR still comes with a lot of caveats, but the experience is rapidly improving. Though even with our current limitations, visual novels feel like a natural fit for the medium. The elevated immersion, the low levels of interactivity required, and the pace all feel like inevitable steps forward for the whole visual novel genre. To that end, Beyond Chronos is a great example of what can be done with visual novels in VR. While the voice acting and some of the dialogue is a little rough, the major story beats are truly engaging.
In ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos, your choices matter! Tread carefully as this game has alternate endings, and some may surprise you. This game can be short or long, depending on how you play. Exciting battle scenes, as well as a captivating story, make this game a truly unique experience.
A really great experience and an exciting step forward for the future of virtual visual novels. You really feel much more drawn into the role of the main character than a typical visual novel. Complimented by a really fantastic soundtrack and interesting characters to help tie together the story, and you always feel compelled to continue and keep uncovering more information about the world and the meteoras.
An enjoyable visual novel that really benefits from being in VR.
Overall, ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos’ writing is excellent, with rounded characters who dodge most of the usual anime tropes. It may not have delivered the mech-piloting mayhem I was expecting, but it’s a smart visual novel, with enough interactivity, plot twists and emotional gut-punches to keep you engaged. Throw in multiple endings, some of which can only be unlocked on subsequent playthrough and, even though you don’t get to personally punch Space Godzilla in the face, it’s well worth suiting up for.
I really, really loved my time with ALTDEUS. Gorgeous character designs, fantastic voice work, compelling narrative and memorable characters all coalesced into the best gaming experience I’ve had this year. Science-fiction is one of my favorite genres because of how often it asks difficult questions about our relationships with the world and others in it, and ALTDEUS provided that in spades. Love, grief, obsession, self-loathing, sacrifice – it’s all here in one neat package. The use of VR technology to tell this story was also a boon. There’s nothing specific to the narrative that requires it be a VR title, but how that narrative is presented really took advantage of the immersive qualities VR can provide. Watching Noa’s concerts, embracing another character, fighting giant monsters – I don’t think any of it would have felt as impactful had it not been front and center. It also helped me better relate to Chloe’s emotional journey, because I saw the world literally through her eyes. What a fantastic use of the medium, and a must-play for any VR player.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is a sci-fi visual anime novel done in VR. Developed and published by MyDearest Inc. this experience hits many highs for those who are fans of anime. While there little to no gameplay elements, the story was engaging, and the branching narrative provides a lot of replay value.