Pollen, or P.O.L.L.E.N. is a first person exploration simulation game. Designed for VR, Pollen takes you through a story in a non-traditional way thanks to VR. As taken from the Pollen website,
“The story begins with you taking the role of a replacement employee for a space mechanic that has disappeared on a Saturnine moon station. The rest is for you to discover!”
The Pax Prime demo was very free-form. You start off within the space station and you’re pretty much given full reign to explore the moon station. Everyone is gone, and you’ve got to figure out what happened. Or you can look at everything. Everything. You want to see what books are on the shelf? Feel free, in fact, take all 30 of them off the shelf and flip them around and read all the different covers. You can head over to the gym and start lifting virtual weights. Perhaps basketball or darts is more your style? You can do that too. Every single thing I encountered I could interact with.
Audio tapes that you find can be listened to. They may even hold the key to figuring out what happened on the station. Documents can be read (interestingly enough, “zooming” with Oculus is simple; lean forwards into the screen to magnify objects) and the more items you find like that, the more you start to piece together the events that occurred. The PAX demo didn’t have everything unlocked, simply because you might have spoiled the experience. Plus theres not enough time to explore and truly see everything.
Overall: Sadly for me, this was my first Oculus experience and I started to get a bit dizzy about 10 minutes into the demo. I was able to watch the person before me go through a large portion of it and see the expansive environment you’re able to explore. The game is not VR-only, and will be playable on PC without VR headsets as well. I’m not one for “exploration” style games, but I really enjoyed watching other people go through the moon station and see how they interacted with the objects. It lends itself to a unique experience for everyone who plays it, as there is a near endless amount of ways you could go about exploring and interacting with everything. If you’re at all a fan of what VR can offer, I’d keep my eyes on this one.
-Written by Andrew (@SoAfterISaid)