Ancient Amuletor has an interesting take on a classic game style. It is, at its core, a tower defense game where you shoot down enemies before they can damage your crystals. It is made better and updated for virtual reality by adding in different heroes, which essentially become your tower types. Each hero has their own strengths and weaknesses, and the player is able to switch between them on the fly.
Let’s start out by saying that I loved this game when I first started this review. The mechanics were new and refreshing and felt like they belonged on the PlayStation VR system. This is great in a world of developers trying to figure out exactly how they can adapt traditional gameplay to this new medium. The player picks one of four heroes that can be switched during the game, The Mage, who summons and throws orbs to inflict splash damage, The Archer, who can shoot arrows at long-range to precisely hit distant targets, The Gunslinger, who dual wields what are essentially short-range pistols, and The Puppeteer, who can deploy a massive robot to inflict melee damage in an enemies path. These heroes are all controlled from different points within the map that the player can jump between on the fly.
The gameplay was great but suffered some serious drawbacks. The Gunslinger felt great to play during the review. pistols felt natural with the Move Controllers, and jumping between points on the map with one hand while firing with the second-hand became second nature. The Gunslinger also played especially well against the game’s boss battles, which were fairly simple shoot and teleport encounters. The Puppeteer was also fun in certain situations. Deploying what is essentially a static avatar onto the mob path and having it inflict melee damage while mimicking the player’s movements felt great at certain times in the game, especially when mobs got out of control and too close to the crystals that the player is tasked with protecting.
The same cannot be said for The Mage and The Archer, which both suffered from the same critical drawback. When I started reviewing the game, I started with the tutorial, and immediately noticed that The Archer was right-handed. There is no way to change this at all. Since this reviewer happens to be left-handed, this made these two characters almost impossible to play correctly without trying to juggle switch both Move Controllers every time there was a need to switch to a different hero. The Mage also suffers from this, as the hero summons the orbs with the left hand and throws them with the right hand. This just seems like something that should have been thought of, and added to, any game in these days, but was simply ignored in this one.
Another drawback to this game is the sheer lack of content available at launch. There are only two worlds to choose from, each with only two levels inside of them. These four levels equal only about two hours of total play time. There are also only four heroes to play from, with very little customization and upgrades available for them. It does appear that more content is coming, however, with two more worlds and heroes labeled “Coming Soon.” It isn’t clear if these additions will be made available free of charge, but according to multiple unconfirmed rumors, they will be available via paid DLC only.
Ancient Amuletor feels like a great and fresh game concept that suffers from a lack of overall length and customizations. The game could have been so much better with a little extra effort by its developer. At the $20 price point the game is currently commanding, it’s very difficult to recommend such a short game to PSVR players. The only exception is if it benefits from either a price drop or free DLC in the future. I had fun with this game though, and hope to see more like it, and possibly a sequel that builds on its concept, in the future.
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. Check us out at Opencritic!
The Gunslinger is Extremely Fun to Play
The Graphics Fit the Game Extremely Well
The Levels are Fast Paced and Replay Well
No Left Handed Support
Not Much Customizability
Very Few Gameplay Levels
Very Few Heroes