It’s so easy to miss games, what with more than a handful releasing every week on PS4. For me, this was the case with Kona, a mystery adventure which puts you in the shoes of a 1970’s detective.
You could likely class this game as a walking simulator as between that and driving you’ll spend most of your time scouring the mysterious surroundings of Atamipek Lake located in Northern Quebec. Playing as detective Carl Faubert you’ll explore the abandoned town and investigate every area, all while trying to survive the punishing winter weather, which sees you having to light fires and find shelter in order to stay warm.
So why am I reviewing this game well over a year after it came out? The reason? It now has PSVR support, meaning you can play the entire game with Sony’s Virtual Reality Headset. As mentioned I didn’t play the original, but from the moment you start playing Kona feels like it was made for VR. You’ll start off driving through the town, before coming across your first murder victim and solving puzzles using the various clues in the environment. What’s great, is since you are in VR, you are able to investigate easily, looking around at every angle for clues which may otherwise have been hidden.
The only real danger you’ll face is the elements, so as you enter each area you’ll light a fire, for which you’ll need to find logs, matches and fire starters, however as long as you look around this is fairly easy to do, leaving you to concentrate on the victims you’ll find. When you do find a victim, you’ll look for clues to find out what happened to them, which involves investigating the surroundings as any detective would. It’s all straightforward really, but somehow it’s also pretty engrossing.
Perhaps its the eerie, wintery setting in which the game is based, but Kona will hook you in and keep you there for the entirety of its 5-6 hour adventure. There’s something great about exploring the town, entering every property you see and investigating every clue available. The VR controls help, with a free teleportation option to help avoid motion sickness, although you can free roam if you have a strong stomach.
The story is very strong, with an interesting plot, which opens up the more you explore. A narrator will also accompany you on occasion, reading out the clues and somehow adding to the mystery of it all. It helps that the atmosphere is very intriguing, always keeping you on edge and having you wonder what will unfold next. You’ll always be looking over your shoulder and will on occasion worry about the detective’s safety. There may not be a lot of danger for Carl to face, but you’ll always feel like something doesn’t feel quite right about it all.
I’m very conscious of spoiling anything should you decide to hit the buy button on the PlayStation Store, but I can say without question that I highly recommend you giving Kona a chance should you own a PSVR. I’m not sure how it plays without the headset, but with it, this is one of the best experiences I’ve enjoyed to date.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*