Voyage PlayStation 4 Review

Voyage is an adventure game that nearly plays itself.

By Fragnarok, Posted 23 Aug 2022

Voyage is an adventure game developed by Venturous and published by Ratalaika Games SL. Two nameless explorers - one with purple hair and the other white-haired - find themselves in a strange alien world. They can only rely on each other to traverse the land and discover what happened.

Voyage’s story is presented with a minimal setup. There is no narrative text or dialogue at all. From the title screen, it is implied that the characters may be arriving on a spaceship; however, upon pressing start, they are already clad in simple traveler’s clothes. The two are within a seemly endless void with only a strange crystal in the center. By touching this crystal, the pair is suddenly teleported to an enchanted forest inhabited by ghostly ethereal beings.


Voyage, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, NoobFeed
 

Voyage is, at its core, an aesthetics first game. Every landscape and character is hand painted, with bright contrasting colors to make everything pop. Lighting is subtle but used in ways to trickle immaculate sunlight through trees or turn horizons into a shimmering nova. This creates a cozy feeling, even when near the looming threat of a raging sandstorm or blazing inferno.

Each chapter is its own unique set piece. Players will find themselves in harsh deserts, open fields, damp caves, and mountain villages surrounded by a sea of clouds. Each uses a different primary color and weather effects to stand out further. What ties the world together is the strange native population, seemingly guiding the player team forward but also constantly phasing in and out of reality. 

The music in Voyage is also one of its main highlights. There is heavy use of live piano, flutes, accordions, harps, and more. Some tracks are also accompanied by more synthetic or industrial tones, mostly aligning with when characters unravel a technological mystery. This makes the entire experience feel whimsical, relaxing, and fantastic all at once.


Voyage, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, NoobFeed    


Voyage can be played either solo with an AI partner or a two-player local co-op. This choice is automatically detected by the amount of user logins or controllers synced to the PlayStation 4. There is no direct option to switch without fully quitting out. In-game controls are simple: cross interacts with objects, and triangle highlights said items within the environment. When playing single player, circle switches between characters, and the square tells the partner to stop or follow. Pressing square while directly next to each other will cause the characters to hug, which is rarely used as a puzzle solution.

The main gameplay loop involves exploring the planet, using interactions to push, drag, or otherwise change environmental objects. In most cases, tasks are too difficult or heavy for one person and require both characters to interact at the same time. At other moments, the team will need to separate, with one character triggering a device to clear a path while the other continues.


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Solutions are often extremely slow to play out. Players could spend nearly a full minute pushing a boat across dry land or waiting for a cow to cumbersomely stride over grassy plains. These actions narrowly avoid being tedious, completing just before boredom sets in. It also becomes more manageable by the soothing music that plays along with such situations. 

These interactions aren’t exactly puzzles, as the solutions are obvious. Often in a single player one can simply hold the cross button the entire time, and Voyage will nearly auto-complete itself. This is less likely in co-op, as the second player might need to position themselves a bit more carefully compared to the AI. However, it is also possible to be distracted by the vibrant environments, as interactions tend to blend in when not using either triangle or cross frequently. This can result in lots of surprise backtracking.

There are no enemies or hazards in Voyage, giving players the luxury to explore and solve at their own pace. Even seemingly dangerous substances are not overly threatening. For example, one can walk through fire and only be slowed down; or the controlled character will refuse to move at all, requiring an alternate path to be discovered.


Voyage, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, NoobFeed
 

Voyage is broken into eight chapters, separated by the duo returning to the endless dark void in-between. Chapters can be reselected from the main menu, but there is no mid-chapter saving. All progress will be lost unless players fully complete a chapter in full. Chapter progression also updates Voyage’s title screen to display the last found location and also instantly loads to it without a menu or transition.

The AI partner is reliable when ordered to follow closely. However, this can break if either character winds up moving at different speeds - most likely to happen while traversing inclines or crawling under obstacles. When this happens, the AI is unable to clear more complex routes and will get stuck endlessly running forward. Players will need to switch characters and essentially do the same routine a second time. This is yet another reason why Voyage will be more enjoyable with another human player to drive the partner character manually.

While Voyage can be a pleasant and awe-inspiring experience, it is rather short. Going through a single player will take around three hours due to the automatic assistance of the AI teammate. Multiplayer can be a little bit longer by having the duo independently explore or purposely neglecting the triangle button to hide interactions. This makes the initial $15 USD price tag somewhat steep, given the lack of overall content.


Voyage, PlayStation 4, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, NoobFeed


Voyage is a pleasant little journey with fantastic music and superb art direction. But with little to do, it isn’t much of an actual video game. While Voyage can be a fun experience, it isn’t worth the current asking price. Those interested in the PlayStation 4 version should wait for a major sale or potential future giveaway. Players in lower-income regions can also consider the Steam version, where Venturous (without Ratalaika) offers Voyage cheaper via local currency.
 

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed
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General Information

Voyage

55/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Venturous Handelsbolag
Developer(s): Venturous, Venturous Handelsbolag
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Adventure, Exploration, Co-Op, Sci-Fi, Art House
Release Date: 2022-08-12

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