CDeveloper / Publisher – Sachonski , Renato Milanesi , Sith / Patagoniart
Price – US $3.99 / EU €3.99 / UK £2.79
Release Date – November 1st, 2016
Input – Tracked Motion Controllers
Play Area – Seated, Standing, Room-scale
Store – Steam
Reviewed on – HTC Vive
Above is a short experience where you step into the shoes of an astronaut, experiencing the last few minutes of his life after accidentally floating away from the space station. Above isn’t a game- it’s marketed as a dramatic VR experience. However, I wouldn’t even call it that. This wouldn’t even be a good desktop wallpaper, and is little more than a thoughtless waste of time.
In Above, you start out by holding a button over a crank (you don’t even turn it manually) in a badly-designed airlock, and wind up floating outside the space station. After five minutes, the space station vanishes into thin air, leaving you standing there for at at least 15 minutes before everything goes black (or you run out of patience and exit).
This entire time, you’re doing literally nothing. In Above, you stare at a slowly-spinning image of the Earth, complete with the moon, sun, and milky way background. But that’s it- you stare, and wait, for nothing to come. The graphics are also terrible, and so is Above’s interface. Your hands aren’t animated, leaving you wielding the Vive controllers, which have unnecessary tips floating above them (IE: “Use trackpad to move,” even though this game clearly has no movement).
Go on Google Image search, and look up a picture of Earth. Open a picture of the International Space Station right next to it. Stare at this for about five minutes, then close the picture of the space station. Continue staring at Earth for another ten minutes. You have now had an even higher-quality experience than Above offers.
What would I pay for it? Absolutely nothing. This “experience” offers nothing other than a low-resolution image of the planet. It’s nothing short of embarrassing that this nonsense made its way onto steam, let alone for four bucks. Stay away.