Developer / Publisher – Owlgorithm LLC
Price – US $9.99 / EU €9.99 / UK £7.99 / AU $14.95
Release date – September 25th, 2018
Control Method – DS4
Pro Enhanced – No
Digital only – Yes
Reviewed on – PS4 Pro
VR is for more then just games and ever since I bought my 1st headset, I always thought real-world experiences would be a huge draw for a more casual audience. With The Grand Museum we get just that with a collection of historical pieces from around the world brought right before our eyes in a virtual museum. There are no gaming elements at play, just start the experience and you can explore and learn to your hearts delight about Ancient Egypt, China and Greece with collections of art and sculptures from their respective era’s.
Requiring only a DS4 to move around, the movement settings are teleport only and picking the direction you want to face when you move, so this requires minimal input from the controller. As there is no controller tracking needed, you can turn around 360 degrees to view the surrounding works of art without risking any kind of tracking loss. From here you can navigate through a few rooms in the Museum, each populated with the historic artifacts from a bygone age or should you wish for a little more information, you can view some of them individually in much greater detail with a fair bit of background information to go along with them.
The Grand Museum in all honesty isn’t that grand at all with only a handful of rooms to visit. What is much grander is the detail that went into recreating these artifacts, making for some near photo-realistic details that really only falls apart upon very close scrutiny. Whether it’s statues of Egyptian or Greek gods or Emperors from Asia, they all look great with even the finer carvings having a beautiful sense of depth and fidelity. The museum looks good too, but like I said, you can visit some of the objects for a much more up-close view. In this mode you are treated with the life size version of that item as well as larger and larger versions that loom before you in massive scale. Accompanying these are historical facts about the statue or tales ripped right from the original writings from when these statues were made detailing the exploits of whomever or whatever these items depict. The only audio available that I noticed was some ambient light piano tracks which fit perfectly with the idea of perusing a Museum’s collection.
Like I said, there is no game here. The Grand Museum is 100% education and experience and, in that regard, I would say it’s a success. It is neat to see some of famous artifacts right before me, as if I were standing in front of it but as far as the Museum content goes, that’s really all you do. The educational and zoomed in items are a cool addition, but not every object in the Museum is viewable in this mode, only a select few of the apparently 82 items available. I’m not sure why that was done and while I did appreciate the closer look and info, I wish the devs could have done that for every item. My last bone of contention is the movement system. Of course, I would have loved free movement, but the way you teleport here is just awkward and clumsy with no on the spot turning available which is less of an issue when you are standing, just watch out for those cords. There is no reason why this shouldn’t be a sit-down experience as well except for this teleport system which requires a lot of messing around with just to move and face a singular object and it’s honestly a pain to try and play this seated.
Movement issues aside, I dug what The Grand Museum delivered. It’s an educational and informative experience only, which will definitely limit broad appeal, but for those interested in the civilizations covered here, there really isn’t a better way too view these artifacts unless you could actually visit their real world locations. If you are a history buff, a student covering the histories of Egypt, Greece or Asia, or are just curious about seeing historical items you may never get to see in the real world, then I say check this out!
What would I pay? $10 for this is fine. I think it’s fairly easy to tell if this s for you or not and if it is, I think you’ll appreciate this little VR experience.
Owlgorithm provided The VR Grid with a code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!