Tower defense titles have branched out in the past few years, expanding the core strategy elements with direct action control by selecting a unique hero class. Ancient Amuletor not only takes the genre into a VR environment via PlayStation VR, but removes the ability to place towers, and instead replaces them with playable heroes. Using two PlayStation Move controls, players (up to three players online) must protect their crystals across various historical time periods. You may be a bit confused when first playing through the game, as half of the content listed in the menus isn’t currently available, with the only assurance that the content is coming soon.
Developed by TiGames, Ancient Amuletor includes four different playable classes, but only three are available at the start. These classes feature their own set of motion control mechanics, taking full advantage of the PS Move wands. The archer class replaces your left hand with a bow, and the right with an arrow, as you pull back the string to aim and fire with varying amounts of velocity. The mage requires you to summon a magical spell from your book, and fling it towards approaching enemies. The gunner, my favorite, simply yields two double-barrelled pistols, capable of ripping through enemies at close range with ease. While you’ll need to pull your bow and arrows back each time you want to fire, as well as fling each spell from your tome, the pistols can be quickly reloaded by flicking them upwards.
Currently, there are only two different historic themed worlds to select, each with two distinct levels, one wave-based and one boss encounter. There are others shown on the menu, but they are listed as coming soon, and whether or not that is a certainty or wishful thinking from the developers, I do not know. Throughout each wave, you’ll face an overwhelming number of skeleton warriors, archers, and other creatures of the undead. As foes take multiple paths towards the crystal or crystals you must defend, you can teleport between the different platforms, giving you the best point of view at all times. It can be a little disorienting, as you don’t face the same direction on all platforms. I’ll frequently found myself facing forward one moment and warping to a new platform and facing an entirely different angle.
Although you are capable of playing through the currently available levels solo, the game shines when playing online with others. That is if you can find anyone else playing Ancient Amuletor at the same time. It's clear that Ancient Amuletor lacks in terms of content, and needed to launch with all of the planned levels at launch. Bright and colorful, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth everything appears inside the PlayStation VR headset. Many games suffer from terrible aliasing, but Ancient Amultetor seemed to have smoothed out edges produces a visually appealing experience.
Ancient Amuletor is an enjoyable PSVR experience but sorely lacks in terms of content. Playing alone or with others online is enjoyable, and I found all of the playable heroes to have their own purpose. Some are better for long-range attacks and others focus on waiting until the enemies come to them to dish out destruction. Multiplayer is the best way to play the game, but I’ve found it nigh impossible to find anyone else playing outside of launch week. It’s a shame, as it is one of the better PlayStation VR games to be released if it had increased the amount of content in the game as well as add more variety to the gameplay.
Note: Ancient Amuletor was reviewed based on a digital PlayStation VR copy of the game, provided by the publisher.