A sci-fi adventure full of robot battles, pop music, and emotion. Let’s get started on this ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos Review.
What is ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos?
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is an anime Visual Novel and Game. What’s a visual novel? Think of it as an old-school, choose your own adventure book or a tell-tale game. There is a movie story that you will play through, choices will come up, and your choices affect the story. There was a previous game, Tokyo Chronos, but you don’t need to have played it to play this new game. ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is developed by MyDearest Inc.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is available on Steam VR, PlayStationVR, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest 2.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos Gameplay Review
Altdeus is set in the future, 2080. There is some kind of alien beings attacking humanity, called Meteora. So humans go deep underground to survive. It’s not some dismal world though. Technology has advanced so much that the sky looks bright and everything that existed before is visually in front of you. Well at least, holographically.
You play as Chloe. She’s part of the military group – Prometheus. A group that attacks the Meteoras with massive battle robots called the Makhia. You protect the city with your team.
The story is supposed to be confusing and not make too much sense until you play it so I won’t go into it anymore at this point. You have everything you need to know to get started 😉
Not your typical VR Game
I again want to stress this is not a typical game. You will not be punching, shooting, or attacking per se. You will be watching an amazing and thought-provoking, interactive story where you control what happens, with immersive characters, a great plot, interesting objects to find, and some cool battle sequences.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos will definately appeal to anime fans, but even if you’ve never watched any, this genre of VR game is worth exploring to those looking for a really good story.
There is a colorful cast of characters that you will slowly get introduced to. Each one has both English and Japanese acting. You can choose whichever you like. I found they were both good. There are also subtitles that appear on the screen, which you can also turn off if you want.
The story is very interesting. Because you are not exactly sure what is going on, there is a ton of mystery. Just what is going on in this world? As you continue to play the game I found myself becoming quite invested in the various characters. Some have super crazy and annoying personalities and you just love to hate them. Others are extremely loveable.
I was fully drawn in and didn’t want to put the game down because I wanted to see what was going to happen next. Just like a really good book. I just had to get the complete story. This could easily be a full anime series I’d watch on Crunchyroll.
Your Decisions Really Matter
The decisions you make happen through an AI system called Libra. The game explains that all humans have one of these devices and it shows based on odds, what will happen if you pick a various answer. They explain that visually showing a person that by picking and saying a certain statement will cause you to hurt someone, and ultimately this made humans pick better choices and be nicer. There are many deep thoughts like this in the game. More on that later.
Libra has you select from two choices showing positive traits on the top and negative on the bottom of each one. Each interaction will have something go up and something go down. Select the top option for example and your cautious trait will go up, and your decisive trait will go down. Select the bottom option and you will showcase your independence and cause loyalty to go down. All choices have negative and positive consequences. Select whichever option feels right to you as there are no “wrong” answers.
Unlike Telltale games – many of the decisions you make here, truly do impact the story in completely different ways. The developers boast that there are many hours of gameplay and many different endings.
Learn more about the World and the Objects in it
The other interaction you will have is highlighting objects in the world and scanning them to learn more about them. A computer scan that puts this item into your database, including real scientific names and information. There are also a few puzzles, but they are not really complicated. You just need to explore the scene in front of you and find things usually.
VR Robot Battles
We also really have to talk about the robot battle sequences. I wish they would make a whole game of just this experience! You are in the cockpit and the game walks you through everything you need to do to sync up with the Makhia. It is a basic “push these VR buttons in order” or “place your arms here”. But man, the battle music is going, the Meteora is in front of you, and it really gets exciting! I really enjoyed these battle sequences even though you are not really “playing a game” or “actively shooting”.
Altdeus Soundtrack and Audio
The soundtrack includes colorful, anime K-pop songs and tech-mechanical sound effects. There is surround sound audio, so if a character is on one side of the screen they will only be heard in that ear. It’s really well done. There are also really great pop idol concerts that you will attend if you do multiple play-throughs. The songs are beautiful and the concerts themselves are similar to attending a real Idol VR concert. I enjoyed this part.
Altdeus Art Style and Animation
The anime art style of this game is beautiful and simplistic. Clean lines and bright colors. The world seems real enough for VR. Most of the backgrounds are simple and you will see the same locations many times. When you are in memories or flashbacks the world will be black and white. Holograms will have a green or blueish tinge to them. None of this distracts from the story and the characters though. It enhances them and allows the characters to shine. Let’s continue this ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos Review.
Altdeus: Beyond Chronos Multiple Playthrough
This review took me a while because I wanted to fully explore the different storylines and see everything the game had to offer – not just the first playthrough. This is definitely NOT a short VR game, especially if you play it as intended and more than once. My first play-through took 2.5 hours. I completed all the storylines and all the achievements in about 15 hours.
In order to really explore the story and get multiple “true” endings, you will need to play through the story many times. There will be a branch off at key decision points and entirely brand new story elements will open up, allowing you to experience the characters who before this time, may not have had too much personality, or you may not understand the one they have.
Thankfully the developers have coded in a “star map” of your choices and the key decision moments on it called the Ariadne. (Yet another Greek myth!) This map and spheres will allow you to see the parts of the story you have unlocked and also allow you to fast forward and jump back into a key decision point.
It should also be noted that you don’t need to play the ENTIRE experience over and over again if you don’t want to. You can skip to the key events in the Ariadne menu and then it will reach a point where you can’t skip because key choices will be made. Select new choices here to experience the different story arch. I wish this was explained a little bit better because it is a bit confusing. It’s just kind of there as a menu, but not explained much.
Without getting into spoilers I want to mention that the story is beyond exceptional. If you want to play it through one time and get an acceptable ending, that’s fine, but the story and characters really develop upon the subsequent playthroughs. Characters that don’t really make sense, plot points that are briefly touched on in one storyline and never again, all get answered eventually.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos also touches on some pretty deep topics in the playthroughs, including Geek myths, philosophy, what it means to be human, relationships, and oh so much more. It is a very emotional story that I think most people will get invested in, you just need to make it that far. There are also many easter eggs!
Does ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos cause motion sickness?
You play ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos in a stationary environment. The story happens around you. There are some minor left and right snap turning movements but ultimately the screen will black out momentarily and you “just appear” wherever you need to for the next part of the story. The game can definitely be played sitting down.
ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos should not cause any motion sickness issues.