Viveport Review: The Price of Freedom
Save the USA in this expertly done Cold War thriller.
By Joshua Hawkins, Greenlit Content
Most virtual reality games and apps are simple, action-oriented experiences meant to give players a euphoric feeling of reality while also remaining fun. The Price of Freedom throws all of this out the door, instead devising a way to make you think.
As a storyteller, one of the greatest things you can do is make the audience feel, and the development team at Construct Studio have done just that. Set within the Cold War, players take on the role of a CIA agent responsible for investigating and killing someone in order to help America remain free. Although the experience is short—totaling around 10-15 minutes based on how well you do with the puzzles—it has a lot of good stuff packed into such a short amount of time.
For one, the visuals and environments are some of the best that I’ve seen in virtual reality. Everything feels authentic as you investigate through the documents and uncover the story behind why you have to murder someone. It’s a thought provoking experience that I admire, and playing it in room-scale, trying to solve the different puzzles, really brought about this feeling of nostalgia that reminds me of the old mystery novels that I used to read when I was younger.
Construct Studio did such a great job putting together the experience in The Price of Freedom, and I’m glad that they decided to take a different approach to virtual reality than most developers have. While the experience is short, I feel like them focusing on what mattered, and what was important to them as a small developer was key to why this experience is so good. Instead of trying to create something revolutionary that would change VR forever, they instead set about to bring a small story to life with as much authenticity as possible.
To me, this was the smartest thing they could have done, and the effort shows. It’s the sense of presence that makes a difference in applications like this and being able to experience the Cold War era in virtual reality and think about the things I was doing made me ecstatic. I hope to see more from Construct Studio in the future, and I’m intrigued to discover how experiences like The Price of Freedom will help push presence and authenticity in VR to new heights.
The Price of Freedom is available on Viveport.