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Stardust Odyssey, Audica top new PlayStation VR holiday offerings

Players pilot an ethercraft in Stardust Odyssey.

Players pilot an ethercraft in Stardust Odyssey. Credit: TNS/Sony Interactive Entertainme

PlayStation VR is still going strong going in its fourth year. The peripheral has seen a fair amount of great games since then developers get a grasp of the maturing medium and create higher-quality experiences.
For the 2019 holiday season, Sony is publishing a diverse collection of VR titles. Here is an overview of each one.

THE GAME Stardust Odyssey

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This game takes place in a fantasy world where flying caravans venture through terrain. As a smuggler, players have to steal the cargo and find relics among the voyagers. They travel aboard a magic-powered ethercraft. Players pilot the smooth- and slow-moving vehicle down linear, tunnel-like levels. Along the way, they steal items from the ships and search for treasures such as ether cages that hold resources that upgrade the player's ship. The game also includes online mode where a second player acts as a copilot.
BOTTOM LINE Stardust Odyssey leverages the feeling of flight without bottoming out a player's stomach.

THE GAME Audica

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Players arm themselves with guns and shoot at targets in rhythm to music with accuracy. In some cases, targets will fly at players and they'll have to melee them with the controller. In other instances, they'll have to hold on to the trigger for a sustained note in a song. Another technique has players shooting sideways. Audica features a leaderboard and several difficulty modes. On the hardest mode, players have to get into a subconscious flow state as they hit targets and shift their body and line of sight to pick up on shootable objects.

BOTTOM LINE Audica" is a blast to play, but whether fans will embrace it like Beat Saber remains to be seen. 

THE GAME Paper Beasts

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Players don't receive much direction as they're thrown into a surreal world inhabited by paper creatures. As an explorer in this bizarre world, players move by pointing to a direction using the Move controllers and teleporting there. They can look around and interact with the paper beasts that wander through the world. They'll see them drink at watering holes or skitter around sand dunes. 

BOTTOM LINE Paper Beasts is a peculiar game that could interest players looking for an unconventional experience. It's scheduled for release later this year.

THE GAME Bonfire

WHAT IT'S ABOUT This VR short puts players in the role of Space Scout 817. Because humans destroyed earth, players are sent across space looking for inhabitable planets. Shoddy manufacturing causes their pod to break apart and they crash land on a strange planet with a robot sidekick named Debbie (voiced by Ali Wong). Players survive in the alien landscape and have to make an important decision at the end.
BOTTOM LINE It's not the most advanced piece of virtuality reality, but it's entertaining and has heart.

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