Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality Review
It’s strange to think that, despite coming from nowhere as a game publisher, Adult Swim has become one of my favourites for putting our quirky, weird games, that nobody else really would. Whether it’s the glorious MetroidVania of Headlander, the bizarre puzzler Small Radios Big Televisions, the spoof/knock-off of Fallout in Wasted, or just good old fashioned Jazzpunk.
Now, thanks to the fact they air Rick and Morty, Adult Swim has turned to Owlchemy Labs (creators of Job Simulator, still one of the best VR games out there) to make a Rick and Morty VR game. The result is, well, it’s a Rick and Morty experience by the people who made Job Simulator.
As horribly reductive as that may seem, that is exactly what we’ve got here, and it’s often fucking brilliant. In fairness, Roiland and Harmon can do no wrong with the show (apart from make us wait an eternity for the third season, then show one episode and say more are coming months later), and given that Job Simulator is excellent, the marriage is indeed one made in… yeah, you get the idea.
The concept is that Rick has made a clone of Morty (you) and you’re expendable, obviously, like everyone else to Rick. Starting with the menial task of washing underwear, then leading onto picking up Rick’s package (an actual package, not his penis), fixing his computer (it’s riddled with porn ads), and then finally transporting to an alien world to shoot things, it’s just exactly what you’d want in a Rick and Morty game.
But it’s clever, as well, not only in the mechanics but in how they’re used. For example, Job Simulator asks you to pick things up, combine them, and put them in places. Here, because it’s a VR game, you don’t have full movement control. You can look at certain spots and teleport to them, but “because you’re a clone” you can’t leave Rick’s garage. Amazingly, you can use a Meeseeks box to get a ball you can throw which brings a Meeseeks to life. These aren’t proper Meeseeks, they’re “Youseeks” and they mirror everything you do, which, yeah, brought about this piece of gameplay that I tweeted about.
My experiences with it so far. GOTY? GOTY! pic.twitter.com/4KIWewNHWM
— Adam Cook (@jebusf) April 20, 2017
Early on, this just lets you pick up a thing you can’t reach – outside the garage. But it’s only playing further into the (admittedly) short but sweet game that you become stumped on a puzzle. How the hell do you solve this? This thing keeps exploding and I literally cannot be in two places at the same time oh shit wait yes I can Mr Youseeks! The physical feeling of picking something up and handing something to yourself via a Youseeks is incredible, a genuine standout VR moment… in a Rick and Morty VR game.
Without spoiling too much, there are things to interact with everywhere. Everything can be fiddled with, from a Plumbus to tapes that are hidden around the game world you can play in Rick’s cassette player. You get to go in a microverse, you get to go through a portal, you get to hear Mr Poopybutthole. The fanservice references the very first episode and runs the gamut from the obscure to the obvious. It’s just brilliant.
The only problem, and it’s a big one, is that for how long it is, you’ll be paying a high price. Once you’ve finished it (it’ll take a few hours), the likelihood is that you’ll only revisit it to show off to your mates the fact you have a Rick and Morty VR game, or maybe to muck around with Rick’s stuff again, hoping to find a piece of content that’s buried in a cranny you previously missed.
I suppose, as obvious as it sounds, this is also a game that requires the hefty investment in a gaming PC with VR. I played the Rift and Steam versions both with the Oculus Touch controllers, and it feels intuitive and brilliant, but no game is worth spending that kind of money on.
Ultimately it’s too expensive for how long it is, but if you have invested in PC-based VR, it’s hard to imagine you’ll baulk at the price. I hope this isn’t the only dalliance with VR we see from Rick and Morty, because despite being a bit of a shallow, short experience, what is here is excellent. It’s funny, self aware, and has the same great voices from the TV show. It may be the most niche VR game ever, but if you’re a fan of Rick and Morty you owe it to yourself to find a way to play it (for less than it costs to buy a new PC and VR).
Loads of fun
It's Rick and Morty