Across The Valley Review – A Disappointing VR Farming Sim
I am a big fan of farming simulator games, and while I tend to avoid the realistic side of them, I have enjoyed the fantasy versions in games like Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley. Across The Valley always looked promising to me based on the gameplay footage that had been released for it, and the concept of a VR game where we could roleplay as a farmer was intriguing. Unfortunately, it has turned out to be a major disappointment.
Across The Valley initially captures our attention with its stylistic hand-drawn, cartoony visual style. Though not a visually stunning game, its world is full of vibrant colors that stand out on the OLED display of the PSVR 2. However, the gameplay is where the problems begin to surface, in addition to the issue of blurry in-game text. The game has numerous bugs that try to ruin our experience, including teleporting inside objects, lack of interaction, and poor detection of the Sense controller, causing hands to clip through objects.
I have to give some credit to the developer because they did try their best to offer a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, Across The Valley is neither fun nor a good game at the moment. It puts the player through a series of tasks that they can accomplish every day. It has a dynamic day and night cycle, and just like in other farming sims, the player ends up getting sleepy as night approaches, leading to an abrupt black screen followed by waking up next to the bed. The headset also appears to vibrate when this happens, trying to recreate the effects of a sleeping mind, but it just didn’t work for me.
If you want to harvest crops, tend to animals, and manage a farm in VR, then Across the Valley attempts to fulfill these tasks. However, it falls short due to the lack of progression and a rather intrusive gameplay loop. The UI is generally good and blends in well with the environment, but the text in the game is hard to read because it can get blurry at certain angles. We pick up books for help and have a task list, but these suffer from the same blurriness issues.
The need to make the game VR means it can get tedious rather quickly. Each simple task requires a lot of effort and back-and-forth, done by using the Sense controller to point at a location. The restricted teleportation doesn’t feel good, especially in the seated position, and it also makes it hard to interact with objects, turning simple but repetitive tasks into a chore. I have played plenty of VR games in the seated position, and control-wise, Across the Valley, feels like the worst of them.
Currently, the issues with teleportation and text in the game can ruin the experience. Some bugs could force the game to crash on the PS5, resulting in a loss of progress. While patches can resolve these issues, they won’t fix the core gameplay loop, which is just not fun enough here. The novelty of VR farming soon wears thin, and the game doesn’t feel interesting enough to warrant an extended play.
In the end, while the game has launched with a budget price of $19.99, it doesn’t feel worth the effort to get it. If most of the issues are patched later, it doesn’t mean the core gameplay will get better. Sadly, I have to give Across the Valley a pass.
Across The Valley Game Information
- Price: $19.99
- Publisher: FusionPlay
- Developer: FusionPlay
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher