Across The Valley Across the Valley PSVR2 Across the Valley PSVR2 Review Across the Valley Review

Across The Valley Review (PSVR 2) – Simple But Promising Potential Tarnished By Lack of Polish

Across The Valley PSVR 2 Review – The farm and life sim space has grown in popularity over the last two console generations, with an influx of titles looking to put their stamp on the genre. Unfortunately, some offerings launch with more than a few issues under the hood that they fall between the cracks. Across the Valley is probably destined to be one of those titles, although not simply due to its gameplay alone.

Across The Valley PSVR2 Review – Some Nice and Simple Potential Tarnished By Lack of Polish

Anyone who has played the likes of Stardew Valley already knows the gameplay loop here: Wake up in the morning, tend to your animals and crops, and improve your farm to increase yields. The obvious difference is that you manually do these tasks by hand. You till and plant your garden. You harvest each vegetable piece one by one.

This is where the tedium starts, with some aspects worse than others. The worst is selling your goods. Your yields go into storage, and the act of selling them sees you grabbing them one unit at a time and dropping them in the wagon to take to town.

Navigating the Farm

To keep you on task, you have a list of tasks in your house with quests to complete. As you progress through them, more of your farm unlocks, giving you access to different animals and seeds to utilize and manage.

The greatest strength of Across the Valley is how it delivers directions to you. Instead of a constant stream of menus, the game shows you little windowed prompts over things when you can interact with. For instance, if crops need water, the game shows you a drop of water over the crops. The same goes for feeding animals, selling yields, etc.

To add more details, each teleport point you can go to (no, there’s no free movement) has a book you can literally pick up and read. These give more specific directions if you need them. This approach works well because it gives you the option to feel out the controls or dig into tutorials without a bunch of menus in your face.

I’m happy to report you can manually pet your animals. Not only does this feel good to do, it also improves quality of life for your animals. Alongside feeding and watering your livestock, you also need to keep them happy. This adds to the gameplay loop of feeding, watering, and growing. It’s not much, but it gives a little bit of dopamine to keep you motivated. Besides, petting animals always rocks.

Where It Lost the Plot

Unlike Stardew Valley, however, Across the Valley trades stylized graphics for hyper-simplistic aesthetics. Sounds are the same, mimicking what you’d hear in those infant learning toys. The audible and visual simplicity is not inherently a bad choice to make for a game like this.

However, the gameplay should match that simplicity for a universal package. Other games like Minecraft have combined simplicity with deep gameplay, but that formula only works when the controls function as they should.

Now, control inputs work in Across the Valley as they should, and the game even gives you freedom of reach by letting you call things to your hand to help you while playing. The caveat here is that these controls can only work if the game positions you properly. As mentioned earlier, Across the Valley makes you point to different places and teleport to them. However, most of the time you get teleported outside of the fixed spots that the game highlights.

More than often, I either got positioned too far away to interact with anything or into a wall where I could either not see anything or not reach anything. I could fix it for a while if I reopened the game, but this issue eventually came back the more I teleported around the farm.

Unfortunately, these issues occurred in both the standing and sitting positions. To make sure I wasn’t missing something, I made sure to even completely reset my PSVR2 so that everything initiated the way it should.

The final frustration is the game crashing regularly. I tried a couple ways to force crashes, but they just seemed to happen when the game gets overwhelmed, be it by playing for too long or the overall character positioning getting too far off the spot. Either way, progressing relies solely on when the game properly lets you teleport and when the game doesn’t crash.

One Significant Update Away From A Fun Diversion

All in all, the game loop in Across the Valley has some Zen qualities to it, letting you build your farm and manage your products. Combine the odd complexities with the current jankiness in the game, however, and you won’t stick with the game for long. Hopefully Across the Valley will receive a solid update, because there’s some fun to be had here. Unfortunately in its current state, it may as well sell the farm.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

The formula that Across the Valley tries to present is a decent one, simple enough to make a decent time. Unfortunately, the lack of polish on top of navigation issues make this game hard to stick with. Even after the first update, it's in a rough place.