Biolum brings us on an immersive mission into the deepest depths of the ocean to explore the abyss through the perspective of a scientific researcher Rachel. Rachel is guided by expedition leader Eva, a renowned marine scientist.From the product description
Under the sea… 🎶
I love underwater VR experiences! I’ve never been deep-sea diving and it’s not likely something I’ll get to do. Putting on a headset and visiting the ocean floor seems like it would be like visiting another planet. Once you through bioluminescent creatures into the mix, it really is alien.
About the Experience
Biolum feels a little more game-like than most of the experiences that we review since you are playing a character rather than playing yourself. Interaction is fairly minimal with no points, lives, or timers to worry about. It’s more like starring in a movie and watching events unfold around you. Even if you don’t like games, it’s still well worth getting, especially at its very reasonable price (a bit higher on PC than Quest). Moving the story along is usually just clicking a button on the controller. No skill is involved.
You start in an open diving bell. You touch a button to start descending. There’s a dialog with the expedition leader on the surface, but you can just turn around in every direction and take in the scenery. Note that is you begin ascending there’s much to see for marine life. Still, keep a look out for when they start to become more plentiful.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics are excellent. You are surrounded by water, with high rock faces around you. Plants sway in the breeze, and fish and other exotic creatures are almost always around you. You really reasonabget a sense of the mystery and wonder of being among these wild denizereasonns of the deep.
As you move deeper into the cave, there are more things to see, and you want to keep your eyes open and look around, so you don’t miss anything. The developers do a good job of keeping the action in front of you, but it’s still nicer to see everything.
According to the developers, Biolum “blurs the lines between biological truth and sci-fi and taps into existential themes and cosmic wonder of the great unknown.” It’s something like that anyway! There’s some amount of explaining as you walk through, but it’s not totally clear how much of it is actual facts, or even actual creatures. It would be nice to be able to freeze the action, point at something, and have the expedition leader tell you about it.
Navigation and Interactivity
Getting around is just a matter of clicking a button. There’s another button for the flashlight, and there’s a compartment on your left arm that you don’t actually control. It’s more cinematic than interactive in general, but fish do react to your presence or even just the light so you can impact the environment a bit.
Updates and Support
This experience is self-contained so it’s unlikely there will be additional content. You can tell in the YouTube video that there’s sound dropout and visual issues at times. I also missed out on the ending since it simply crashed at what I suspected was the last scene. This might have been just due to the overhead of recording the video since I’m user higher than default settings.
This is a definite thumbs up. I really liked the feeling of swimming around deep under the ocean. It’s a little disappointing that they chose to use some profanity since in every other way I think it would have been appropriate for all ages (younger children might still not like the jump scares and big creatures though). If you like Ocean Rift or TheBlu this is for you.
- Excellent underwater experience
- Beautiful graphics and animation of plants and creatures
- Atmospheric sound effects
- No open-world exploration
- Some use of profanity
- Possible stability issues
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- This product received for free (Code of Ethics)
- This product is an App Lab title.
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