The Persistence is a First-Person Shooter Roguelike PSVR game that is available this month on PS Plus. This game reminded me heavily of Alien Isolation with the whole creepy vibe. It takes place 500 years into the future on a doomed space colony starship. The ship is being pulled into an inescapable black hole and is malfunctioning and it has been overrun with crewmembers that have mutated and are out for blood. You control a security officer who must repair systems and save the ship.
There are a ton of experimental items, weapons, grenades, and even guns to find, unlock, upgrade and craft to help you on your mission all of which simply disappear every single time you die requiring you to restart the level basically from scratch. The biggest exception to that rule is your permanent stat upgrades that are purchased with stem cells that are scattered around the ship or harvested from enemies.
My favorite gun was the Grav Hook as you could fling random items towards enemies as bullets are quite scarce. Occasionally you will encounter rare schematics that once you construct them act like perks. That being said even the best weapons and the strongest perks aren’t going to save you. Over the course of my first playthrough, I died 35 times but each one felt productive, that despite my momentary setback I was always moving forward making this game incredibly frustrating but also one of the most addictive games I’ve ever played.
There are only 4 decks on the ship to explore but gameplay length is not one of my complaints and in fact, my only complaint about The Persistence is that the environments are fairly generic and insanely dark. I was waiting for some drastic level variety that simply never came and each deck looks and feels only mildly different than the one before it. It’s fortunate that everything else the game does makes up for this in spades.
The required DualShock 4 despite an oddly severe learning curve handles the complex controls admirably. The 3D sound design is absolutely incredible as you’ll usually hear mutants even in other rooms long before you see them. The music and ambient noises increase at just the right times to build suspense or to help scare you to death. It probably took me about 4 hours to stop jumping at every single scare.
Those first 4 hours were beyond intense and sometimes made even just walking from room to room stressful. As you get better and build up your character, you’ll acclimate to the space-ridden house of horrors gaining the much-needed confidence to engage enemies in some creative combat. Just be warned The Persistence is extremely scary and just as difficult. If you dare let someone watch you play there’s a free downloadable app for your tablet or smartphone that lets a second non-VR player invade your game and they can help you or make life miserable.
After 16 hours I finally saw the end of the game and it wasn’t the good ending and I totally failed the last mission but that’s just further incentive to go back, keep leveling up and give it another go. I could go on and on about The Persistence all day because there’s plenty that I didn’t cover including a few different game modes that I still haven’t played yet but figuring this game out, failing at it, and eventually learning from your mistakes is all part of the fun.
I was expecting The Persistence to be really good but I just wasn’t expecting it to be this good, this deep, or this addictive. Simply put you need to play this game if you own a PSVR but don’t worry as there is a flatscreen version of the game as well but it does not have the same effect as with a VR headset.
The Persistence will be available to PlayStation Plus members until Monday, January 3.
The Persistence is a unique blend of the Horror and Roguelike genres and has some intense jump scares with unique Weapons and stat upgrades to keep it fresh.