To fight against the gloomy winter, the developers offer Lantern which is presented as a relaxing meditative game. Note that the game is playable "normally" but also in virtual reality with the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift.
I started the adventure on HTC Vive, so in virtual reality. I find myself on the loading screen and there, surprise, my HTC controllers do not react. I try all the buttons, nothing. Then I realize that I can move the mouse and that I therefore have to manage to select the right menu with my mouse while trying to see where I click through the headset. Not easy. Laboriously, I managed to launch the summer level. As you can imagine, there are four levels, one for each season.
After a brief cutscene, I find myself in a small gray village with Asian architecture, carried away by pleasant music. I play a pretty Chinese lantern which is surrounded by an area marked with yellow. Any other lantern passing through the area of effect is lit while the scenery is colored. The grip is really not easy, the lantern moves forward with the space key and it is necessary to use the mouse to activate its special abilities: left click to temporarily increase the area of effect of the light and right click I believe it is acceleration. Having two screens, I never know where my pointer is and, suddenly, I often find myself on the second. I am then forced to remove the helmet, find my pointer, then put the helmet back on. Not great.
A little laboriously, I succeeded in lighting all my lanterns, the village is much more beautiful than when I arrived having regained its colors. A large door opens, then I go into a valley at the foot of a large snow-capped mountain. Lanterns are to be lit everywhere, I continue my journey and bring joy to the decor which regains its colors after my visit. The graphics are nice, I couldn't fault that. Music is also perfect for the universe. But the laborious handling quickly makes me nauseous, far from the promise of a restful experience.
A little disappointed, I turn off the headphones and try again in classic mode. The handling is not more pleasant, the lantern does not react very well, it hangs in the background, it is not possible to turn around and I really regret this choice of controls. They should have simply stayed on the classic arrow keys, and used Space to go up, Shift to go down. It would have been perfect. In VR, they could use the triggers to move forward and just point in the direction of the head. Because the world is really pretty and we really want to explore. But all joy is overshadowed too quickly.
In addition, if I believe the screenshots from the press kit, there are really other environments that are just as pleasant to visit.
At the moment, I really don't recommend Lantern. For a game of this type, it is essential that the exploration be natural, otherwise the immersion is missed. Unfortunately, this is currently the case. On the other hand, I will monitor the updates made, it would not take much for the game to become enjoyable.