Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue



Alternate History And Sci-Fi Mysteries Pollinate This VR Game
by Joseph Knoop on Oct 05, 2015 at 10:27 AM
Platform PlayStation 4, PC
Publisher Mindfield Games
Developer Mindfield Games
Release January 2016
Rating Rating Pending

As the release of virtual reality peripherals grows closer, the games industry is beginning to see more titles built specifically for the kinds of experience VR can provide. P.O.L.L.E.N., an alternate history work of science fiction, is one such title.

I got my hands - and eyes - on P.O.L.L.E.N. earlier this year at GDC, and at that point it seemed like the game was too early in development to make assumptions about anything beyond the VR technology. Even then, P.O.L.L.E.N. stood out as a competent exercise in immersive world-building, with a variety of objects to interact with, all encapsulated in a convincing space station environment that echoed and hummed with what little life inhabited it. Some months later, Mindfield Games has now released a new trailer showing off a number of indoor and underground environments, new dialogue from an unnamed character, and details on P.O.L.L..E.N.’s alternate history timeline.

P.O.L.L.E.N., which takes place on Saturn’s sixth and largest moon, Titan, begins after President Kennedy survives a failed assassination attempt. This prompts NASA and Soviet scientists to coordinate the construction of a permanent base on the moon named Research Station M. With the invention of anti-gravity and cooperation of both superpowers expediting space engineering, companies like Rama Industries are able to command the expansion of the human race. After one of Research Station M’s members disappears in a work-related incident, the player is sent in as a replacement technician, prompting the discovery of Titan’s secrets.

The game seems to be a mix of Gone Home’s carefully constructed environmental storytelling and Alien: Isolation’s sterile, yet lived-in space age architecture. There are even a few moments of intense planetside exploration reminiscent of SOMA’s ocean floor segments. It’s unclear if, like Gone Home, the experience will be entirely spent exploring without the threat of a supernatural or extraterrestrial being, but plenty of new footage indicates that there’s something afoot on the station, including the luminescent “pollen” that seems to linger in the air. 

P.O.L.L.E.N. is expected to release in early 2016 for PC with support from HTC Vive, Razer’s OSVR, Oculus Rift, and traditional displays. P.O.L.L.E.N. will also release on the PlayStation 4 with support from PlayStation VR later that year.

Products In This Article



PlayStation 4, PC
Release Date:
January 2016