Loading Human: Chapter 1

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Loading Human: Chapter 1 Game Poster Image
VR sci-fi story weighed down by mediocre pacing.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Player's motivation is to ultimately make a trip into space, recover energy source capable of saving dying father. Heavy-handed look at loyalty, sacrifice, asking whether love, family should come first, what's too much to give for either.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters are mix of positive, negative traits. Prometheus is an adventurous spirit, caring person, though based on player's actions, he can also come across as cold, occasionally lecherous. His father is a brilliant scientist but comes across as a jerk.

Ease of Play

Essentially point-and-click adventure, but VR environment quirks include imprecise aiming, slow, plodding movement.

Violence
Sex

Some sexually suggestive scenes, one featuring player's girlfriend, Alice, wearing lingerie in bed during a conversation, nude in bath, with strategically placed bubbles.

Language

"S--t" occasionally in dialogue.

Consumerism

This is Chapter 1 in planned three-part trilogy, which will require player to buy other two chapters separately to complete, fully understand story.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some dialogue references drinking; there's a dinner scene where players can drink glasses of wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Loading Human: Chapter 1 is a downloadable first-person episodic point-and-click adventure. There's an involved story with a fair amount of drama, but no real violence. There are a few suggestive scenes in the game, centered on the budding romance between the protagonist and a lab assistant. There's occasional use of some profanity in the dialogue, as well as references to drinking alcohol. Parents should also be aware that virtual reality equipment makers don't recommend VR experiences for kids under 12 due to the potential impact the technology may have on younger players’ physiological development.

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What's it about?

In LOADING HUMAN: CHAPTER 1, players take on the role of Prometheus, a young 22nd-century astronaut fresh out of the academy who has been called to his father's research facility in Antarctica. His father is dying, but he has a plan to cheat death with nanobot technology that can repair and regenerate his aging body. To utilize this technology, though, requires an immense power source -- one that can only be found in the farthest reaches of deep space. Prometheus is the key to recovering this power for his ailing father, but can he leave everything he knows and loves behind? More importantly, should he? Loading Human: Chapter 1 sets the stage for a dramatic tale of love, loyalty, duty, and sacrifice.

Is it any good?

Sometimes in storytelling, you can have all the right elements for a fantastic piece of compelling drama but still see the whole thing fall apart in execution. It might be the subpar delivery of an important line. It might be the erratic pacing of the overall theme. It might even be the stray plot thread or two left dangling for the audience to get tangled up in. Loading Human: Chapter 1 is a perfect example of this. If you look really hard and squint your eyes a bit, you can see the beginnings of what should be an interesting and intense interactive adventure. The problem is, the game is weighed down by mediocrity before anything really good gets a chance to develop.

In a character-driven narrative, it's kind of important to make sure that the audience is given someone to care about. In Loading Human: Chapter 1, you're never given much reason to relate to or bond with any of the few characters you deal with. It's never a good sign when the AI character has more personality than the actual human beings. It doesn't help that the game's story plods along at a snail's pace. Moving through the virtual environment feels like moving through virtual molasses, a problem made worse by the game's less-than-responsive controls. While solving puzzles during review, more than once it was necessary to physically step away before letting the imprecise movements further ruin the experience. Oddly, though, it feels like, if the movements and controls were improved, the player would finish the game too quickly. There's nothing in Loading Human: Chapter 1 that can't be fixed in later chapters, but this first act is supposed to convince players to come back for more. Instead, it feels like little more than a glorified, drawn-out, and expensive demo.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sacrifice and loyalty. How much would be considered too much to give up or to ask another to sacrifice out of blind loyalty?

  • Talk about the evolution of virtual reality. How are games working to bring players more into the experience, and how far is left to go before reaching a believable recreation of reality?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love science fiction

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