Mixture for PSVR 2 review: Can it knock Moss off its throne?

Mixture for PSVR 2 review: Can it knock Moss off its throne?

With Mixture, the Polish studio Played With Fire wants to compete with games like Moss and Astro Bot. Our review reveals whether it works.

There is no question that the opening sequence of Mixture is pretty bizarre: a female knight with dazzling armor and a stylish helmet stands in front of me, looks at me scrutinizingly, then waves at me briefly and taps my face. Shortly after, she leans in my direction — accompanied by a beam of light — and our two bodies merge.

What follows is the odyssey of two identities — the little knight Sola and the giant master alchemist Sephairos — who must now work closely together to thwart a large-scale conspiracy. However, they must not fail, otherwise their world would be doomed.

Mixture: Review in a nutshell

Mixture lets you slip into the role of two characters that you control simultaneously. The result is reminiscent of Moss, but spices up the formula with an interesting potion mechanic that allows you to influence battles and manipulate the environment in a variety of ways.

  • Tested on: Playstation VR 2
  • Available for: PSVR 2, Meta Quest 3, Quest 2 and Quest Pro as well as PC VR headsets

Mixture is suitable for you if you...

  • have devoured action platformers like Astro Bot and Moss
  • enjoy challenging battles from a more distant perspective
  • like to immerse yourself in expansive, mysterious fantasy worlds

Mixture is less suitable for you if you...

  • don't like fighting a variety of enemy types at the same time
  • have little platforming experience and are stressed by timing-critical situations
  • prefer to experience stories fully voiced

That's what Mixture is all about

In terms of game mechanics, Mixture is clearly inspired by Moss. From a third-person perspective, I guide my character through various biomes, which require platforming skills on the one hand and confront me with battles on the other. The interesting thing here is the fact that I not only control Sola directly, but also have to intervene in the action in the role of Sephairos in order to progress. This is where six different throwing potions come into play, which significantly influence both the environment and the duels.

Gleich mehrere Feinde wurden von einem Verkleben-Trank getroffen und sind kurz bewegungsunfähig. Sola hat jetzt leichtes Spiel.

Several enemies have been hit by a sticky potion and are briefly immobilized. Now it's easy for Sola to attack them. | Image: Played With Fire

If I hurl a yellow sticky potion at an enemy, for example, they become entangled in the sticky mass for about five to six seconds and have nothing left to counter Sola's scythe attacks. However, this same potion can also seal ventilation shafts for a while, diverting wind currents or hold wobbly platforms in position.

Or let's take the rebound potion. With its help, I can make otherwise rigid platforms sway, turning them into a kind of trampoline, which then catapults Sola upwards. As the otherwise agile heroine cannot jump, the latter maneuver in particular is important in many situations in order to gain height and reach platforms further away.

If I target an opponent with a rebound potion, on the other hand, this also has interesting effects. If I hit a wildly snapping opponent that looks like a bullet, first with bounce and then with Sola's scythe, this transforms the nasty attacker into a fast-paced projectile with a homing function. Extremely practical!

Nothing works without resources

The most important prerequisites for brewing potions are sulfur, mercury, and crystals. To mine the yellow, silver and sparkling resource deposits, I first have to locate them in my surroundings and then stretch out my left hand while holding down the grab button on the controller. The actual crafting of the potions is done by pressing the R1 button on the right controller to call up the so-called recipe wheel and moving my hand to the desired potion.

Oberhalb des linken grünes Flusses erkennt ihr ein orangenes Schwefel-Vorkommen.

You can see an orange sulphur deposit above the green river on the left. | Image: Played With Fire

Sounds pretty simple. However, especially in hectic skirmishes against ever new waves of enemies, it happened to me several times, especially at the beginning, that I selected the wrong potion in the rush of battle. Especially when I had to change my view of the level using snap rotation and the recipe selection wheel was suddenly no longer where I expected it to be. With a bit of practice, however, I eventually got the hang of it.

Auto-aiming needs a bit of fine-tuning

The auto-aim function is also not one hundred percent intuitive. Ultimately, the aiming aid only takes effect if a potion symbol actually appears above the targeted enemy or environmental object. If this is not the case, the hurled mixture hits the ground like a wet sack.

From time to time, I also have to trace symbols on walls to activate hidden mechanisms, draw rings along energy lines to set platforms in motion and much more.


Die Puzzle in Mixture sind oft so angelegt, dass bestimmte Plattformen in die richtige Position bringen müsst.

The puzzles in Mixture are often designed so that certain platforms have to be placed in the right position. | Image: Played With Fire

The varied gameplay is rounded off by a compact but charming upgrade system. The core resource for this are golden seeds, which the developers usually place in rather difficult-to-reach places within the levels. Once I have found enough, I can then exchange them for various improvements from various NPCs in the HUB area.

Small seeds with a big effect

For 15 seeds, for example, I can unlock charged attacks from Kane. These attacks are particularly effective, but restrict my mobility while charging. Eri, on the other hand, offers practical potion enhancements such as resource recycling, whereby killed enemies always leave behind a small amount of crafting resources.

That leaves NPC Zep. In exchange for seeds, he equips Sola with powerful new wings, including the blue Hermes wings for a triple dash or the Amaranth wings, which leave a poison trail. Not forgetting the armored wings, which protect me from a counter-hit in battles and then recharge.

Die blauen Hermes Schwingen sehen nicht nur gut aus, sondern erlauben es auch, das Ausweichmanöver dreimal hintereinander durchzuführen. Erst dann setzt ein Cooldown ein.

The blue Hermes wings not only look good, but also allow me to perform the dodge maneuver three times in a row. Only then does a cooldown kick in. | Image: Played With Fire

Speaking of battles: They are quite challenging early on and always require a certain amount of tactical planning. Especially when several enemy types approach from different directions. Do I use my sticky potion first to knock flying, fire-breathing enemies out of the sky? Or do I first paralyze the heavily armoured golems that are constantly at my heels on the ground? And where can I find more resources if I run out of potions? These recurring considerations make the battles feel very dynamic.

Fair checkpoints, but also polishing issues

I can't save manually before tricky passages. However, as save points are distributed quite densely, the frustration factor is generally limited. What I found much more annoying was the lack of fine-tuning in some places. For example, some of the level exits are not clearly marked.

Also annoying: If I put the headset aside, for example because a call comes in, the height of the camera is sometimes no longer set correctly when I put it back on. Although manual recalibration is possible, it could not properly adjust the viewing height in the review version. The problem could only be solved by guiding Sola into the abyss and waiting until she reappeared at the next checkpoint. Considering the plethora of program updates that the developers have released in the few days after Mixture's release, I wouldn't be surprised if these issues are also fixed in the near future.

Nice, but doesn't utilize the power of the PS5 by far

Finally, a few words about the presentation based on the Unity Engine. It largely corresponds to the Quest version, but looks a tad sharper. However, considering the power of the PS5, I would have liked to see a little more visual detail and additional effects. All in all, however, the visual style, characterized by many dark pastel colors, is pleasing and provides surprises in each of the four biomes.

Der minimalistische Artstyle von Mixture ist ansprechend. Hier und dort hätten mehr Detailanimationen das Ergebnis aber noch aufgewertet.

The minimalist art style of Mixture is appealing. Here and there, however, more detailed animations would have enhanced the result. | Image: Played With Fire

Acoustically, the action is accompanied by sometimes stirring, sometimes calmer, but generally always appropriate sounds. If there is dialog between the characters, the makers rely on text overlays, at the beginning of which the participants usually say a few words in a fantasy language. The result is fine. However, to give the atmosphere an extra push, full English voice-overs wouldn't have hurt. Also because reading longer dialog texts in VR can sometimes be quite exhausting.

Verdict: Strong Moss alternative with good ideas and a decent scope

Admittedly, in direct comparison with Moss, Mixture took longer to suck me into its world. However, once I had mastered the first few battles and overcome the quirks of the somewhat cumbersome aim assist function, Mixture developed a pleasant flow.

An die Schwachstellen des ersten Bosses kommt ihr nur, wenn ihr die Lüftungsschächte am Boden verklebt.

You can only get to the weak points of the first boss by gluing the ventilation shafts to the floor. | Image: Played With Fire

At the same time, the developers regularly introduce fresh gameplay elements like new potions, upgrades, and enemies. There are also half a dozen boss battles, which — just like many platforming passages — will remain fondly in my memory. Add to this the seven to ten hours of gameplay, and the bottom line is a VR game that I can only warmly recommend to fans of the genre. Despite its minor comfort deficiencies.

You can buy Mixture here

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