I had only played 5 minutes of VR before arriving at the Fast Forward Games booth at Gamescom, and that was four and a half days of those five minutes before I tried (and failed) to pick up a virtual backpack off the ground.
When I was taken to meet the first of three VR developers in less than two hours at Fast Travel Games, I didn’t have high expectations. I also had a pretty good experience with the help of a few developers, which I think says a lot about how intuitive VR experiences can be when you truly immerse yourself in the digital world.
The first game I tried was Broken Edge from Canadian developer Trebuchet. It was probably a good start, as sword fighting games usually don’t have complex input buttons and almost use motion controls like Kinect or PlayStation Move games. What really sets the game apart from most other sword games, with or without motion control, is speed, or rather the lack thereof.
In Broken Edge, you don’t run around killing enemies like you normally do in other games. Instead, the game follows the path of a more methodical style of play that rewards careful and precise movement. You can hit your opponent if you just shake it, but the damage will be insignificant. You have to move in certain patterns and time your special attacks to deal real damage, which I think in some ways at least mimics real swordsmanship.
In my case, as I played like a barbarian, it wasn’t like hitting a golf ball or hitting a baseball, it was all about moving it in wide arcs. This adds real combat weight that isn’t easy to achieve in VR, says creative director Guillaume Perreault Roy:
“Damage can be hard to deal with in VR because nothing physical can stop you from hitting or moving. Well, we’ve created flashy animations where swords break when hit or your character is thrown back, because that will automatically do you too.” Or at least that’s what we want.”
When you land a sword strike, the colorful visual effects definitely make it clear to you and help maintain the illusion of holding two swords. The whole gameplay is simple, but has quite a different art style with simple pastel colors. However, it’s not just a stylistic choice, as some of the gear’s abilities are reserved for dealing with online sword duels. 2022.
The next game on the list was a little more intense than the previous one. EverSlaught Invasion from small German developer MobX is all about frenetic cooperative action as you and your friend race through waves of zombie enemies.
This was my first time to move freely in a virtual space and it was quite a dizzying experience. On top of that (for me at least), the game is progressing at a pretty high speed. It’s a deliberate move as the developers aimed to create an old-school shooter feel.
Fortunately, as waves of enemies from Assassin’s Creed or Prince of Persia that looked like a weird Arabian city started approaching at the first level, my discomforts lessened and of course there were just more bloodthirsty monsters. .
“We were often inspired by games we played when we were little, like Diablo for example. But instead of opting for this medieval European style, we decided to go with a more Middle Eastern feel because that wasn’t the case. ” says.
While watching the tutorial, I was amazed at how accurately the game recorded the damage dealt, based on the trajectory and speed of my hits. None of this helped when monsters started appearing, because everything was moving too fast for my liking. EverSlaught Invasion is clearly designed for experienced VR gamers. That said, the controls are very intuitive, and I had no problem switching to my portable cannon and sending enemies there while one of the developers hacked the remaining monsters.
“We’re trying to achieve high replayability by providing new options to increase character skills, get weapon upgrades, and choose from three classes. You can also find new weapons in levels and upgrade them to change your weapon skills. For example, Chief game designer Niklas Wirths said, “freezing enemies, key features that let you shock or hook it up,” he says.
I can clearly imagine EverSkaught Invasion going to be a co-op hit when it comes out for Meta Quest 2 in early 2023. However, it is not yet clear whether it will have enough content for solo players.
We are one
After all this violence, We Are One will turn things around for the better. The debut game from Salzburg-based Flat Head Studio is more than just a unique puzzle experience where you have to team up with one of your most loyal friends, yourself.
“You’re in a time loop and have to play the same loop over and over, but in a different place. And everything you do in the last game is copied as a clone of yourself. Well, you need to work together. you me from the past and you from the future,” explains the level designer and co-founder. Philipp Sigl about this unique concept.
The levels start with you standing in a tree and looking around. You have a limited time and a certain number of small plants you can plant, and they turn into people with plant traits or clones.
In one of the first levels, I had to shoot two enemies as they were crushed by a fallen tree trunk. To defeat them I had to switch with one of my clones, the problem was that I only had one pistol and that meant I couldn’t instantly kill the second enemy, instead I had to wait for my first clone to finish the job. Unfortunately, after killing the first few enemies, I carelessly dropped my pistol, so I couldn’t get my hands on it to shoot the second clone. The bug was fixed quickly, the first episode was replayed but still showing how careful you have to be when working in a loop.
Like any good puzzle, the simple mechanics have been stepped up and provide a challenge with a bit of action, as hitting enemies requires real precision. There are also attacks to avoid enemies during gameplay which adds more intensity. “We’re considering having around 50 levels in the full version, which is probably two and a half to three hours of content. After release, we’re considering adding a level editor where players can create and share their own puzzles,” explains Daniel Wiendl, technical chief and co-founder to us.
After playing just a few levels, it’s too early to tell that this little seed will turn into an elaborate puzzle, but what I do know is that it has a lot of potential. While we don’t yet know when We Are One will be out for Meta Quest 2.
Fast Travel Games announced two new games to be released under its label
In addition to these three titles we saw at Gamescom 2022, Fast Travel Games announced that it will release Guardians Frontline, a strategic sci-fi game for SteamVR and Meta Quest 2, and will do the same with Ghost Signal: A Stellaris. The game is an action title in space, reminiscent of a modern version of Asteroids.
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