The Gamescom 2016 VR Roundup: Part 2
We're back with a few more of the great VR games I got my hands on at Gamescom 2016. These were things I saw on the second day, and focussed more on solo fun instead of multiplayer experiences.
Let's get on with it. I'm already regretting the term solo fun.
Tucked away off the show floor in the Italian booth was this, a VR game about filling a grayscale world with colour. Instead of the narrow and tightly controlled spaces you see in many VR games, Lantern allows you to explore a fairly large, open world and fill it with colour.
It's not quite Journey, but there's something about floating through the colourful, well drawn levels that really engrossed me. When you restore all colour to a village, they'll release lanterns into the sky around you.
It's serene, it's slow paced, but it's a perfect example of the different things VR can be used for.
Runes doesn't feel a million miles away from CCP's Project Arena, except instead of duelling another player, you're trying to survive a gauntlet of enemies as you slowly descend towards a portal on a floating rock.
This hands-on is mechanically just an elevator shoot-out, but there's something about tossing fireballs with one hand while you ward off dangers with a shield gripped in your other hand that just feels right.
There's supposedly much more to the full game (and we're hoping to play and write about more stuff soon) but for now it's best just to take it for what it is: a great blaster that uses room-scale VR in a low-key way to draw you into the gameplay. They're promising 100 different spells too. Yes, 100. And I had a great time with only two.
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
I wasn't expecting much from Serious Sam's virtual adventure, but then I forgot how much fun every Serious Sam game always is. Whenever it's released, whatever your prejudice or bias, the FPS Serious Sam games always seem to bring a smile to your face, however momentary.
So, here I am, inhabiting Sam's oddly silent body and blasting some Alien bad-guys like it ain't no thing. It's horde mode. Aliens run at you, getting increasingly more difficult to deal with until you get overwhelmed.
To help, you've got a range of weapons that you can hold in a single hand, letting you dual wield a variety of wacky weapons. Later, the game takes you to a darkened cave and, to put it frankly, scares the crap out of you. It's no Brookhaven Experiment, of course, but it's a big fun blaster.
I can hear you now: 'The Climb has been out since April' you shout, fictional but still incredibly enthused. 'Who cares about The Climb?'
Well, it hasn't been out with Oculus Touch support since April, and the addition of room-scale VR and arm tracking turns what was a neat idea into an incredibly compelling package. 20 minutes of climbing using the Oculus Touch felt like I'd just spent some time scaling the climbing walls at a centre near me.
It's the same game, but having to move yourself around with your arms and lunge wildly for handholds takes what was a fairly serene yet enjoyable game and makes it an adventure game that gives you a full body workout every time you play it. If you're going room-scale, you'll want to give this a look-see.