We now know the release windows for upcoming Quest titles including A Fisherman’s Tale, Vacation Simulator and The Under Presents.
A Fisherman’s Tale, the mind-bending puzzle game that released earlier this year on PC VR and PSVR, was announced for Quest a few months ago at OC6. The game will launch on November 28 for the Quest, which will no doubt be a great addition for the platform given how much we loved it in our review earlier this year. The game also recently won big at the 2019 VR Awards, where it took home the coveted ‘VR Game of the Year’ award.
In other news, Vacation Simulation also has a confirmed Quest release date – you’ll be able to visit holiday locales on your Quest from December 13. Vacation Simulator is the latest title from Google-owned Owlchemy Labs, the developers of Job Simulator. The former is essentially a sequel to the latter, which released on PC VR and PSVR earlier this year.
The Under Presents, from ‘Virtual Virtual Reality’ developers Tender Claws, now appears in the ‘Coming Soon’ section on the Oculus Quest store. While we still don’t have a confirmed release date yet, appearing in the store as ‘coming soon’ has traditionally been a good sign that a release date reveal is imminent. The Under Presents is a Quest-exclusive title, funded by Oculus Studios, that is theatrically-centered and will feature a loop of “different live and recorded acts coming and going.” It was scheduled for a holiday release this year, which lines up with its new appearance in the ‘Coming Soon’ section of the Oculus Store.
Which upcoming Quest game are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments below.
Golem, a long-delayed PSVR exclusive, finally emerged from the shadows this week. First announced in 2015, the debut title from Highwire Games has made a habit of disappearing for months on end following last-minute push backs. This week, all that ends. But there’s still one more Golem-related delay we have for you, and that’s for our full review.
See, there’s a lot to talk about with Golem. From its troublesome movement system that upsets an otherwise lavishly-produced game, to the puzzling roguelike elements and the considered pacing of its combat. But it’s that last point that’s led me to an unfortunate stalemate with a game I so desperately want to love but keep being rejected by.
Golem’s melee-based combat works a lot like Star Wars: Vader Immortal. You must first hold your weapon of choice up to block an incoming attack, telegraphed by the movement of your gigantic opponents. Block a succession of attacks and you’ll momentarily expose a weak point. You need to really seize that opportunity; hesitate for even a second and you’ll miss your window.
When the game works, this makes for a thrilling war of attrition. When it doesn’t, it amounts to one of if not the most infuriating experience I’ve had in VR, one I can’t justify continuing on with right now.
Sometimes, Golem’s blocking doesn’t really seem to register. I hold my weapon out, confident I’m about to block an attack and it just… doesn’t work. With most encounters, this is frustrating, but it won’t cost you the battle so long as you quickly regain your focus. Not only that but sometimes an enemy exposes their weak point just out of reach from you and, with the game’s sluggish movement, you can’t react and close the gap in time. Worse yet, sometimes they expose their weak point just before a heavy attack that can’t be blocked. If you’re out of reach you’ll miss your shot, but they probably won’t miss theirs.
A short time into the game, though, you encounter an enemy that, with the right amount of force, can kill you with one hit. One mistake, either on your part or (what I perceive to be) the game’s and you’re gone.
But you’re not just gone. You’re back to a checkpoint ten minutes away, forced to slog through the environment again and do another two or three other battles again before you reach that moment. Plus you’ll lose the gear you had in that battle, so there’s a chance you’re heading into the fight in worse shape than last time. So losing isn’t just a little annoying, it’s deeply costly.
So, I present to you Exhibit A. This is the culprit. In this video I make two blocks; one around five seconds in, another around 30 seconds in. Watch along.
Now I’ll give you that the first block might not seem legit; I hold the weapon upside down to give myself more room, though this usually works. Plus you can hear the sound of the block. The second hit, however, I find pretty indefensible. In my mind, I’ve clearly made that block; my weapon is there in time. Not that I’m obsessing too much about this (can you tell?) But here’s the exact millisecond before I die.
I mean, that looks like it’s on course for a block, does it not? It doesn’t seem like the game cares either way. Even if I get lucky on the blocking, chances are he’ll execute a heavy attack, I’ll take a swipe to try and stop him, realize I’m not standing close enough and, by then, it’s already too late.
Now, I’ve agonized over this today. I know that some people have got past this section. I know some people will tell me to just ‘git gud’. I’m frankly a little terrified that there’s something I’m missing or I’m just not playing the game right. But then I started to think back to all of the other sword-slinging VR games I’ve conquered. Vanishing Realms, for example. Heck, I think I was one of the first people to surpass Wave 40 in Vader Immortal’s Lightsaber Dojo.
To put it simply, I have had enough experiences with great VR melee combat to know when something doesn’t feel right.
So I’m not going to stick a review score on Golem, at least not right now, as much as I’d like to. I frankly haven’t seen enough of the game and refuse to subject myself to much more of this random torture. I’ll be fascinated to see if players have a similar experience to me as they start getting their hands on the game tomorrow. If there is a deeper problem, I’m hopeful Highwire is able to address it through patches. Right now, however, Golem feels stuck in the stone age, and I have no desire to spend much more time there.
VR horror game Affected: The Manor is coming to the Oculus Quest system many years after its initial launch.
The horror app was an early VR experience for Gear VR back in 2016. It’s a short but effective game, if you could call it that. The developers, Fallen Planet Studio, designed Affected: The Manor so it “does not follow the traditional gaming blueprint of objective-based tasks and gamification elements; instead, its main aim is to scare.”
The Quest version will receive a few updates to the original game including hand interactions and increased environmental interactions. The game assets have also been reworked for “a more seamless experience.” This “remastered version” will launch November 23 on Quest, and then also make it’s way to PSVR “in time for Christmas.” We’re not sure whether the remastered version will be a free update for existing owners of the game on PSVR, or a separate purchase — we’ll update this post if we clarify.
This isn’t the only classic VR horror game to come to the Quest lately either. Dreadhalls also launched a Quest version early last month, meaning that the Quest now has two early VR horror titles as part of its ever-expanding library.
Are you a fan of Affected: The Manor? Let us know in the comments below.
Ready to head to the clouds and take on The Tempest? Not without our handy Stormland tips, you’re not.
Insomniac’s latest VR game offers a sprawling mass of islands to shoot your way across. But there are several elements to Stormland that make it a bit more complex than your average first-person shooter. So settle into our Stormland tips guide before you head out into the wilds and make sure you’re prepared.
11 Stormland Tips To Get You Started
Stormland basically makes you a cross between Iron Man and Captain America; you can perform athletic miracles like throwing yourself up cliff faces at lighting speed, but also hover in the air and throw yourself across chasms. Treat combat as a fluid, agile experience; don’t get bogged down on the floor all the time. Use verticality to your advantage. One thing you should try instead of jumping with the standard button is to grab hold of the ground and use it to fling yourself upwards. It gives you great mobility.
Don’t Start A Run On Monday
Stormland is a live game; its world resets every week and you start your mission to take down Terminus from scratch. This happens on Tuesdays at 9:00 AM EDT/6:00 AM PDT/2:00 PM GMT. From that point, wherever you are in a run, you’ll need to start from the bottom all over again. It’s a good idea, not to start a run close to that time unless you intend to see it through in one sitting. You’ll keep your resources but you’ll have wasted a lot of time.
Get Into The Habit Of Dismantling Most Guns
Stormland doesn’t have a reload function. Once a gun is out of ammo, it’s useless to you if you’re out in the field. But don’t just drop it on the ground; that’s wasteful and you risk accidentally putting an empty gun in one of your holster slots. Instead, get into the rhythm of grabbing your empty gun from the top with your free hand and then pulling it apart. Doing this nets you some alloys you can later spend on new weapons, refills and upgrades. Not much, mind you, but it’s a greener way to discard of your unwanted weapons.
…But Keep Your Rare Finds For Later
That said, you shouldn’t necessarily dispose of every gun as soon as it’s empty. You can refill its ammo, but only back at a workbench (and for a cost). This is a bit of a hassle and, nine times out of ten, it’s better to just get rid of it and find a new one. But if you find an especially helpful gun, maybe one that’s a level or two up from what you have available to purchase, it might be worth keeping hold of it and seeking out a bench.
Seek Out Checkpoints Before Getting Into A Fight
Chances are, if you’re about to get into a big fight, there’s a checkpoint nearby. They’re circular platforms attached to a small tower, often located near a workbench. It’s worth dotting around the island to find one if you’re about to get into a big fight, otherwise you risk respawning on the other side of the map if you die. Not that it takes you long to return to the same point, but it saves a bit of time.
Unlock Multiplayer As Soon As Possible
Oddly enough, the multiplayer unlock is actually a side quest in Stormland, though you’ll likely end up doing it very early on. The mission is called Lost Operator and it opens up after doing one of the first main missions in the story. You can find out more about how to unlock it in our guide here. Once you have it, you can enjoy all of Stormland with a friend and, frankly, it’s much better that way.
Unlock Upgrade Nodes As Soon As Possible
In Stormland, the upgrades you attach to your body are only temporary. But unlocking additional nodes to attach more upgrades is permanent. Unlocking nodes costs the same currency as usual upgrades — a mix of alloys and Aeon Buds — so it’s best to get the heavy spending on unlocks out of the way early so you never have to think about it again. If you follow any of our Stormland tips, make it this one!
Choose Your Upgrades VERY Carefully; You’ll Have Them For A Week
As you probably know by now, Stormland resets itself every week. The world is remixed, objectives are refreshed and new conditions are established. You’ll also have all your upgrades stripped back and you’ll need to purchase them again. Once they’re attached, though, you can’t take them off until the next cycle. So make sure to pick ones that are the most helpful, especially given the conditions of that week’s cycle. You don’t want to spend all your slots on features you won’t use.
Stormland’s resources system features two main currencies: alloys and Aeon Buds. Alloys can be used to buy weapons and upgrades, while buds are primarily reserved for character upgrades. Harvesting each, however, is ridiculously simple. Alloys come from metal deposits growing out of the ground, crates and dismantling weapons. Buds come from crushing fruit growing on trees and finding rare flowers. You can also get scores of both from grabbing the seed-like object at the top of the heavily guarded towers in each layer of the Stormland. But, basically, you are never far from either of these two things, and you should gather them as often as possible. Use your wrist-mounted gun to avoid wasting ammo when harvesting.
Get Four Weapon Slots As Soon As Possible But Hold Five Guns
You start off the game with just two weapon slots. Pretty soon on, you can unlock a permanent third over-the-shoulder slot at a workbench. But you can also purchase a fourth slot every week from an upgrade terminal. Given Stormland’s ammo situation, it’s far better to stockpile fully-loaded weapons than it is to scrounge leftovers from dead enemies. Having four weapon slots filled leaves you with the least chance of being caught in the middle of combat without any ammo. Better yet, take a fifth weapon in your hand; you’ll still be able to climb up structures but you might need to put it down to do some two-handed interactions.
Switch Between Dual-Wielding And Two-Handed Guns Appropriately
Perhaps my favorite feature in Stormland is that any gun can be held with either one or two hands. If you choose the latter option, your weapon morphs to accommodate your free hand. This makes them more accurate and, frankly, it feels cooler. But you need to choose the right times for both two-handed and dual-wielding combat. Two-handed is for long-range, cover-based shootouts. Dual-wielding is when you’re standing right in front of an enemy and want them dead ASAP. Just make sure you’re choosing the right setup for the right situation.
A new VR title, Shuttle Commander, will let you recreate the Hubble Telescope Missions. Shuttle Commander is planned for “all major VR platforms” in 2019 but currently does not have a specific release date.
The experience will offer “accurate recreations of the space missions, the shuttle cockpit and Hubble Space Telescope” and allow you to play through various different aspects of the Hubble missions. You’ll be able to play as a member of the Shuttle crew, take part in deployment, upgrade and servicing of the telescope and land the Shuttle back on Earth. There will even be scoreboards and achievements for shuttle landings.
Shuttle Commander is developed by Immersive VR Education — the creators behind a series of educational VR projects including Apollo 11 — and the new project also allows you to “experience the discoveries of the Hubble Telescope and how it changed our understanding of the universe around us.” According to the description on their YouTube video, Shuttle Commander will be available on “all major VR platforms” this year and trailer itself also features the Oculus, Vive, SteamVR logo and PlayStation logos.
Will you be launching off into space when Shuttle Commander lifts off later this year? Let us know in the comments below.