Tag Archive

Developer nDreams Brings Bloody Zombies to Xbox One, PS4, Oculus and HTC Vive This September

Posted on August 4, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

I probably lost you at the headline… Zombies and Virtual Reality? Is there a combination of things that been overdone in the past few years than immersive goggles and the undead? Well nDreams’ Bloody Zombies isn’t your typical wave based Zombie FPS title that has risen to flood the steam store as of late. It is more of a VR enhanced title with a cartoony art style and from the promotional trailers and materials looks like it will be one to keep an out on.

Bloody Zombies is a cel-shaded 2.5D brawler with colorful cartoony graphics reminiscent of Cel Damage HD or 2002’s XIII. It looks more like a gruesome over the top vibrant work of art come to life than it does the grey/brown mess other “realistic” zombie titles have adopted (is it fair to call a Zombie game realistic when it involves corpse reanimating themselves?) In this side scrolling beat ‘em up you and four friends get to explore a post apocalyptic London – finding new ways to re-murder the undead before they turn you into one of the shambling hordes. VR and non-VR players battle side by side with VR players being able to unlock hidden secrets for the rest of the party.

Anthony White, co-founder of Paw Print Games had this to say about their latest title in a recent press release:

“We’re massive fans of brawler games and have spent countless hours analyzing the genre, crafting Bloody Zombies in to a modern interpretation of the classics. VR adds a new twist to what is already a great TV experience; enhancing the gameplay and visuals and adding a wow factor. We can’t wait for people to get their hands on Bloody Zombies…”

Bloody Zombies is available for pre-order on both the PlayStation Network and Steam store front. It is currently priced at $15.19 CDN (including a pre-release 10% discount) on Steam, no official pricing is available on the North American PlayStation Store as of press time. It will launch worldwide on September 12th.


BrokenJoysticks Announces Partnership With vrgamecritic

Posted on June 3, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Virtual Reality is an emerging technology that I am really passionate about and while our site has only reviewed a handful of VR compatible titles. it is something that I hope to change in the coming months. It is this with this passion in mind that we’ve teamed up with vrgamecritic.com to help aggregate our eventual expanded VR related content to new readers.

Vrgamecritic.com is a reviews aggregate that functions like Metacritic and other similar services – combining multiple reviews from multiple outlets to bring about an aggregated score for a given title. Only their focus is strictly within the realm of VR exclusive and VR enabled titles within console & PC.

I also know that an aggregated score is not a perfect metric when it comes to determining the quality of a title – some of my favorite non-VR games probably have low aggregate scores, to be honest. In terms of reviews, both external and those published here, in the end, the judgment on whether a title was enjoyable or not is subjective within a reviewer’s experience with the game. Also, a written or video review doesn’t represent equate to the enjoyment you may get from a given game.  But there is a certain appeal to seeing a distilled selection of opinions on a given title – I can understand why visitors to aggregate sites come to them and why services like Steam have embedded other aggregates on their store pages.

BrokenJoysticks is going to continue to review everything from AAA to Indie to Free to Play titles as we have for the past half decade. After the absolute chaos that is E3 ends we will be doing quite a few Virtual Reality related pieces and reviews. With companies like Microsoft bringing $399 controller + headset combos and technologies like NoloVR entering production – VR is becoming more accessible in it’s the second year of commercial availability and I want our outlet to provide new VR adaptors with opinions about some of the games that are available to them.


EVE Valkyrie Wormhole Update Now Live

Posted on February 16, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

CCP Games has rolled out a new major update to EVE: Valkyrie on both Windows PC and PlayStation VR that introduces Wormholes to the multiplayer space dog fighting title. Wormholes are essentially weekly challenges that will introduce players to advanced encounters and gameplay types that will test their piloting ability.  Each wormhole encounter will feature a different rotation of available ships, visuals that will help differentiate them from one another and special Wormhole only loot that may be available for a limited time.

Here is how CCP described Wormholes on their developer blog:

“Each wormhole also comes with its own pre-selected set of Ship Loadouts, which will automatically be assigned to your Launchtubes when you enter. Everyone gets the same set of Loadouts, fully upgraded, whether they normally have access to them or not. This provides an excellent opportunity for pilots to try out Loadouts that they might not currently have access to, or rarely fly, but also gives each wormhole its own distinct feel – its own little meta-microcosm.”

Wormholes are available in a separate matchmaking queue and these limited time events do not affect a pilot’s overall standings such as leaderboard rank, kill-death-ratio or other stats but players will still earn XP while participating in Wormhole events.

Also newly available is the Leagues Alpha system – Valkyrie’s answer to ladder matchmaking where players are placed in a specific pool. No longer constrained by your pilot rating players will find themselves assigned the rank of Emerald at the beginning of their League Alpha career and have a chance to ascend through the aptly named Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond ranks. CCP also wrote a blog about the basics of the League Alpha feature on their official Valkyrie league.

Here is a basic primer on the League Alpha feature provided by CCP and how it will work in regards to planned seasons:

“Seasons work in three key ways:

  • They give players more opportunities to be promoted within the Leagues
  • Seasons provide definitive end points where rewards can be given
  • Most importantly, Seasons can offer a clean slate so that cumulative data is not a governing factor in measuring our best pilots

In many ways, the alpha release of the Valkyrie League can be regarded as a Season in itself. Once the alpha is underway, we can see how the systems are holding up and then more accurately plan our first true Valkyrie Season.”


CES 2017: An Up Close Look At Microsoft’s Windows 10 VR Initiative

Posted on January 6, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

It has been a few months since we last heard from Microsoft’s Virtual Reality initiative set to launch later this year with the Windows 10 Creator’s Update. In the Fall the operating system developer promised to deliver several Virtual Reality focused improvements to Windows 10 – including a 3D version of paint, support for the company’s “mixed reality” and the implementation of Windows Holographic (which powers HoloLens) into the main branch of Windows 10.

Now that the Consumer Electronics Show is in full swing technology focused site NeoWin got an up-close look at some of the consumer focused VR headsets that will launch alongside the Creator’s Update later this spring.  These include headsets from Dell, HP, Lenovo and ACER – as was previously announced.

Here are the up-close shots of said headsets from CES:

Acer Headset

Dell Headset

Lenovo Headset

3Glasses Headset

Microsoft previously also unveiled the minimum specifications required to run these headsets – for basic operations they should work on even the most modest modern laptop with 4GB of an integrated graphics card from the past couple of years. One major difference between these headsets and the higher end competition like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift (aside from price, these Windows Holographic headsets will start at $200 USD) is the refresh rate. The HTC Vive and Oculus rift can support up to 120hz, meaning that interactive experiences with frame rates ranging up to 120 FPS can be enjoyed for full immersion. These cheaper headsets will be capped at 60hz or 60 frames per second, and depending on your tolerance for motion sickness and lag, these cheaper headsets may not be ideal for gaming.

Here’s hoping we’ll see some real-world tests with these headsets in the future.



Shift Controller To Offer Room Scale Like Experience Without Sensors

Posted on December 28, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Virtual Reality motion controllers can add to the immersion of an interactive experience but setting up various base-stations and sensors can be a daunting task for the less hardcore among us. The Shift cross-platform controller purports to offer a simpler solutions for VR physical presence with a set of motion controllers linked to a pair of sensor armbands worn on the upper arm. Produced by San Francisco based start-up Finch, the Shift is said to match the functionality of the much more expensive HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

How does Finch achieve  these results without the need for multiple sensors in the users physical space? By employing the “inside-out” tracking technology that wraps multiple sensors inside of a device, a technique that is being used by Microsoft & partner’s upcoming line of affordable VR headsets. A player’s hand position are monitored through a set of IMU sensors – similar to the technology already found in the PlayStation Move, Wii Remote and smart phones for gyroscopic movement. By the end of 2017 Finch says that they will launch a “PC – Smartphone bridge” allowing players to use the cameras and sensors in their smartphone to provide room scale equivalent experience.

Developers and early adopters can already pre-order the Finch Shift controller DK1 (developer kit) for $179 USD on their website, with an expected shipment date of Feb 2017. Finch will be launching KickStarter for the controller with the consumer version aiming for a Q3/Q4 2017 launch. They’ll be showing off the controller at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show next month as well.

According to their website the Finch Shift controller will support a number of platforms & engines including Google Android, Samsung GearVR, Unity 5.x, Unreal Engine 4.x, Steam VR, Oculus Home and Microsoft Windows. We’ll have more information on the Shift as it becomes available.

Want to see the Shift controller running in real-time on a Google Cardboard set-up? Here’s a video of one of the developers using an alpha version of the hardware:


Diner Duo | REVIEW

Posted on December 5, 2016 by Meghan Kass

So far, in it’s short existence, the Vive has had an interesting selection of games. These games range from literally nauseating to impressive, but most have the feeling as a tech demo at this point. Many Vive games have a lot of style and gimmicks, but lack in actual gameplay or even fun for a stretch of times. While the horror genre and arcade style games have shown us some virtual reality gems, what are other some other types of games that are worth the time and money that the Vive or, any VR system require? One of the more fun games I have played for the Vive recently is one called Diner Duo.

Diner Duo is an asymmetrical multiplayer game by publisher, Whirlybird Games. The game’s concept is simple; you and your partner are running a diner and have to keep the customers happy and served the correct food and drink in a timely manner. You achieve this by having one person, using the VR headset, be the cook and the other person using a traditional keyboard and PC controls running around the diner, taking orders and serving food and drink. The game closely resembles a two player Diner Dash in both its concept and mechanics if you are playing as the server and loosely resembled the chef level of Job Simulator if you are the cook. You can unlock hats and other cosmetic customization. If you don’t have or want to play with a partner, there is also a single player mode where you can see if you have what it takes to be the top chef.

I played single player and played the multiplayer with a partner and see if we had what it took to run a restaurant. As the chef, the controls were slightly clumsy and I tended to drop my fair share of food and it would occasionally take two or more attempt to grab the item I wanted.I also found it wasn’t obvious how to initiate some options, such as scaling the kitchen for the chef, but that didn’t inhibit the gameplay and could eventually be learned. I also noticed the table would knock ingredients out of your hands or the knife would get stuck while trying to cut cucumbers. While annoying, these quirks were not enough to stop playing and didn’t stop the fun.


As the server, I found the gameplay to be smooth for the most part and fun. As someone who has played Diner Dash type games in the past, this was more of the same. It took a minute or two to get the hang of the controls, but once I did, the levels flew by and a rhythm was established and I found myself loudly, but efficiently communicating with my chef and making sure to keep customers happy with plenty of pie during more chaotic times. The only hiccup I experienced as server was that during more rushed and advanced levels, if I wasn’t paying attention, it would be very easy to pour the wrong drink or give the food to the wrong customer unintentionally, leaving a customer who had been waiting longer getting progressively angrier.

Overall, this game is best experienced in multiplayer mode and is a much needed addition to the VR collection. The world of VR can be a lonely one, so more asymmetrical games are not only welcomed, but necessary in a library full of arcade or horror games. This game may not be the most complex and it has no narrative, much like so many VR games, but the multiplayer aspect it brings and the fun that comes with it makes it worth the money.



Microsoft Reveals Minimum Specs For Affordable VR Headsets

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Remember those sub $300 USD virtual reality headsets that Microsoft announced would be manufactured by partners like Hewlett Packard and Dell last month? The tech giant has now shed some light on the minimum requirements that a users systems will have to meet in order to use the Windows Holographic Shell on one of these devices.

Unlike gaming focused headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, these new headsets will not require 8GB of system memory or a beefy GeForce 970 in order to power the Windows Holographic Shell. During the Microsoft “Windows 10 Creator’s Update” presentation from last month on-screen graphics pictured these new headsets tethered to a laptop, and it seems like that may indeed be realistic.


Here are the minimum specs as originally reported by The Verge:

– 4GB Ram
– DirectX 12 Compliant Graphics Card
– One USB 3 Port
– Quad Core Processor

These minimum specs come on the same day that Microsoft announced that Xbox One game streaming will be supported on PCs that supports the Oculus RIFT. Xbox One VR game streaming will be released in a free Xbox VR Streaming app that will be available via the Oculus Home storefront, the app will support popular titles like Gears of War 4, Halo 5: Guardians and Forza Horizon 3 (which is also available on Windows PC).

In part, here is what Microsoft said about their on-going partnership with HTC:

“Today marks an evolution in our ongoing partnership with Oculus, as Rift owners will be able to stream their Xbox One library to Rift with the new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app, including fan favorites like “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Horizon 3” and “Halo 5: Guardians,” the biggest sports games,  indie darlings, Backward Compatible Xbox 360 games, and more titles coming in 2017. The Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app is available for free in the Oculus Store on Dec. 12.

With all of this VR excitement Microsoft also released a brief CG demonstration of what it is like to use the Windows Holographic Shell. More information on the Windows 10 Creator’s Update is expected to be release prior to its March 2017 release.


Microsoft Lowers The Barrier To Entry With $299 VR Headsets

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

At their New York technology showcase Microsoft announced that they will be supported VR in a huge way with the upcoming Windows 10 Creator’s Update (previously known as “Red Stone 2”) due to roll out sometime next spring. Not only will MS be bringing brand new Virtual Reality & 3D enabled versions of classic Windows applications but also partnering with popular hardware manufacturers to bring a new line of VR headsets to market.

This new line of headsets will be manufactured by companies like HP, Acer, Lenovo, Asus and Dell during the first half of 2017. Best of, according to Microsoft, they will be available for as little as $299 USD – which is half of the price of the Oculus Rift ($599 USD) and a paltry sum compared to the near one grand investment for the HTC Vive ($799 USD). These headsets will be simple “plug and play” devices, in the graphics displayed during the conference a headset was shown connected with a single wire connected to a laptop. No need for complicated room sensors or extra camera either – all of the sensor equipment is built right into the device.


On the software side of things crudely drawn art staple MS Paint will be receiving an update allowing artists to import 2D images, scan real life objects using 3D Builder or by drawing directly on the screen using Windows Ink. 3D images displayed via Windows 10 Holographic (Hololens) or VR headsets will also be supported – during the demonstration MS showed off a PowerPoint slide that had a three dimensional tree that could jump to life. Other enhancements in the Windows 10 Creator’s update include the ability to stream games running on to other Windows 10 devices – yes including the Xbox One and built in support for tournaments. If you need a quick fix for all of the updates coming to Windows 10 check out Wired’s awesome feature.

We don’t have the technical specs for these new VR headsets, just the manufacturer’s and the price point. In fact, MS didn’t really focus on games at all when announcing them so we don’t know if they’ll be compatible with Steam VR, Oculus Home or other VR experiences.  We also don’t know if they’ll support the same resolution as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Razer HDK2 or if they’ll be more comparable to the Oculus DK2 / HDK1 at 1080P.

We will post more information as it becomes available.


Rez Infinite | REVIEW

Posted on October 26, 2016 by Ellen McGrody

Rez Infinite logo banner

Rez Infinite is immensely difficult to review. It’s a daunting task, really. That’s not because the game’s bad, it’s not because I don’t have anything to say about it, to the contrary. It’s because I could talk about Rez for a lifetime and still not have said enough.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Tetsuya Mizuguchi is responsible for what may be the defining VR title of our time. In addition to Rez, he’s responsible for landmark games like Lumines and Space Channel 5, in addition to producing classics like Meteos and Every Extend Extra. Rez Infinite will define the best of PlayStation VR the way Child of Eden did for the Kinect.

Rez’s history is rich with talent on Mizuguchi’s level. After the development of Panzer Dragoon Saga in 1998, SEGA broke up the super talented Team Andromeda, whose members splintered off to Smilebit (Jet Set Radio), Polyphony Digital (Gran Turismo 2, 3, 4, Sport, etc), Artoon (Blue Dragon), and United Game Artists, the team ultimately responsible for the first Rez. Rez picked up where Panzer Dragoon left off – a gorgeous on-rails shooter with brilliant mechanics and sometimes blistering gameplay. What Rez did different was melding that style with pulsing EDM, seeking to inspire synesthesia within its players.

Activating a Network Gate in Rez Infinite

The pursuit of pure synesthesia is what’s driven Mizuguchi’s return to the series. Rez always pulled some fantastic tricks to make that feeling stick – packing a USB vibrator in the box, allowing users to connect multiple controllers to simulate a vibration experience – and Infinite pulls all the stops with fully redone models, 3D audio support, and crucially, virtual reality integration. Because of these changes, Rez has always been a uniquely engrossing experience, and the changes in the PS4 remake only amplify that immersion.

Fighting dragons in Rez Infinite Area 3

Rez’s original campaign, the story of a hacker diving into a super-advanced AI named Eden to save it from a viral invasion, returns with the same remastered music which accompanied it in Rez HD, along with gorgeous new graphics and VR support for the whole beast. VR support totally changes the way Rez plays. For the first time, players can aim quickly by looking at a virus, or even turn around to see what’s coming from behind.

Hacking in Rez Infinite

These new mechanics means bosses like Area 4’s Uranus feel totally different – it’s suddenly possible to turn around and see the gargantuan running body of Uranus behind you and take it down before it can get an advantage. Being surrounded by the digital machinations of Rez is at once overwhelming and a totally natural extension of the game’s original vision.

Uranus runs away in an iconic moment in Rez Infinite


The original campaign isn’t alone, however. Mizuguchi has planted the seeds for a future with Infinite’s new Area X. Designed to take advantage of the PS4’s hardware, Area X is glittering, gorgeous, and designed first and foremost for VR. Area X is a beautifully rendered free-roaming journey through a world of cyber dragons, giant robots, floating cubes, and digital women.

Giant robots in Rez Infinite's Area X

Combining the scope of the level’s design with the immersion of virtual reality and an array of buzzing controllers pulsing with the music (or an entire suit) is an experience unlike any other. There’s a sense of scale inside the headset that video simply can’t portray. The necessity of looking around to examine every corner of your surroundings pulls you into the experience. It left me emotional, breathless, and ready for more.

Massive creatures surround you in Rez Infinite's Area X

The experience offered by Rez Infinite is nearly indescribable. Mizuguchi has said that the promise of VR is what pulled him back into games. Rez in virtual reality is a masterpiece. It rips you out of your reality and places you firmly inside a screaming machine, overwhelming your senses with thumping music and gorgeous visuals. It’s one of a handful of PSVR launch titles that will likely shape the medium of virtual reality for years to come. It’s stunning how different a 15-year-old game can feel in virtual reality, and if Area X is a taste of what the future of Rez – indeed, the future of all VR – might look like, I’m all in.


The Next Product From Oculus: A More Affordable VR Headset

Posted on October 7, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Virtual Reality has been all the buzz the last few years and 2016 has been “the year” for the technology – now that first adopters have been able to get their hands on VR products aimed squarely at consumers. Premium VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have not only had high prices ranging in the hundreds of dollars but also require gaming rigs that can cost upwards of $1500 CDN. Today at Oculus Connect 3 the company announced that they have a more affordable option coming down the line thanks to an unnamed prototype headset that will standard apart from its existing product line.

This brand new headset was demonstrated during Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address at OC3 – the prototype will sit between existing mobile Oculus sponsored solutions like the Samsung Gear VR and the full priced Oculus Rift. This device will work as a self contained VR experiences and will not require an expensive PC or a smartphone to provide immersive VR experiences.
No price for this new potential headset, release date or technical specs were discussed during the keynote. We also don’t know if it may work with a PC, similar to the way that the Samsung VR can with additional apps.

Does the idea of a “standalone Oculus Rift” appeal to you? Let us know in the comments section.


GaymerX Year Four Preview: Luna

Posted on October 5, 2016 by Ellen McGrody

At last weekend’s GaymerX Year Four, we had the chance to play Funomena’s upcoming VR puzzler Luna. The colorful LGBTQ-focused games convention felt like a perfect fit for developer Funomena, founded by former Journey team members Robin Hunicke and Martin Middleton. Bouncing off the release of educational title Terra, Funomena is developing Luna alongside the games Woorld and Wattam, co-developed with Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi. The studio is absolutely ripe with talent and I was endlessly excited to see what they had done in virtual reality.

As with their games, Funomena’s booth was bright and eye-catching, with gorgeous signage and friendly developers ready to show off the title. After having played Wattam at Day of the Devs last fall, I wasn’t surprised when I saw Luna’s unique art in action. With Luna, art director Glenn Hernandez has gone after a papercraft aesthetic. Through the lens of an Oculus Rift, it appears as an ornate pop-up book. The game’s design invites you to reach out and touch every little detail in its various dioramas. Luckily, the Oculus Touch controllers make this exceedingly possible and enormously engaging.


The developers at the booth presented Luna as a story about Bird, a tiny bird who’s made a mistake. You, a mystical floating pair of claws, have to help Bird by exploring its memories. Using the Oculus Touch, you reach out and untangle constellations to discover places that represent Bird’s travels. It’s a tactile experience that uses virtual reality to its fullest.


It comes together in an almost magical experience. When you don the headset and immerse yourself in the dioramas that Funomena has crafted throughout Luna, every little action comes with some surprise attached. In solving the game’s puzzling constellations, I found myself reaching out with both hands to grab at stars and pull them to the right place. I moved my head to examine the new islands of memory that I had created with Bird, and when I was done solving puzzles, I reached out to pet Bird and it reacted with a happy little chirp.

The further I dove into Luna, the more I discovered. Music and sound effects evolved and changed as I got through the puzzles, only to be rewarded with a larger island diorama that I could create myself. In your left hand, you receive a palette of natural features like trees, which you grab and place onto the island with your right. I had a lot of fun reaching out and creating a cute little paper forest. I tried grabbing a tree that I’d placed and suddenly I could manipulate it by making it grow or turning my hand like a dial to change its color.


Funomena promises that this was but a small slice of the game’s larger story and I can’t wait to see more. I’m excited for the possibility of more challenging constellations and deeper explorations of the creative features. I imagine there’s a deeper message behind Bird’s story that I’ve yet to uncover in the demo alone.

Luna has been announced for release alongside the Oculus Touch sometime later this year. The game appears to be virtual reality exclusive, but I was unable to discern wether or not other VR platforms were in planning stages. Either way, this is absolutely a title to watch, and we’ll have more on the game as it comes.


Snakebyte Announces A New Range of Controller Solutions & Accessories

Posted on August 11, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Having a reliable controller is one of the most important aspects when it comes to an immersive gaming experience. Hardware vendor Snakebyte announced a trio of products today that are aimed at bringing a new level of control to the emerging world of Virtual Reality, as well as aiding PlayStation 4 players in the endeavors and lastly facilitating communication regardless of platform of choice.

First up is the VR: Controller which is designed with Virtual Reality in mind – compatible with a number of different devices via Bluetooth the VR: Controller will work wirelessly with devices like the Samsung Gear VR. Android TV Set-top boxes, Amazon Fire TV and smartphones / tablets.  For PC gamers who might use the VR: Controller with an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive but with no Bluetooth connectivity the VR: Controller comes equipped with a packed-in mini-USB cable. When connected with the USB cable the VR: Controller will be read as a standard HID device by Windows.


Honestly the inclusion of Android specific Back, Home and Menu buttons sets the VR: Controller apart from its contemporaries.  For gamers using a Samsung Gear VR the inclusion of these buttons could easily make it the controller of choice for mobile VR.

On the PlayStation 4 front Snakebyte is prepared to bring what looks to be a solid alternative to the official Dualshock 4 controllers in the form of the Game Pad 4. Offering all of the standard buttons that players expect this controller is 100% compatible with existing PS4 apps and games according to Snakebyte’s marketing materials.


Lastly, SnakeByte also announced a mono headset that bridges the gap between Sony and Microsoft’s latest console offerings. Head:Set is a mono headset aimed at easy chat communication that works regardless of your console of choice. If you own both systems having a headset that will work with both consoles is a huge win, especially if you’ve been shouting into your Kinect to send voice messages.

If you want to know more about Snakebyte’s hardware offerings check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

The above images were provided by Snakebyte via marketing materials. 



KryptCrawler aims to bring dungeon crawlers to VR

Posted on August 9, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

We here at Brokenjoysticks love VR. Rae has her Razr OSVR, and Renee had both the HTC Vive and Occulus Rift. So our staff is always looking for an exciting new VR experience. One of the things I have yet to see done well for VR is true dungeon crawler experience.

That feeling of plumbing a nearly endless dungeon in real time, getting loot, and slowly improving your character is a hard one to emulate in VR. Mostly I feel this is because (except old school ones) most dungeon crawlers rely heavily on movement. KrypCrawler is trying to fix that problem by going back to dungeons roots. First person, turn based, style.

Ok tell me about the game

Announced and showed behind closed doors at Gamescom this year, KryptCrawler brings classic first person, grid based Dungeon Crawler gameplay to mobile Virtual Reality. Descend into the unknown and explore the perilous depth of the sinister tombs and crypts you are thrown into, armed with nothing but a map and your wits. Find powerful weapons and wield mighty magic spells to fight off the undead remains of the warriors who have come here before you. Defend yourself against poisonous scorpions, hungry spiders and other creatures of the dark.

KryptCrawler delivers a combination of turn based old school gameplay and real time combat and trap evasion unprecedented in its genre. Combined with the immersion of modern VR technology, you will experience dungeons like never before. Let’s just hope you make it back to sunlight and the world of the living –there are many rumours of simple-hearted adventurers who have set foot into the abyss of the crypt and never have been heard of again!

The game features:


  • An unmatched VR dungeon experience: The immersion of modern VR will make you almost smell the moos-covered stonewalls of the underworld
  • Survive vicious traps and solve challenging puzzles: Many tests will await you deep down in the crypt, getting more deadly the further you descend into the catacombs.
  • Fight off enemies in real-time combat: Close combat swordfight, ranged bow mastery or wielding powerful magic – which warrior’s path will you choose?
  • Innovative battle and movement system using Gear VR Touchpad support as its best: Controls your hero’s fate with only the tip of your fingers.
  • Loot weapons and epic treasures: All over the dungeon are powerful weapons and treasures to discover. Some will help you fight ferocious enemies some will even let you unveil new paths deeper into the crypt.
  • Hours of content: Fight, puzzle and explore through 12 Story levels and over 100 procedural generated ‚New Game +’-levels.

Looks pretty intresting

Crazy bunch also sent over a couple of images, which I admit look basic. Buts it not meant to be graphically amazing, its meant to bring dungeon crawling to first person VR!basic basic2




Elite Dangerous With Top Tier Gear Is A Whole New Galaxy of Fun

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

At E3 developers at Frontier and representatives from Thrustmaster invited me to check out the  manufacturer’s upcoming hardware refresh for their high-end HOTAS line with a convention exclusive demo version of Elite Dangerous. As I’ve written before, Elite Dangerous is one of my favorite VR experiences and it was the first VR title I tried – Elite proved to me that the magic of VR is possible, even with limited vision. So, to get the chance to use some of Thrustermaster’s upcoming toys while piloting an interstellar space ship was a no-brainer, I jumped at the opportunity.

In terms of the in-game demonstration, the version of Elite built for the show introduced players to a lot of the key concepts that are required to be successful while exploring the Milky Way. My demo began with an experience that is very familiar with me – looking around the cockpit of my ship and waiting for whatever space station I was situated at to release my ship so that I could fly out and begin exploration. As the computerized voice in my ear belted out “ship released” my fingers instinctively pressed the button on my right joystick to retract my landing gear as my left hand pushed the throttled to push the ship out of the docking bay. Once the ship was out of the bay I got to fly around in total freedom for a few moments before a waypoint suddenly lit up on my HUD.


Once my ship was aligned to the new jump point my craft entered hyper-drive, blue and purple particles whizzing past my head as I looked up into the top-side window in my cockpit. As my ship began to decelerate from the faster than light travel I noticed that I had entered orbit around a sun in an unexplored system I was not at all familiar with. As I grabbed my right joystick to move my ship out of the gravitational pull of the sun I noticed something – the look of Thrustmaster’s upcoming joysticks and the button placements are almost exactly 1:1. Representatives from both companies would later confirm to me that this was intentional and that the particular HOTAS setup I was using was designed with Elite in mind.

There wasn’t much time to stare at the magnificent sight that was the sun I was escaping from as enemy units showed up on my ship’s HUID. Pressing the button on my right joysticks I raised my hardpoints and pulled the thruster forward as far it would go. My first few laser blasts missed, the on-board computer needed a few more moments to lock-on. Just as my reticule was about to lock on my foe did a quick dive upwards, but I was ready. I cut power to my engines, aimed my nose up with the right joystick and pushed the thruster full blast again, getting back on my foe’s tail. Once my sights were aligned I got off four shots that destroyed my target just as the demo automatically whisked my ship away.

Rae using the HOTAS for Elite dangerous

Rae using the HOTAS for Elite dangerous

It is hard to convey just how well the presence of the Elite Dangerous E3 demo worked. I was playing on a Oculus Rift CV1 in a very specific set-up that was designed specifically for Elite. To say it was immersive is an understatement, it is probably the closest I’ll ever get to flying in a real spaceship anytime soon – or short of winning the lottery and building the mammoth gaming rig / hardware configuration that Thrustmaster and Frontier brought to their booth.

The HOTAS actual hardware used at during the demonstration was an upgraded version of Thrustmaster’s Warthog line – representatives told me that the controllers on display were actually prototypes, one of only a couple the company had at the moment, and that the final versions will hit retail sometime close to December. Current versions of the Warthog retail for around $349.99 and consist of two discrete parts – the joystick and throttle components. The company also makes lower cost options such as the T.Flight – which do not include as many physical buttons but can still get the job done – which retails for $79.99.


My experience with Elite Dangerous at E3 just confirms that it is one of the most immersive spaceship experiences available on any platform. Elite Dangerous and its first expansion Horizons is available on both Windows PC and Xbox One. Look for more coverage of Elite, including a video interview with the developers next week.


First time VR experience from a total newb featuring War Thunder VR and the HTC Vive

Posted on June 19, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

So while attending E3 this year I had the chance to check out the amazing War Thunder from from Gaijen entertainment in vivid amazing VR, with the help of and HTC Vive and the amazing  Warthog Hotas from Thrustmaster. I had never experienced VR before, having missed the whole wave of VR. Both because of price, and because of generally not liking to adopt things before they get to their full and ripe potential. (remember Windows Vista? I was day on on that you would stop early adopting too).

So this was really a cold entry in to the VR sphere for me. I sat down and put headset fully expecting to be immersed in to an amazing world of flying airplanes and scenery and other random crap that flew up to me and made me want to throw myself back like in all those cool first time VR videos.  I did not have that type of reaction at all, but I still appreciated it. Two things really prevented it from being that amazing moment for one, the first of which was partly my fault. I didnt have my glasses on when we started, making a lot of the games menus blurry and unreadable. The second issue was that I was not wearing a headset. Lack of sound really takes away from the experience of being in VR.


That good looking man is not me, however this is exactly how the set up looked right down the razer keyboard.

Its worth mentioning that I know my way around a HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) from years of playing MS flight sims and a genuine interest in aviation. Which meant that going in I was already probably better prepared for this than most would have been. I found my hands quite easily rested on the stick and throttle combination that the Warthog offered, and I quickly found all of the major flight surface controls even with the headset on. Initial problems were solved easily (it feels odd to know more about flying than the developer of the game). I was able to set all of the flight control surfaces to neutral on the HOTAS and get flying with any major difficulties.

After starting a few missions and getting a good feel for the game, I really felt like VR was a huge boon for the game. Instead of looking left and right by hitting the 4 way hat on the top of joystick which is the most common way of doing so in most sims, I was able to just look up. This was pretty amazing, and I found fairly few issues with the game itself in VR beyond some of the text not being readable to start off with.  The blurriness issue was fixed when another member of the games dev team told me to put my glasses back on. Finally able to see the text in menus I felt a lot better about being able to actually see the instruments that are needed for flying (you know like the altimeter?) and got my self out there in the sky to do some flying.

Flying felt pretty good, the controls quite responsive, and although there is no one to one mapping with the Warthog, the screen did sort of reflect the changes in the sticks location. Since they aren’t mapped 1 to 1 like some other flight games are I did have some issues with the disconnect between my mind and body, and at one point the game did crash leaving me in darkness, and I opted to not have the headset on for sound since I was working in tandem with Rae and needed to hear her directions for filming and what not.


low res textures really take away from the VR aspect of the game

War Thunder is a huge game, with a ton of planes that recently passed 100 use able vehicles, so I only got to see a tiny tiny slice of it, but the missions that I did get to see looked fantastic, and I only had a few small problems with the Vive itself. I was often able to see the swirls of the lenses in the vive, which sort of threw me out of feeling like I was there in the plane, and at a few spot the whole thing crashed leaving me in a disconcerting darkness. Other than that the headset fit my rather large head quite well, and I had no issues with fit or comfort.

Over all I was fairly impressed with my first time in VR. Head tracking is almost flawless, and since this was a full production Vive unit it also came with the two small sensors which are placed on walls around the pc in use to give you mostly flawless head tracking and the ability to stand up and sit down or move around as you want to. This ability to move is not very useful when you are in a small single seat airplane, so again I really felt like maybe this wasn’t the best first VR experience for me. This had very little to do with War Thunder and very much to do with the fact that it just isnt the best use of VR out there. Even so it was still great fun, and if you are a flying simulator enthusiast I recommend taking a look at this set up.


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