Insomniac’s new VR adventure brawler and their Touch-enabled urban magic fight club.
Insomniac Games and Oculus Studios have partnered up to bring us two new games for the Oculus Rift. The game studio that is also developing Edge of Nowhere for the Rift, announced today their latest adventure game Feral Rites and The Unspoken, a spell-casting PVP game developed exclusively for the Oculus Touch controllers.
Edge of Nowhere was the first hint from Insomniac of their focus on developing VR games. The independent video games developer has been delivering quite a few hits for game consoles for over 20 years now, responsible for franchises such as Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive – resulting in more than 44 million games sold globally.
So with Edge of Nowhere set to release on June 6th, Feral Rites coming Fall 2016, and The Unspoken dropping Holiday 2016, it’s going to be a huge VR year for the studio.
During a media preview day at the Insomniac Games offices in Burbank, CA, we were able to get some serious head-to-head game action with The Unspoken as well as a first-look at Feral Rites.
In the dark Chicago city of The Unspoken, magic is very real. Practitioners lurk in backrooms and duels play out in concealed urban areas, each with different destructible features and spell‐enabling properties. The Unspoken is the physical action of a fighting game married to the dynamic battlefield of an arena shooter.
Although single-player is a fantastic VR first-person action game where you feel like you’re actually manipulating real magic with your bare hands, it’s when you begin playing with another player that The Unspoken really shows its true power.
What can only be described as an immersive magic fight club, The Unspoken PVP turf wars place you on a dynamic battle field as you teleport through space, finding cover points and the advantageous high ground, all while conjuring up spells with the Touch controllers to engage your opponent.
In the world of Unspoken, spell casters are bound by a code where dueling is everything, policed by an order so ancient and powerful that its name remains unspoken.
In the few face-off duels I had with the pre-alpha build, it didn’t take long to figure out some basic spell-casting skills. In your hand, primal energy becomes fireballs that you can fling at your opponent as you teleport from point to point on the battlefield. Your left hand can also use energy to bring up a temporary shield.
It’s after you learn the basic spells of navigation, firing, and shielding that the more powerful spells come into play and set you apart from your opponent in the often intense PVP arena fights. The more powerful spells are all about timing and a bit of skill, letting you use a crow skull to summon a destructive Dark Flock, or a tiny effigy to mold street trash into a massive Debris Golem ally. There are even spells that have you use a marker to draw a Mystic Wall that becomes an impenetrable shield, or wield a hammer and anvil to forge a shield-shattering Javelin.
The point of the the more powerful spells is that it takes time to conjure up, so as you stand there ducked behind cover folding a paper airplane spell with your hands, you know your opponent could be doing something similar or worse, transporting somewhere on your flank to get the jump on you.
The Unspoken screenshots below:
The Unspoken has more than 25 spells that you can unlock and master, with multiple arenas to conquer. Although I only battled it out with an opponent in one arena for now, what I did experience was compelling and I can’t wait to see what other spells and arenas the team at Insomniac will dream up next.
The Unspoken will be available exclusively on the Oculus Store Holiday 2016.
The second VR game title announced by Insomniac, Feral Rites is set in a time long ago where a beloved Chieftain was brutally murdered. Society fell into chaos in his absence. Violence became rampant as peace-loving people fled or faced certain-death. The Chieftain’s infant child was saved and raised in a foreign land. This child, now an adult, has returned to the island seeking revenge for the murder of their father.
Feral Rites is a single-player VR adventure-brawler set on a mystical island where you set out to avenge the death of your father by brawling your way through harrowing missions and quests. You can immerse yourself exploring unique areas of the island from under the jungle canopy to ruined temples while mastering new abilities — including the power to transform into a feral beast.
This is an adventure game with a compelling story campaign, but you also have side quests and challenges that you can complete. Based on gameplay footage, I expect Feral Rites to take advantage of being a VR title just like Edge of Nowhere, giving moments of true claustrophobia as you explore the ancient ruins, wondering what’s just around the corner or approaching you from behind.
Feral Rites screenshots below:
One of my favorite features Insomniac described about Feral Rites is the use of a combo-based combat system to execute your enemies and the ability to unlock extra gear to strengthen your play style or customize your character. There’s also an ability to switch between human and beast during a fight, making this one useful strategy for longer combos.
You can join the savage violence of Feral Rites only on Oculus – Fall 2016.