Stormland is a new open world Oculus Rift game that will let you explore freely in VR

Oculus Studios and Insomniac Games come together to offer what may be the largest and most expansive virtual reality game to date. The new title, announced today and called Stormland is an open-world game that puts players physically in the body of an android whose everyday existence involves gardening on a remote alien planet. After the arrival of a hostile threat, you prepare to repair and increase your body, find fellow androids and fight enemy militaristic droids.

Unlike previous virtual reality games, which usually put players on a controlled path, this game is more like open-world games like Fallout Assassin & # 39; s Creed ]and so on. Insomniac says that one of his biggest influences in the game was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that encouraged exploration and rewarded players for exploring the world without a clear goal in mind. Aesthetically, Stormland seems to be taking cues from classic animation films such as Pixar WALL-E and science fiction Neill Blomkamp District 9 and Elysium as well as more recent games with a strong artistic direction like No Man's Sky .

Image: Insomniac Games

Stormland will come out in 2019, and Oculus is awarding it as the largest and deepest game to be funded for the Rift platform to date. For Insomniac Games: the makers of Ratchet & Clank Sunset Overdrive and the new Spider-Man game for PlayStation 4 – Stormland is the culmination of years of investment in space VR

The developer is behind three of the most outstanding Oculus Rift titles, including the multiplayer game The Unspoken, and Stormland is designed to show all his teachings throughout the years. years. Stormland will have a single-player mode and a multiplayer mode that allows players to explore together, and will feature several types of virtual reality moves that the developer has mastered in previous games, such as climbing and sliding to travel.

For the virtual reality market, Stormland could have a big impact. Virtual reality is still an incipient technology that is only a few years old, and now it is focused mainly on videogames. And yet, the best and greatest virtual reality games so far have been linear narrative exercises, such as Lone Echo and Wilson's Heart or simple games Arcade type like Robo Recall. We have not yet seen a game that really exceeds the limits of what the medium can achieve: a game that redefines virtual reality games by achieving something like a great big budget studio game.

Insomniac and Oculus hope Stormland can be that game. "This title is very important for us because it is very scratching the community, and that is for a great open world to discover, play and play perpetually," says Jason Rubin, vice president of content for Oculus. "We think it will take us to the next level when it comes to virtual reality software and we will start attracting consumers who might have been saying: I'm really interested in virtual reality, but want something that will rip that itch. "

Insomniac says that Breath of the Wild is the game that appears most frequently when speaking internally about the elements of the open world in Stormland . But the game will have a strong combat component, and for that, Insomniac says it is taking advantage of its rich history with Ratchet & Clank.

" We are virtual reality players and this was our chance to make this game that we always wanted to play, where we have freedom of movement and agency," says Chad Dezern, creative director of Insomniac. "We love the experimentation that comes with … the challenge of exploring new game mechanics It's great for us Those eureka moments that we have along the way give us the same kind of sense of wonder that we're trying to deliver to the player "

Image: Insomniac Games

Of course, open-world virtual reality games will present a number of obstacles, both in the way they are marketed and sold to players, and in the level of comfort needed to Maneuver the virtual world when there is little or no restriction in the movement. Stormland will not be the exception here, and Insomniac will have to make sure that their game is as comfortable as possible to fulfill their promise of open world. There are also questions about how long players are expected to play the game in individual sessions, and whether VR fatigue will be a serious problem. Until we know more about the game and have the opportunity to test it ourselves, these questions will go unanswered.

For Oculus, games like this are essential to help sell more Rift headphones. Although the company has aggressively discounted the Rift since its launch in March 2016, a package with Oculus Touch controllers now costs $ 400, the adoption of virtual reality is still slow. As a result, the industry is experiencing enormous fatigue after the first days of exhibitions and technological prototypes, and the interest in the virtual reality market by consumers and developers has decreased. For high-end VR, Sony has led the package with its more affordable and affordable Playstation VR headphones, which sold 2 million units at the end of last year. Oculus has sent fewer Rift units, but we do not know exactly how many, since the company has not revealed the numbers.

Still, Oculus is confident that games like Stormland can change the conversation. "2D games had 40 years of development behind them," says Rubin. "Video games for virtual reality are only four years old at the most, and Rift is two years old from March this year, and it's incredible how far we've come." Rubin says it's just a matter of time and the right combination of price, game and entertainment options before virtual reality really starts to reach mainstream consumers. "I think we're on the right track to the point where people say," Okay, yes, this is the future of the medium "# 19659017

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