At Sony’s press conference at Paris Games Week, the company revealed two new titles for its upcoming virtual reality technology PlayStation VR. The technology is expected to launch sometime in 2016 in a wave of virtual reality devices that include the much anticipated Oculus Rift from Google and the Vive from PC developer and distributor Valve.
The first title is a spin off of the recent PlayStation 4 exclusive adventure game Until Dawn, titled Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. The games, both developed by Supermassive Games, seem to bear little similarity to each other beyond brand and in game assets.
While Until Dawn was an excellent cinematic horror game with gameplay in the vein of Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and the more recent output of developer Telltale Games, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood appears to be a literal rollercoaster: an on rails experience with no player controlled navigation (albeit one with a few first person shooter elements thrown in). It remains to be seen how much of a story will be included in the spin off, but given the fact that Until Dawn‘s entire point was its narrative, it’d be disappointing if this game suffered from a threadbare story.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, the game’s executive producer Simon Harris described the title. “Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a descent into madness, taking you on a terrifying rollercoaster ride of thrills and scares in a fast-paced, arcade-style shooter.”
“We’re incredibly excited to be developing for PlayStation VR as this allows us to bring games to PS4 with a level of immersion and involvement never before experienced by players.”
“When we first started working on Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, we were still in the middle of development on Until Dawn, but it was clear to us that the world and characters we were creating would be perfect to expand into new experiences. As we established compelling gameplay for VR, we were able to combine that with a journey through many familiar aspects of Blackwood Pines, but from a horrifying new perspective!”
The second title is from Crysis developer Crytek. Titled Robinson: The Journey, the game is a science fiction take on the sort of deserted island survival story popularized by Daniel Defoe’s 1719 classic Robinson Crusoe. It also takes inspiration from a pair of VR demos Crytek created to test the technology titled Back to Dinosaur Island.
According to Elijah Freeman, the game’s executive producer, in a post on the PlayStation Blog accompanying the announcement, “In Robinson, you assume the role of a young boy who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet, and must become a pioneer of sorts as you explore your surroundings, interact with the world around you, and discover amazing secrets at every turn. I can’t go into too many specifics right now, but that’s the (very) high level overview!”
“As a studio, we’re really excited to be creating Robinson for PlayStation VR, and believe it’s the perfect platform for what we’re striving to achieve with the game. But what exactly are we striving to achieve? Good question.”
“A lot of the reaction we received to the Back to Dinosaur Island demos was about how authentic the environments felt — the foliage, the lighting, the dinos, etc. People really seemed to respond positively to the level of visual fidelity, and we do believe that this can set a VR experience out from the crowd and take the feeling of being present to a whole new level.”
“So, to return to my own question, what are we striving to achieve with Robinson: The Journey? You could say it’s about recreating that level of authenticity on a much, much grander scale. That means not just making something visually stunning, but also telling a story that is emotionally engaging and which resonates with players beyond the game world.”
“It’s a bold ambition, we know. But just as PlayStation VR will invite players to enjoy gaming in an entirely new way, I think it should also inspire us as developers to create ambitious experiences worthy of this amazing new technology.”
Neither of the two games have been given a release window.