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Lone Echo / Echo Arena |OT| Ender's Game + Ultimate Frisbee + Tron + Quidditch

ArtHands

Member
Oct 14, 2012
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www.arthands-vr.com
Some of you guys said this thread needs an OT, so here's one.



INTRODUCTION:
Lone Echo & Echo Arena are 2 pieces of virtual reality sci-fi titles developed by Ready at Dawn and published by Oculus Studios for the Oculus Rift headset.

Lone Echo is a single player zero-g space adventure title. Set in an advanced mining facility, where you plays an AI with a synthetic body, by the name of "Jack", who is tasked to assist Captain Olivia Rhodes to solve an increasingly threatening mystery.

Echo Arena is a zero-g esports team-based arena title, and serves as a multiplayer companion spinoff title to Lone Echo. You will team up with several other players, and engage in a vs battle to score goals by flinging the disc in an virtual arena. Signal with a verbal shout or a wave at your teammate with the Oculus Touch and Oculus Rift, or deliver a swift punch to your opponent's head to stun them.

  • Developer | Ready at Dawn
  • Publisher | Oculus Studios
  • Platform | Oculus Rift, HTC Vive (via ReVive)
  • Supported Controllers | Oculus Touch




Game Trailer:
Lone Echo Trailer – Exclusively for Oculus Rift + Touch

Grab, push, and glide your way through an immersive first-person 360° science fiction experience where you can not only reach out and touch interactive environments, but can effortlessly soar through them with incredible 1:1 hand-based zero-gravity movement. Lone Echo includes both a highly-interactive single player story and an online competitive multiplayer virtual sport, all set in an amazingly detailed 23rd century world of advanced robotics and incredible orbital facilities.

In Lone Echo’s single player story, you’ll be transported to an advanced mining facility within the rings of Saturn, complete with a detailed space station, expansive open-vacuum environments, and interactive space equipment. Taking on the role of Jack — an advanced artificial intelligence with a state-of-the-art synthetic body — you’ll help Captain Olivia Rhodes solve an increasingly threatening mystery as you use futuristic tools, clever problem solving, and interactive dialogue to engage with the world around you. Taking advantage of the Oculus Touch controllers and full 360° gameplay, Lone Echo lets you take a hands-on approach to exploring space unlike anything you’ve ever played before.



  • Download Size | 1.9 GB
  • Genre | Simulation / Esports
  • Official Site | http://www.readyatdawn.com/game-list/echo-arena/
  • Oculus Site | https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1369078409873402/
  • Price | FREE (permanently if you download it from now until 3 months later) / $19.99 (after 3 months)
    *You can download the software for free as long as you have an Oculus account, no VR headset needed. Keep it in your library, and you get to play it after you purchase a VR headset
    **You also get Echo Arena for free if you purchase Lone Echo, regardless of timeframe

Game Trailer:
Echo Arena—Experience esports in Zero-G

In Echo Arena you’ll join a team of up to two other players and face off against the competition in a zero-g clash of robotic glory as you glide, boost, and punch your way to scoring goals in a breathtaking virtual arena. As a team sport, Echo Arena rewards players that work well together; with the incredible social expression powered by Oculus Touch, you’ll be able signal for a pass with a shout and a wave just as you naturally would, while throwing and catching the disc becomes a valuable skill to master. Even better though, Echo Arena is also full-contact sport: make a fist and use a swift punch to an opponent’s head to stun them, or grab onto another player’s back and catch a ride down-field. And of course, after you score a goal you can flaunt it with your own victory dance.



LONE ECHO

ECHO ARENA


Lone Echo Reviews:
Road To VR - 9/10
UploadVR - 8.5/10
VR and Fun - 9/10



Q: What's the recommended specs requirement?
A: Both Lone Echo & Echo Arena requires 16GB of memory, GTX980 equivalent or greater, Intel i7-6000 equivalent or greater

Q: Will this get ported to other headsets/platforms?
A: These 2 titles are published by Oculus Studio, so they stay exclusive to the Oculus platforms. HTC Vive owners can play they via Revive.
 

jrcbandit

Member
Nov 28, 2010
2,561
0
660
Texas
Lone Echo is a great game, just remember to max out the graphic settings if you have a good video card like the 1080 or 1080 Ti. I played half the game not realizing that so my GPU was under-utilized not even clocking past 1600 Mhz.

Also, admit it, who tried throwing things at Olivia, grasping her in certain areas, or scanning her? It's funny that they put in responses in the game.
 

Linkup

Member
Oct 8, 2006
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0
1,005
US
Feels like the first VR game as horribly wrong as that is and sounds. Incomparable experience so far, RAD gets it and some. Perhaps I would say they were meant for VR.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
Really looking forward to playing this at some point this weekend. Trying to play everything else in my library atleast once and leaving this one till last since everyone seems to be calling it the best vr experience on pc so dont want to ruin my first impressions of other games, lol.
 

c00l3ru

Member
Jan 4, 2015
101
0
0
Without a doubt the BEST vr game there is. Unparalleled graphics and presence. RAD you made a masterpiece that will go down in history as the begining of a new era of gaming.
Fucking awesome.
And thanks ArtHands this game deserved it's own thread.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
630
Madrid, Spain
This is such a great idea, zero-G games that get around the VR limits on realistic mobility by having you push at objects to move.

Now we just need underwater VR sets to also get the weightless feeling. Wouldn't that be amazing? :)
 

GeoGonzo

Member
Jun 20, 2010
1,808
0
650
Just finished it, it truly is something special.

ENDING SPOILERS

Perfect ending too. They solved the current crisis and left the door open to a sequel without using a dumb twist or cliffhanger.

Also, can I highlight a very clever thing they do in this game? You ocasionally board automated vehicles used to travel large distances, and this is usually a very bad thing in VR that is likely to cause discomfort. One thing RAD does to aleviate this is having a “radiation dampening shield” wich is anchored to the vehicle and (since we are grabbing it) to us. Like the chaperone system, but ingame.

Things I didn’t like: Not many. My game crashed once. And, I guess some people may be disappointed with the difficulty of this game, maybe? It isn’t a “walking simulator” (I’m not even going to bother with the obvious joke here) but... its halfway there, I’d say. You play Lone Echo for the immersion, the experience and the story.
 

Soi-Fong

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Mar 5, 2010
9,322
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IL
Awesome OT! Was gonna make it but you beat me to the punch! :p

Looking forward to some Echo Arena with you guys!!
 

Crash331

Member
Dec 31, 2012
496
0
0
I can't wait to play Echo Arena, but I am trying to go through Lone Echo first to get the locomotion practice and to get my VR legs. I can only do about 30 mins of slow and steady movement in Lone Echo before I start sweating and feeling queasy.
 
Mar 16, 2013
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Wondering people's setup for playing this game.

Standing/Sitting?

360 or thumbstick?

If 360, how are you keeping from getting tangled up on the cord? How are your cameras set up?

I've had my two cameras set up facing me and haven't had any issues with the other games I've been playing so far. However, I really get turned around in this game and the cameras are also losing track of the Touch controllers. I feel like I need to adjust my play area to really enjoy and get immersed.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
Played it for the first time today for about 2 and a half hours. I didn't even realise i'd played for that long, was so immersed in it I lost track of time lol. Glad I left this game for last out of the first bunch of games I got last week.

I'm still very early in the game. I'm at the point where you can do 3 objectives in any order (oxygen, radiation and cargo). I spent most of the time messing about with the movement and interacting with everything. So many small touches to the game that are great like how characters and the environment react to you. Theres no clipping through walls, the way the hands interact. I'm in awe.

I also really appreciate the controls for the menu's and gadgets like the scanner. Tapping your physical wrist to bring the scanner up feels so natural. I still need to get the hang of boosting and braking with the wrist jets like its second nature, I've sometimes boosted instead of using them to slow down a couple of times.

Never felt any kind of motion sickness at all. I had to take small breaks only because my face got hot in the rift (didn't help it was a really hot day).

And I haven't even mentioned the graphics XD I'm amazed that we're able to get games at this quality already in vr (got everything set to the highest settings). I set it 1.50 resolution so I'm assuming that's applying some supersampling?

Wondering people's setup for playing this game.

Standing/Sitting?

360 or thumbstick?

If 360, how are you keeping from getting tangled up on the cord? How are your cameras set up?

I've had my two cameras set up facing me and haven't had any issues with the other games I've been playing so far. However, I really get turned around in this game and the cameras are also losing track of the Touch controllers. I feel like I need to adjust my play area to really enjoy and get immersed.

I played standing up for most of it(i have 3 sensor set up. 2 positioned infront of me in the top corners of the play area and 1 behind in the middle, but close to the ceiling). I never got tangled up in my cord, its on the floor but it runs down the left of my back so i'm always aware of where it is. When I need to, I just step over the wire and re-orient myself to the front every now and then (I dont spin back round/360's so I don't get tangled up naturally).It helps that this game (atleast so far) doesnt need quick movement, its more about precision so theres little chance for me to trip over the wires or punching a wall. Standing up makes it easier to reach out and grab surfaces in all directions.

I sat down for the last 30 mins or so just because I felt lazy, but sitting down I was using the camera turn analog stick for turning rather than turning in real life. Definately prefer playing it standing up.

I think this game benefits alot from a proper room scale set up which is 3 sensors or the 2 sensors in an experimental set up. In your situation, I would get used to using the camera turn analog stick so you dont turn away from your cameras too much.
 

120v

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Mar 14, 2013
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580
any ballpark estimate on how much space echo arena requires? like more or less than any roomscale game?

i can improvise with single player games but i'd hate to dive into MP like that
 
any ballpark estimate on how much space echo arena requires? like more or less than any roomscale game?

i can improvise with single player games but i'd hate to dive into MP like that

There are a lot of reports of damaged windows/hands/etc on r/echoarena so be careful. I'd say you at least want to be able to reach out with both your arms in any direction + maybe 50% extra.

Okay

should I buy this or wha

does it low-key have VR scares?

There are no jump scares, but there are times where the game is quite dark (like low lighting) and can be intense.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
So I progressed a bit further today,
the big open space where I can go to container field, processing line. Just completed the processing line, had a lot of fun trying to get through those lasers using the eva pack boosters (so died a lot but got through without braking in the end :D ).
I haven't even tried echo arena yet either.

I've run into one bug that has occured twice, so might be useful for others who encounter the same thing:
Anytime I have to fix the transformers (once in the oxygen maintenance near the start of the game and the second time for the
processing line
). Once I pull down the lever and the 4 nodes are released, they are stuck so I can push or pull them to connect the lines.
Both times I fixed it by quitting to main menu and choosing continue. I lose a little progress but I'm able to get past the transformer fine a second time.

I also got stuck trying to put the eva pack on my back. Got it to click eventually. If anyone else struggles, aim for the back of the shoulder and release once the controller vibrates and It will snap to your back.
 
Jan 12, 2010
8,816
169
965
I broke a mirror playing Echo Arena...and kept playing. It's really good. May have to go ahead and buy Lone Echo.

Honestly you need a 12' by 12' area for Echo arena. Too many quick hand gestures for it to be safe and you have to move the guardian system a whole arms length away from the wall/objects in every direction. Not saying that much is necessary, but this is the first game where my 10 by 9 or so area doesnt feel like enough.
 

HyGogg

Banned
Jan 11, 2016
937
458
240
This is the best VR game. They've really figured out what the medium is all about. It's a world you can reach out and touch, explore at your own pace, and move about in a really immersive and fun way. If you have one shot to prove the potential of VR to someone, this is the game.
 

GuitarAtomik

Member
Jun 13, 2008
18,048
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0
Echo Arena is so fun. Wish the matchmaking was a little better though. I understand the player pool is smaller but still. Had a match yesterday that put me and two other low single digit level players against a team of double digits and they appropriately stomped us.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
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0
So I just saw this on reddit, its a hidden device that lets you boost around the space station as alternative to the fury. Only for players who can handle it since you'll be doing tons of barrel rolls with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_cy_zUUTmo

You can die from boosting too hard into a wall too
 

MaDKaT

Member
Sep 7, 2013
1,542
0
0
Wow, I need to find that drifter. I am really enjoying Lone Echo (Vive). I need to give Arena a go.

Just hope they can eventually get asynchronous reprojection working for it in Revive.
 

GuitarAtomik

Member
Jun 13, 2008
18,048
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0
So I just saw this on reddit, its a hidden device that lets you boost around the space station as alternative to the fury. Only for players who can handle it since you'll be doing tons of barrel rolls with this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_cy_zUUTmo

You can die from boosting too hard into a wall too

Oh that's awesome. Need to find that. There are a few little cool toys hidden around like that. I found a little jackhammer around the primary dig site that crushes the smaller rocks when you hit the trigger.
 

PeterVenkman

Member
Jul 18, 2009
1,984
0
760
Anybody with a VIVE wind up buying Lone Echo? Can't decide if I should wait for the knuckle controllers or not, plus Oculus he a pretty worrying track record on exclusives. Thoughts?

Echo Arena has been great so far but I've been having crashes lately any time I join a game
 

GuitarAtomik

Member
Jun 13, 2008
18,048
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0
Anybody with a VIVE wind up buying Lone Echo? Can't decide if I should wait for the knuckle controllers or not, plus Oculus he a pretty worrying track record on exclusives. Thoughts?

Echo Arena has been great so far but I've been having crashes lately any time I join a game

I did. It's pretty good with Revive though I imagine the knuckles would make it a much more intuitive experience. Hitting the grip button so often isn't too bad since you almost never need to use it with the trigger. The newest version of Revive actually has the option to switch grip to the trigger as well if that's an issue.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
had a lot of fun with the drfiter device I mentioned above. Did a ton of barrel rolls one after the other and I seemed to be fine, if i tried this a year ago I would have definately felt weird in the stomach :)

On the downside, I decided to store the device on top of the space station and when I came back for it, it had clipped through the roof so I can't pull it out (I can grab it, but it keeps hitting the roof). Hopefully it'll respawn or something later on, atleast I had a good 2 hours with it to explore the station.

Found a few more side quests and spent a long time exploring for sats to activate so I've only just reached the primary dig site (had to change the reactor in the generator).
 
Jun 8, 2004
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So anyone got any tips or tricks for Echo Arena movement? It feels like no matter what I do, I can't get to where I want to go everytime precisely. Like, I know where I want to be, I just can't get there as smoothly and fluidly as other people seem to be able to. Are there settings to change to make it easier?

I just dont get how easily people are able to get to where they need to go yet, I am always like 5 seconds behind
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
7 and a half hours in and I've just
met apollo in that giant ship. Really like the direction of the story so far. Even though my current mission is to find the crew, I doubt they'll be alive or if we'll even see them.

So anyone got any tips or tricks for Echo Arena movement? It feels like no matter what I do, I can't get to where I want to go everytime precisely. Like, I know where I want to be, I just can't get there as smoothly and fluidly as other people seem to be able to. Are there settings to change to make it easier?

I just dont get how easily people are able to get to where they need to go yet, I am always like 5 seconds behind

I haven't started echo arena yet but my guess is that prediction is the key. Try to intercept where the disc or player will be and get ahead of them so they come to you.

Lone echo has a bunch of settings like being able to adjust orientation (roll, pitch, yaw), that might be there for arena too, although I dont think that will help too much.
 
Nov 15, 2016
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Echo Arena is like VR Rocket League. People NEED to know about this game.

It could really use some kind of ranked mode though, because the skill gap between players is CRAZY. It takes a couple matches to really learn all the tricks of how to play, but once you do it's kind of a bummer getting teamed up with new players because it makes it impossible to win if the other team has any idea what they're doing. Basically if anyone hasn't learned how to joust yet (which low level players never do) then there's nothing you can do but spend the match teaching them and hope they do better if you're paired with them again.

I bet having separate matchmaking playlists would kill the game though, given the small(er) install base compared to AAA multiplayer games on consoles/PC.
 

anothertech

Member
Oct 1, 2014
4,376
1,810
645
This is one of the best gaming experiences of all time. Literally, GOTY contender and there's some huge ips that came out already this year so that's saying somthing.

I'm going through it again when I can stop playing arena lol. I can play in the punching dome all night with a couple friends lolol
 

SilentRage47

Member
Nov 10, 2011
246
0
0
I broke a mirror playing Echo Arena...and kept playing. It's really good. May have to go ahead and buy Lone Echo.

Honestly you need a 12' by 12' area for Echo arena. Too many quick hand gestures for it to be safe and you have to move the guardian system a whole arms length away from the wall/objects in every direction. Not saying that much is necessary, but this is the first game where my 10 by 9 or so area doesnt feel like enough.

This. It's really the first game where I fell I'm limited by my play area of 7' by 7'.
 

Teknopathetic

Member
Jun 6, 2004
24,114
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Skill-based matchmaking is their #1 priority right now. I believe they're going to be releasing a patch with it later tonight if it goes through QA. After Skill-based matchmaking their priority will be parties and then private matches. They're aiming to have all of this in before their tournament starts on August 24th.


With regards to movement: You inherit velocity from other players (and they you), so you can throw yourself off of them to get from point A to point B far more quickly, if you're heading in the same direction. Don't use your thrusters to change directions if you can help it, throw yourself off of obstacles (and players) instead. Other than that, it's about predicting what's going to happen next and positioning yourself to be in the right spot at the right time. If the disc is in the enemy team's area and they get to it first and you're not actually close enough to steal it from them, you should try to be somewhere in between them and the opposite side of the field so you can either intercept or have a head start chasing the disc.
 
Jun 8, 2004
11,233
1
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7 and a half hours in and I've just
met apollo in that giant ship. Really like the direction of the story so far. Even though my current mission is to find the crew, I doubt they'll be alive or if we'll even see them.



I haven't started echo arena yet but my guess is that prediction is the key. Try to intercept where the disc or player will be and get ahead of them so they come to you.

Lone echo has a bunch of settings like being able to adjust orientation (roll, pitch, yaw), that might be there for arena too, although I dont think that will help too much.

its less about prediction and more about being actually able to navigate exactly where i want to go as fluidly as others seem to do
 

Kinyou

Member
Sep 12, 2009
48,196
3
975
How come this game is getting so little buzz? On metacritic merely 4 (relatively unknown) outlets reviewed it.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/lone-echo

Sure, the install base is still small but from what I watched this looks like a really high quality game that does some interesting new stuff like the zero g movement system.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
How come this game is getting so little buzz? On metacritic merely 4 (relatively unknown) outlets reviewed it.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/lone-echo

Sure, the install base is still small but from what I watched this looks like a really high quality game that does some interesting new stuff like the zero g movement system.

Yeah, it seems most game review sites have abandoned covering vr altogether. :(
gaming sites might be ignoring big vr releases due to low interest from their audience, being ignorant about vr in general or they aren't getting any press kits or copies from devs/ publishers/platforms. either way, vr is being treated like mobile games by gaming sites which is a real shame.
 

vermadas

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Nov 29, 2007
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Ann Arbor, MI
I posted some light impressions in the PCVR thread a few days ago after finishing this but worth sharing here as well:

It really is a fantastic experience, and it nails the zero G traversal so incredibly well. The dialogue and interactions with Cpt. Rhodes felt exceptionally good. The pseudoscience was handled pretty well, with some exceptions here and there. By the end of the game though, I was getting tired of the scavenger hunt type objectives. Late game spoilers:
Fuck you Apollo I'm tired of finding these damn batteries power cells.

How come this game is getting so little buzz? On metacritic merely 4 (relatively unknown) outlets reviewed it.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/lone-echo

Sure, the install base is still small but from what I watched this looks like a really high quality game that does some interesting new stuff like the zero g movement system.

I heard RAD sent review copies out pretty late. But yeah, it's not a long game and it's been out for more than a week now.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
Completed the story today, taking me just over 9 hours, which I am so greatful for as so many vr games end within 2 hours. I never felt like the game was dragging on at all either. I was playing it in roughly 2 hour sessions each day so everytime I would be doing something new. I got all side quests complete except for the satelite activations as i didn't
know it would be unavailable after a certain point in the game.

Loved the game and found the story interesting. I was surprised
it wasn't aliens, but it makes sense since the architecture felt human. I saw the time travel bit happening but not in the way it did. I assumed the anamoly would have slowed down time for those near it (intersteller style), so I didn't expect the ship to be the one time travelling.

I enjoyed navigating through the biomass(especially during the later sections where there are almost no walls to grab on to). I used the eva pack boost alot and physically ducking and jumping past the blobs was a blast lol.

Also really glad rhodes survived
and the ending was a great place to end it. I really hope we get a sequel.

For a sequel they definately need more physical actions like using hammers to break things (They had a pick axe floating around that you could use to break small rocks floating about, but nothing required it in the story). Combat would also be a great feature
especially since the new time they are in is dealing with war.

Now i can finally start Echo Arena. Will do the tutorial for it first of course but I saw "joust" mentioned above, which I obviously have no clue about. Any newbie tips for the multiplayer would be appreciated :D
 

PeterVenkman

Member
Jul 18, 2009
1,984
0
760
I caved and bought Lone Echo. Will post impressions on ReVive later today - it's just my luck that a VR game in space would release. I also love that there doesn't appear to be a combat focus from what I've seen.

I'll definitely be replaying this with knuckle controllers that's for sure. Any settings recommendations for an i7-4790 and a 980ti?
 

Chronology

Member
Jul 12, 2013
692
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0
Pittsburgh, PA
Would those of you who've played it say that it's worth getting a rift for? I've had my eye on it for a while and the price event is pretty compelling, but I've needed something to put me over the edge. Is this it?
 

Amneisac

Member
Mar 14, 2008
3,753
2
1,055
Virginia, USA
Would those of you who've played it say that it's worth getting a rift for? I've had my eye on it for a while and the price event is pretty compelling, but I've needed something to put me over the edge. Is this it?

I mean, $400 is a pretty big price tag for any game, but there are a lot of other enjoyable games and experiences on Rift if you already have a capable PC.
 

Lakuza

Member
Oct 16, 2016
664
0
0
Would those of you who've played it say that it's worth getting a rift for? I've had my eye on it for a while and the price event is pretty compelling, but I've needed something to put me over the edge. Is this it?

I got the rift recently on sale too and I pre-ordered this game whilst waiting for it to arrive, but I had purchased other games alongside it so I'm not sure I can say its worth getting the rift for this game "alone"(i'll elaborate more on the end of the post) but it's definately one the best games for vr available, it wouldn't work as well as a non vr game because the way you move makes full use of the tech and immersion is a key selling point for it too. Luckily its not a 2 hour tech demo, the game took me about 9 hours to complete so its definately a lengthy game.

To summarise the game:
  • no combat (but you can die)
  • encourages exploration (will get side quests for going to places you're not supposed to)
  • light puzzle solving (stuff like repairing a generator by finding and charging power cells / managing the power levels of a facility. The kind of stuff that makes sense when repairing a space station)
  • scanning environments for info or to examine samples
  • Dialogue that gives you multiple choices and questions to asks
  • incredibly immersive
  • great use of motion controls
  • interesting story
  • great voice acting + characters
  • very demanding game (make sure you can run it)
  • extremely polished (not a quick cash grab or tech demo)

The multiplayer is quite popular amongst the vr community, but I haven't even had chance to try it yet so I can't comment too much on that.

Now taking into consideration that you get robo recall, lucky's tale and some other vr apps for free with the oculus and touch controllers, I can say it's worth it since you will have other games to play (in fact I'd say lone echo alongside robo recall is worth getting the rift).
 

HyGogg

Banned
Jan 11, 2016
937
458
240
Yeah, it seems most game review sites have abandoned covering vr altogether. :(
gaming sites might be ignoring big vr releases due to low interest from their audience, being ignorant about vr in general or they aren't getting any press kits or copies from devs/ publishers/platforms. either way, vr is being treated like mobile games by gaming sites which is a real shame.
Polygon actually published an article about the game shortly after launch, but didn't do a review. That means it's on the radar, but still not getting a review. So just not priority for them.

We might see some late reviews trickle out. GameSpot reviewed The Mage's Tale like 3 weeks after it came out, for example. But really, other than Destructoid, Polygon, and sometimes Game Informer, most of the big publications stopped reviewing VR.
 

HyGogg

Banned
Jan 11, 2016
937
458
240
Would those of you who've played it say that it's worth getting a rift for? I've had my eye on it for a while and the price event is pretty compelling, but I've needed something to put me over the edge. Is this it?

I'm not the sort of person who would buy a platform for one game, but if you're asking if this is a "killer app," I would say it certainly feels that way to me. There are plenty of other good games on the system, but this feels like the one that gets a lot of things right that others couldn't and sets a new standard for others to follow.

The comparison to Mario 64 is apt -- Mario 64 was not a perfect game, but it "figured out" a lot of things about 3D game design that set it far ahead of other games at the time.

The 6-8 hour single player is amazing, but of course it's just one game. The multiplayer is something you can keep coming back to,though.

There are other games on the platform that are pretty compelling, though. Robo Recall, Wilson's Heart, The Mage's Tale, Obduction... these all feel like substantial and high-quality games with hours of quality gameplay (Ok, Robo Recall is short, but it's meant for arcade-style scoreplay). We're at the point now where VR has enough "real" games and not just brief "experiences" to make it worth investing in.
I also love that there doesn't appear to be a combat focus from what I've seen.
Zero combat. Not even really any action, other than some parts where you have to avoid hazards or complete a task in a time limit. This is a straight adventure game. Identify obstacle, find object, use object... It's perfect because it gives you the freedom and incentive to explore and immerse yourself in the world.

Action games like Robo Recall are great for delivering presence because the distraction of having to shoot at things keeps your brain from noticing things that might break the illusion. Doing it in an adventure game is much more challenging, but also more satisfying to me.