Watch: 12 Minutes of ‘Robo Recall’ Gameplay with Oculus Touch

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One of the flagship announcements at last week’s Oculus Connect developer conference, Epic Games’ Robo Recall is a slick, polished first person shooter built for Oculus’ forthcoming VR motion controllers Touch. Here’s 12 minutes of raw gameplay from the Connect 3 demo to give you some idea of what to expect when the game lands early next year (see embedded video at the top of this article).

Road to VR‘s Ben Lang described Robo Recall as “satisfying action-packed fun” after spending time with the game at this year’s Oculus Connect 3 conference. The game, which evolved from the extremely well received tech demo for Touch, Bullet Train, retains a lot of the same core mechanics as it’s predecessor but polishes and hones them.

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Now however, the premise is that you, the protagonist, are out to ‘recall’ hordes of malfunctioning, beweaponed mechanoids with brute force – i.e. your fists and a selection of guns. Ben had this to say about the title in his recent hands on article:

The sum of the experience is satisfying action-packed fun. Grab a robot, rip the gun out of its hand, then blow its head off and use the corpse as a shield.

The game isn’t just fun, also impressively beautiful. That’s the norm for pretty much anything Epic has set their minds (and their impressive Unreal Engine) to, but Robo Recall in particular uses some new tech from Epic to look extra sharp in VR.

The title will be made available for free for Oculus Touch owners with three environments each sporting three missions each. The title will appear some time in Q1 2017.

SEE ALSO
'Bullet Train' on the Latest Oculus Touch Makes You a Bullet-Catching Badass
  • Marcus Laitila Ekelund

    I see that they’re using the teleport mechanic for movement. Was there an option for traditional locomotion with the touch-controller’s left stick?

    • Get Schwifty!

      I seriously doubt it. The promotion of teleport has left us with a first generation of gimped VR experiences I’m afraid. I think they should have given you the option for traditional locomotion (we need a phrase like T-LOC lol) but highly advised using t-port to users to start. Oculus was so afraid (maybe rightly so) of being pilloried in the press for creating tech making people puke they have played it almost too safe.

      • disqus_tIyJXz3xh9

        “Traditional movement” is the first thing people who aren’t experienced with/haven’t tried VR bring up, as if the big companies haven’t tried it. Why? Because it makes the majority of players have nausea, and just doesn’t feel good or smooth in any way. You are saying “gimped” because it’s not like the holo deck in star trek yet? Let’s have a reality check. It looks like this game allows you to interact with things and move anywhere, pretty good for a brand new device

        • Marcus Laitila Ekelund

          I’ve had plentiful experience with VR-apps with traditional locomotion (even Minecraft GearVR has it) and done right it does work.

          My question was simply if there was an option. Teleport should definitely be the default setting.

        • james harrison

          He’s saying “gimped” because they didn’t give end users the OPTION.

          I personally hate teleportation. I want the option to use the left stick if I feel like it. I don’t get sick, but even if I did, I would still want the ability to decide for myself.

          Taking away choices for the consumer=gimping the overall experience.

      • Augure

        “The promotion of teleport has left us with a first generation of gimped VR experiences” Oh look you are starting to understand one of thousands of half-assed techs, softwares and experiences that make VR a gadget that most people don’t have an interest in adopting yet.

        Fortunately the PSVR is successful as expected because it does what it’s relatively supposed to as a living-room media VR device.

    • flavortang

      Dude, stop with the “traditional locomotion” stuff. VR isn’t monitor/TV gaming. Analog movement cr@p is a tradition in SEATED CONSOLE GAMING, not VR and for good reason. It’s why devs don’t use the lame analog stick movement as a locomotion option: nausea.

      Man, people just can’t let go of old 2D gaming tropes. VR is about progression not regression.

      • Marcus Laitila Ekelund

        Hence why I mentioned ‘option’. Teleport should definitely be the default setting.

        • Doctor Bambi

          My only concern with an option between the two movement styles is what impact it has on game balancing. Free movement and teleportation are two very different things. If you design a game around teleportation, how is that going to translate to free movement? Not saying it’s impossible to cater to both, but it could force you to make compromises to the overall experience.

          To me the more important question is, is the game fun? I’ve played a fair amount of Wands for Gear VR, and can say that it’s one of the best experiences on the platform and one that I come back to fairly often. So I know that teleportation based action games can be a lot of fun and Robo Recall looks to be just that.

          If it’s any solace, Jason Rubin has stated that a solution to free movement in VR is being worked on and we should know more next year, but it’s going to be different than anything we’ve come to expect from movement in games.

          Edit: Adding the article where he discusses locomotion. It’s the last question in the article. http://www.pcgamesn.com/chronos/oculus-vr-jason-rubin-interview-gamescom-2016

      • Peter Hansen

        Dude, let people the choice, man. Stop being a missionary. Nobody wants that.

        • flavortang

          Dude, deal with VR AS IT IS instead of making developers regress back to control schemes that don’t fit with the medium. We don’t use TV remotes to control characters in console games and using an analog stick to float around in VR is asinine.

          If you can’t detach yourself from your d@mn gamepad then put down the HMD and go play COD on your Xbone.

          • Philip Cone

            except when one means of movement is better its better to use that means of movement. Teleportation limits where you can go and what you can do, and takes away from a lot of the 3d aspects, as moving can actually allow you to see depth at long distances.

          • Peter Hansen

            Dude, really, dude. Don’t make any premature assumptions. Actually, I can’t stand gamepads at all! What I really liked, however, was playing Quake 1 in VR with mouse/keyboard. This game, of course, is so fast and smooth and immediate that even jumping, strafing etc. gave me no sim sickness at all.

            I would also play The Solus Project sitting in VR with mouse/keyboard, if it were possible. Because VR locomotion is slow, and this game is huge, and there is absolutely NO WAY (!) to find all the secrets and passage ways in a roomscale approach. After 5 h your knees hurt from mainly standing still, your eyes really get tired etc. pp.

            In any way: don’t tell people what they want/need/should/shouldn’t do. This is embarrassing, but only for you. Got it?

          • james harrison

            Okay. You’re just a troll at this point.

          • flavortang

            I don’t think you understand what a troll is.

      • Philip Cone

        Actually the “traditional locomotion” stuff is way more natural than this restricting, jarring, teleportation. I can gladly say that I got more sick over playing the assembly using the teleportation than the stick. Even if most people feel comfortable using teleportation, there should at least be the option to move normally.

      • Kyle Nau

        Teleportation *is* a regression.

        It’s not just VR at play here, it’s also game design and so far all the teleport games have been garbage. Congrats on not getting motion sick in a 1996-style rails shooter, but the early adopters who are the only hope of keeping these companies in business aren’t interested.

        • disqus_tIyJXz3xh9

          ” so far all the teleport games have been garbage.”

          Did you even play Bullet Train? Or are you judging this off shovelware vive titles.

      • james harrison

        Tell us more please, about how wrong our preferences are, and how your personal preference just happens to be the universally best option …

        We’re all ears.

        • flavortang

          It’s as simple as this: do you traverse the real world holding a godd@mn gamepad in your hands, pushing an analog stick to float around? NO. Doing it in VR makes no godd@mn sense.

          Teleportation isn’t a preference; IT’S A CONCESSION. It’s a locomotion workaround to accomplish two things: move long distances inside a virtual space but bypass the visual mechanisms that make people nauseous. You can freely walk around within the room-scale space you have reserved for yourself in the real world.

          However, if you absolutely are just married to the concept of analog sticks and can’t detach yourself from them, go play a console. Insisting that a control scheme be introduced into a medium that will undoubtedly cause nausea in a significant portion of the userbase is self-destructive if you consider yourself a fan of VR.

          I want VR to succeed and part of that success will rely on interfacing technologies exclusive to the medium. The problem is that modern gamers think VR was created exclusively for them and that we should obviously just port over all manner of interface along with all the design tropes of a technology that involves the user sitting down and looking at a flat frame from a distance of 3-15ft.

          VR IS NOT STANDARD PC/CONSOLE GAMING. It’s orders or magnitude complex on how our perceptive systems both process the data and how we instinctively respond to it. Suggesting that we just use old-hat interfaces with this burgeoning new medium is insulting, condescending and LAZY.

          • CaptainHappy

            You know the touch controllers for the rift include thumbsticks, right? Room scale isn’t big enough yet (not to mention being limited by the amount of space you can dedicate to VR) and teleportation often ruins immersion.

            As of now, traditional locomotion (for those who don’t get nauseous and wish to enable it) is still the best option.

            I’d also be interested to know what your big idea to resolve this is? As you you’re so against using a thumbstick and are calling everyone backwards for wanting the choice.

      • CaptainHappy

        I have a rift/touch and traditional movement is not a problem for me and likely won’t be a problem for at least a few people, no nausea in the slightest.

        There should be the option to toggle between teleportation and traditional locomotion as for me, the teleportation method ruins a game like Arizona Sunshine where teleporting just does not make sense in the context of the game – thus spoiling the illusion of reality.

        Space games? Sure, teleport me as much as you like but if I’ve got a colt 45 and an Uzi strapped to me I expect to be walking around.

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    Art looks great, although the gameplay does not look that interesting to me, it has so many break times in it that seems to me breaking the action.
    Also the teleprting part, this game would be much better imo if you just had waves of them coming at you and fighting them off.
    It is the problem most traditional FPS games have in VR locomotion….. teleporting can work out in certain situations but for sure not in all of them.

    The awesome part however is how you can use your controllers to rip those robots into pieces which makes the experience for sure awesome, but im wondering after tearing 100 of them into pieces how awesome this still wil be.
    I will keep watching their progress as i like the art, but the gameplay for me still needs huge improvements or show at least more on whats the goal of this game and how you can lose..

  • Looks great however it would be nice if there was some kind of hand triggered movement, ie hold down both hand controller buttons and your character extends their arms to the floor and runs as you move yourarms, like a gorilla just using its hands to propel itself along. Could use this to climb, jump, leap etc

    • ZenInsight

      Yes. The movement and change of area within the space is lacking.

    • Adrian Meredith

      I actually found the running on the spot gets rid of all movement nausea your brain genuinely believes its moving then

      • Using an Omni treadmill or a controller? Interesting if it is with a controller, maybe that could be reversed so if using a thumb controller to move, rather than smooth fps style gliding around it exaggerates bobbing up and down instead of gliding.

  • Kyle Nau

    I think the effort here, given the free price tag, is to lead by example and have a high quality “bundled” title for Oculus Touch. Something has to be done to combat the mountain of low quality Wii-style shovelware that’s being dumped on the VR market.

  • ZenInsight

    This game made me think of something. Everyone is using this transport mechanism to get out of motion sickness. Ok, I get that. But, let’s say you have room space of motion…like in Vive games. Can’t we have a jumping from one location to another mechanism? Where the head space still has some “play” in it while moving through the air? Then you could jump on to ledges and turn your head and shot while jumping through the air?

    Isn’t the sickness from the fact of being locked down to a single swivel point? Where in real life even while we walk our head shift forward and backward inside of space slightly? Isn’t that the real solution to becoming nauseous? Nausea comes from having the head movement forced into a perfect 360 degree rotation without ant up down, forward, back give.

    I don’t understand why this hasn’t been solved. Are the Hz not high enough yet? Do we need head movement within space and 240hz? the brain is very sensitive after all. What looks smooth to the eyes may not be to the brain.

    • Aaron Hillaker

      If you’re not moving but your character in-game is walking around, it’s disorienting. Having a cockpit helps with this immensely, but it’s not always viable.

      • Augure

        That’s no exactly true. Having your character in-game walking around is not a problem if your head-camera is still tied to your head motions. It would be a problem if you were playing with actual positional motion but the character was doing impromptu movements elsewhere.

        • Aaron Hillaker

          I’m speaking from experience here. Half Life 2 in VR made me sick pretty quickly ( at first. now it’s not so bad since I’ve gotten used to it ) and most people I believe have the same problem.

          • Augure

            I played many FPS with no-problem. You probably used Vorpx which out-of-the-box necessitates many fine-tuning to get HL2 right, but it’s a matter of screen warp and scale.

            The thing in VR is, I think, to only consider what is tied to user movements, not input, movement, and has of now we only have two component: head and surrogate hands (with Oculus Touch, Moves and Vive pans). The rest can be moved freely within the boundaries of acceptable movements depending on cognitive perception. As such, Teleportation is a very bad idea as I described above.

          • ZenInsight

            Yeh. I’ve noticed that even if I sit perfectly still and move my hands there is just a slight variation in my forward and backward head movement. Without having a depth of field head tracking, I think it’s always going to be nausea inducing. For walking in a game while sitting still in real life I am not aware of a fix.

          • Augure

            There’s no need for a fix. If you’re head (which is the only part of your body tied in VR for now) is not moving, then you can move the rest, your brain will do the rest.

  • Bryan Ischo

    If only the screens and lenses really looked that good …

  • Rupert Jung

    Looks fantastic but they really should add a quick animation when teleporting like Doom 4 VR to avoid disorientation.

  • AndyP

    The thing that makes me feel sick is that I’ve spent so much money to play dreadful teleportation VR games that are more restrictive than reality.

  • jimrp

    Looks like fun atleast you can move.

  • James Friedman

    The fact that this is free is amazing

  • Peter Hansen

    For what reason is this unnerving music all over the video? When I watch game play I also want to hear how it sounds, how voices sound, what they say, etc. Otherwise I am not really able to figure out, what the game is about, whether there is sort of a story line, what I got to do and achieve, and so on.

  • Augure

    Teleportation mechanics is a no-no. It’s actually a fucking conceptual and cognitive non-sense that creates huge-frustrations and discomforts of being displaced with no continuity of movement and constant interruptions of gameplay and experience.

    Rail-mechanics, and by that I mean House of the Dead/Time Crisis walking rail-mechanics was the way the go, why the fuck has nobody implemented it in a VR experience?