16 Minutes of ‘Red Matter’ Gameplay Revealed – a Sci-fi Soviet Retrofuture Adventure


Ahead of its launch later this month, we got a chance to dive into the beginning of Red Matter, an upcoming VR adventure puzzle exclusively for Oculus Rift that puts you in a wonderfully weird Soviet-style retrofuturistic world.

With launch quickly approaching, Spain-based developers Vertical Robot gave us the green light to show off a respectable chunk of the game’s beginning, which places you in the boots of an astronaut—Agent Epsilon of the vaguely American-sounding Atlantic Union.

Because we were only allowed to show so much in the press preview of the game, which let us experience the very beginning—a botched landing on a suspiciously Slavic-sounding Volgravian test site on Rhea, Saturn’s second-largest moon—we had to cut off right as we got deeper into the search for some key documents that would help us unravel the truth behind the test site.

We had a pretty similar experience jumping into Red Matter at its debut at Oculus Connect 4 last year, but one of the caveats at the time was we weren’t allowed to show anything but the vetted press images to go along with our written impressions. You can check out our hands-on here, which covers basically everything up until we hit the elevator, which in the OC4 demo was replaced with a mysteriously glowing substance. That’s gone (I think. I haven’t played past the preview’s cutoff).

At Red Matter‘s Oculus Connect debut, Design Director Tatiana Delgado told Road to VR the game’s Volgravian setting was a “cross between the encroaching surveillance of George Orwell’s dystopian societies and Kafka’s absurd bureaucracy.”

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From what we’ve seen, Red Matter is shaping up to be a highly polished experience with plenty of intrigue to boot. A good measure of retro CRTs, propaganda posters, handy translator guns, and manipulator claws all make ridiculously charming experience thus far.

Delgado told me at the time that Red Matter was aiming for a 2.5-3 hour gameplay length, although they have since communicated that it will be closer to 3.5-4 hours. We’ll have our full review here at the game’s launch, which is slated for May 24th.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Raphael

    Idiot developer excluding everything but Octopus Rift, however… with only 2.5 hours gameplay it’s no loss.

    • lostformofvr

      Idiot user which IQ isn’t enough to play this game, it’s no loss.

      • Raphael

        Don’t be hard on yourself flappy. Do you know where the IQ test originated? Look it up flappy.

        • Andrew McEvoy

          US military wasnt it?

          • Raphael

            Nop, England, comprehensive schools.

          • Andrew McEvoy

            Ah ok probably true I havent researched.
            I am pretty sure it was the US military who took it to another level at the start of WW1, Anyway, pub quiz question answered ;)

          • AndyP

            The first IQ test was invented by a French psychologist before being appropriated and standardised by a US psychologist. It, arguably, only tests certain aspects of intelligence currently valued by society.

  • Maximus

    I am glad this will be on the Oculus store as I hate buying games on steam.

  • Henree

    2.5-3 hour gameplay <- hahahahaha! Also; is the fact that it looks like Wolfenstein 3d from the commodore intentional?

    • Ricky Haze

      Yeah I agree about the gameplay time but I think the visuals look amazing. Did we watch the same video?

  • Lucidfeuer

    2-3h of gameplay should actually be the maximum length of a single immersive run so (depending on pricing) it doesn’t bother me. The progressive teleporting locomotion is a nice idea but…nah it’s still not the way locomotion should be dealt with.

    Anyway really curious try, design and execution look nice, even though puzzle-progression game are getting mostly boring, unless there are some eventful things happening.