We go hands on with Project Morpheus exclusive multiplayer mech combat game by Guerilla Games Cambridge, Rigs: Mechanized Combat League. By far the best looking VR game on Morpheus right now.
Guerilla Games, the developers behind smash hit Playstation franchise Killzone, have a reputation for wringing every available pixel worth of performance from their host platform. Now, UK based sister studio Guerilla Games Cambridge have proven themselves just as capable of creating stunning looking games, this time however it’s Sony Project Morpheus that’s the benefactor of their talent.
Rigs is a multiplayer mech combat game that pits you and two other teammates against a rival faction. The aim of the game? To destroy your opponents, collect dropped orbs of energy and score points by dropping through a central ‘goal’.
You’re dropped into your mech, taking control in first person while you hunt down your enemies with your choice of weapons; lasers, rockets or plasma cannons. Your robot is also equipped with the ability to power jump several stories in order to gain vertical advantage and traverse the tight and twisting map, built around the aforementioned goal atop the arena.
From the moment you’re introduced to your mech, to the buildup preceding the match to your eventual cinematic entrance to the battle arena, the presentation is faultless. Visuals are sumptuously rendered with art direction to match. The robots themselves are lovingly created with attention to detail in abundance, from the functional cockpit right up to decals and machinery detail visible outside it.
The ascent into the arena is intentionally designed to amp up the tension and by the time you emerge blinking into the light you’re ready to kill.
Excellent anti-aliasing, high geometry scenery and mechs really give Rigs the feeling of a triple-A experience. It’s a welcome change from the more simplistic target stylings of the majority of early Morpheus titles. It’s also rendered smoothly, with low persistence of vision allowing the screen to melt away becoming a window on the action instead. This is early code of course, and there were a couple of occasions where frame-rate faltered, but for the most part it was near flawless.
Gameplay too is a cut above, with action reminiscent of titles like Titanfall – especially in its reach for verticality. Boosting into the air before unleashing two rockets and watching them hit home against an unsuspecting enemy as you descend was wonderfully and familiarly satisfying.
The control scheme was interesting and it’s the only area of Rigs where I remain as yet unsold. Most of the input duty falls to the Dual Shock controller, including primary rotational movement – but moving your head, your primary means of aiming, implements the ‘weight’ of the unit you’re piloting, that is there’s a slight intentional lag in your aiming. This isn’t really a problem, it just takes a little getting used to. Ultimately it sells the feeling of piloting a massive robot and adds depth to the gameplay, without more extensive playtesting it’s impossible to say for sure though.
All in all, Rigs really impressed me, and as a sign of big budget triple-A content in virtual reality on Playstation, it proves this ‘mere’ console really does have the grunt to do serious VR gaming well.