Black Hat Cooperative is a neat two player VR title which draws upon The Matrix for inspiration, that asks you to escape a labyrinth whilst being pursued, just like Neo, with only your ‘operator’ companion outside VR guiding you.
One of the most effective and tense scenes from the seminal action movie The Matrix (1999) for me was actually one with no bullet time slow motion and very few special effects. Thomas Anderson, played of course by Keanu Reeves, has just discovered that the world as he knows it may not be quite as real as he’d been led to believe and having been contacted by the mysterious Morpheus at his workplace. Anderson is told he’s being stalked by guardians of the digital simulation he’s a part of, and that in no uncertain terms he needs to get the hell out of there, right now, guided only by Morpheus’ voice on a cell phone.
A new game from Team Future Games, Black Hat Cooperative, takes the essence of this scene and constructs an elegantly simple game of cat and mouse from it, whereby one player inside virtual reality is being guided to safety by the all seeing eye of their very own Morpheus, a friend playing outside VR with a birds eye view of both their location and of the VR player’s assailants. The VR player has to escape, avoiding the guards and “invisible” traps, by finding their way to the exit through ever more labyrinthine environments, dodging between rooms once danger has passed, collecting keys and treasure along the way.
The game was conceived as part of 2014’s Global Game Jam, then called Black Hat Oculus, and the developer has since tweaked, honed and expanded on the original concept. It’s another example of what could be seen as a new sub genre of games, successfully explored by the likes of Keep Talking and No One Explodes, another title which uses the player inside-and-out of VR conceit to drive gameplay. And like that game, we can see Black Hat Cooperative being a popular social experience.
The title has just hit Steam Greenlight and launched on the Oculus Store as yet only for the Oculus Rift, although the developers state an HTC Vive version is planned. You can check out the Steam Greenlight page here and hit it up on Oculus Home right here priced $9.99.