Nostros, the upcoming online RPG with VR support in development by NetEase Games, is now has a release date window of Q4 2019.
Announced initially back in August, 2018, Nostos is promised to be an online open-world RPG, with VR support, that definitely reminds us of Sword Art Online thanks to its anime art style.
This week HTC announced at ChinaJoy 2019 that Nostos will launch in Q4 2019, and that it’ll be released on the company’s Viveport platform, in addition to Steam and Oculus. A specific Nostos release date hasn’t yet been confirmed.
A forthcoming Beta of the game has also been confirmed by the game’s official Twitter account, but it isn’t clear if the Q4 launch is the Nostos Beta, or if the Beta will come before the Q4 launch. We’ve reached out to the studio for clarification.
We went hands-on with an early Nostos build last year and learned more about the game’s premise:
Here’s the pitch: players live in the world of Nostos, a post-apocalyptic, but verdant place littered with the remnants of long-abandoned cities and artifacts that help you survive. Including deserts, grasslands, and mountains, players fight off enemies as a natural timer counts down, an ever-expanding destructive force called ‘Coralsea’. The game is supposed to be an online multiplayer, but it’s uncertain if the ‘M’ for ‘massive’ is applicable at this point.
Unfortunately it was clear that there was still a long way to go in terms of making the game feel VR native and optimizing its performance.
At this point, Nostos‘ VR version feels like a shoehorned implementation, and I genuinely hope NetEase looks around at true VR natives such as Rec Room, Orbus VR, and Echo VR for inspiration moving forward. It’s still early days, and there’s definitely some good bones here that would be grand in VR if properly fleshed out.
Considering the game will also support non-VR play, it will surely be difficult to design rich gameplay that feels truly suitable to both. That was a year ago, though, and by now we’re hopeful that NetEase Games has risen to the task; VR is still awaiting its first great MMO-style game.
With last year’s preview of Nostos being at Gamescom, we hope to see the latest build of the game at the same conference later this month to bring an update on its progress.