Panoptic, the game that pits a single VR-clad giant against a tiny PC adversary in a game of deadly hide & seek, just launched out of Early Access today.
First launching as a free demo on Steam back in 2016, Panoptic puts you in the shoes of a giant ‘Overseer’ in VR, giving you the laser power of the Panopticon which lets you temporarily focus your light to incinerate a suspected enemy.
Your friend, who plays via keyboard and mouse on the same computer, is the ‘Challenger’ and they must slink around to carry out tasks and eventually bring down the Goliath. Hiding from the Overseer’s powerful gaze isn’t easy, but they can’t look everywhere at once. The Challenger must slip away into the crowd of faceless NPCs and hide behind the crenelated architecture of the ‘Sanctum’ as they destroy life-giving energy orbs.
Thanks to Steam Remote Play, you can also challenge your friends online. Since it’s not a latency intensive game, it’s nearly indistinguishable from face-to-face play. Granted, the game plays best in groups of onlookers, but considering that nowadays—for some overwhelmingly obvious reason—those sorts of gatherings simply aren’t possible, it’s nice to know you can have essentially the same asymmetric action from afar.
It’s been a long road for Belgium-based indie studio Team Panoptes, with its 2016 demo sparking a lot of initial interest in the game. Launching into Early Access in 2019, Panoptic has benefitted from several updates which include everything from new maps to community-driven bug fixes.
As a part of a launch day special, Panoptic on Steam is currently 40% off the retail price of $17, coming to just over $10. The game supports all SteamVR headsets including Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest via Link, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Windows VR headsets.
Check out some of Node’s playtesting below to get a feel for what Panoptic has to offer.