Late for Work is a new entry into genre of asymmetric VR multiplayer. In it, one VR player takes control of a King Kong-like giant gorilla, while up to four non-VR friends control tanks and fighter jets that are trying to stop the rampaging beast.
Despite the recent price cut and other incentives that are lowering the barrier to entry for VR, few gamers have access to multiple headsets for local multiplayer VR gaming. To address this need, some developers have started including asymmetric multiplayer: a multiplayer game mode that allows VR players to play with their non-VR friends, with distinct roles for VR and non-VR players.
Recently launched in Early Access on Steam, Late for Work’s take on asymmetric VR multiplayer features multiple maps and a handful of familiar game modes. I was particularly interested in the ‘Hide and Seek’ game mode in which each non-VR player has an item that the gorilla player wants. The non-VR players have to quickly drive around the map and try and hide while the VR player tears up buildings looking for the cars. It’s a game mode that shows a lot of promise, but would benefit more from larger maps that will hopefully be fleshed out as development continues through Early Access.
Another unique feature the game is its locomotion system. To move around as the gorilla in VR, players have to grab the ground and pull it toward them in a way that is meant to simulate the knuckle-walking gait of an actual gorilla. It’s a system that works better than I would have expected and I found myself subconsciously hunching over like a real gorilla as I got more immersed over time. I could tell that it may not work for everyone though, and people who are especially prone to motion-sickness may want to avoid it. However, if you can handle The Climb (2016) or To the Top (2017), you should be fine getting around in Late for Work.
As it currently stands, the game is still very early on in its development. There is a lot of work to be done on art assets and user-interface, and planned features like online multiplayer and a single player campaign are not yet available. However, the developers have expect a long Early Access period between nine months and a year in which they will add content and polish to the game with feedback from players. The developers have also posted a public roadmap detailing upcoming features.
Late for Work is available now on Steam Early Access for $10 for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.