Sairento VR is a new made-for-VR first person action game which manages to distil everything that was cool about SUPERHOT VR, Raw Data and adds its own locomotion system for something which promises to be even cooler than either of them.
Guns, swords and slow motion – three ingredients which have transfixed me as a movie-goer and gamer for as long as I can remember now. As such, throw some combination of the above into a virtual reality experience and it’s pretty much guaranteed it’ll pique my interest. As motion controllers for consumer VR has now become a reality for both major VR platforms as 2016 comes to a close, we’ve already seen a handful of great games to exploit my weakness for these Matrix-inspired mechanics.
SUPERHOT VR debuted alongside the Oculus Touch launch with it’s brilliantly stark take on the genre and before that the excellent Raw Data on SteamVR provided a superbly slick package. Now comes Sairento VR, an in-development first person action title which shuffles all of the things that made these games so compelling and sprinkles some neat locomotion innovations into the mix for a package which looks to be pretty compelling.
Still in Early Access on Steam, the HTC Vive title (which, thanks to SteamVR also works on the Oculus and Touch) from developers Mixed Realms and is described as ” a mission-driven, VR action role-playing game set in a reimagined Japan in the near future.” So far so predictable then. Apparently you play a member of the ‘Silent Ones’ organisation, a covert operation who draw from samurai and ninja for their martial arts skills. Why? Who the hell cares?!
Frankly it’s all a flimsy excuse to throw you the player into a futuristic world filled with swords and firearms with a roster of bad-ass skills to boot. Those skills are upgrades as you progress too, which is where the RPG-lite elements of the game are felt.
All of that aside, it’s Mixed Realms’ twist on locomotion that may elevate the package to must-play status. Throughout the game, the player amasses ‘focus’ which is illustrated via blue bar toward the bottom of your view. This focus allows you to move throughout the gameworld via a fairly standard looking point-and-click method.
I can already hear the anti-VR-locomotion brigade readying their pitchforks so let me add this: the point-and-click mechanic actually adds to the coolness of this title. If you’ve amassed enough focus, you can string together leaps in slow motion, such that you descend on your enemies to obliterate with sword and pistol. But get this, you can augment your abilities to string those leaps together mid-air, double-jump style. This opens up opportunities for the player to choreograph some extremely cool combat together as they fend off waves of enemies. On top of this, you can unleash powered up projectiles via your sword and dispatching enemies is accompanied by a satisfying splash of over the top gore.
On the negative side, the title is at present little more than a glorified wave shooter with some neat progression grafted on, and there are some crashing and interface issues which need to be handled, but it’s a promising early showing for the developers and one I’ll be keeping a close eye on. We’ve only had a small amount of time with the title thus far so can’t gauge whether the £18.99 (currently discounted to £15.19) asking price is justified, but if the stuff I’ve described above holds any interest we suspect it’s worth a punt. We’ll be back with a more in-depth look at the title later.