Schell Games, the studio behind VR titles like I Expect You to Die (2016), today announced its next project which promises to “blend various styles of sword fighting to create an intense, real-time combat experience that hasn’t been seen before with VR.”
It seems like VR gaming is finally starting to move away from trying to make everything an FPS. I’ve said in the past that ‘guns are the laziest method of VR interaction’ because most incarnations amount to little more than dressed up laser pointers, which ultimately don’t make great use of VR’s unique strengths (with a handful of key exceptions, of course). Melee combat stands to be more interactive and interesting because of how much it incorporates body motions and spatial awareness (things which VR does very well).
Following other prominently melee-focused VR games like In Death, Blade and Sorcery, and the upcoming Asgard’s Wrath, Schell Games is throwing its hat into the ring with Until You Fall, a “magic-infused, VR sword fighting game.”
From the brief description the studio revealed today, it sounds like the game will be a procedurally generated roguelike dungeon crawler, meaning players will battle as far as they can until they are inevitably vanquished, but may earn some sort of progress with each playthrough. In that sense, it sounds like it could be similar in concept to In Death [our review].
The initial announcement is short on details and offers no look at screenshots or gameplay footage, but the studio is promising “a VR sword fighting game that delivers a satisfying combat experience,” and quite ambitiously aims to be a “visually stunning” game with a level of combat interaction that raises the bar for VR.
“We’re blending various styles of sword fighting to create an intense, real-time combat experience that hasn’t been seen before with VR,” remarked Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games. “Using our deep knowledge of these platforms, we believe this game will push boundaries and leave players with the immersive mêlée fighting experience they’ve been craving.”
Those are some seriously ambitious claims, but they’re backed by the studio’s game development experience dating back to 2002, including well received VR games like I Expect You to Die and Water Bears VR.
Granted, much of the studio’s development experience leans toward educational/puzzle games, and nothing under their belt to date is as combat-focused, visually rich, and action-packed as Until You Fall is being described, which could make the game a defining moment for Schell Games.
Until You Fall is set to launch sometime in 2019 but the studio isn’t actually saying on which headsets it will be available. Considering that the studio isn’t saying, the upcoming Oculus Quest seems like a good bet, though a game of this nature would surely be welcomed by the high-end VR segment on PC and PS4 as well.