Arktika.1 is the VR debut for 4A Games, the developers bind the Metro series of first person shooters. The title is built from the ground up for Oculus Touch, here’s 17 minutes of the Oculus Connect 3 demo where the title made it’s debut.

Oculus Connect felt like another milestone marking the maturity of content for virtual reality. VR is beginning to gain support from mainstream, triple-A developers and the games which have been in gestation are now beginning to filter out, with a step change in production design and polish, which the traditional games market takes for granted.

One such title revealed at the event was Arktika.1 from developers 4A Games. You may know them from the hugely popular (and technically excellent) Metro series of first person shooter games. Their Malta studio has been dedicated to building a new made-for-VR title which was unveiled for the first time at Oculus Connect 3. It’s a first person shooter designed around motion controls, specifically Oculus’ forthcoming Touch devices. It’s a first person shooter game set in an icy, futuristic wastelend:

Road to VR‘s Frank He went hands on with the game at the event, and had this to say about his experience:

The feel of the weapons as they shot, the strong haptics induced in the Touch controllers, and the quality of the sounds, were all satisfying, not to mention the look of the projectiles and the trails in the air left by them. All of this contributed to the high quality AAA feel of the game. Out of the assortment, I picked what looked like a revolver that shot a scattering of bullets made of pure energy, and a handgun that also scattered but with what seemed to be green projectiles leaving light distorting streaks in the air.

Hands-on: 'Arktika.1' is a Sci-Fi Gun Fanatic’s VR Dream

The gameplay seen here was shot ‘off screen’ so there’s no in game audio unfortunately, but it’s well worth a watch to get a handle on how 4A Games have approached gunplay and VR locomotion in the game, which promises a lengthy campaign mode to play through when it releases in 2017. Arktika.1 is exclusive to the Oculus Rift and Touch and is published by Oculus Studios.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • M0rdresh

    I appreciate developers focusing on a piece of hardware and creating the best experience, however I don’t think exclusivity is ever beneficial to the consumer. The VR market is not big as it is, hence making the core audience smaller is not a good move. Of course, as with all other VR games, this will probably only be a timed exclusive.

    • wheeler

      I agree. The PC should not be fractured by exclusives. It’s a pretty lacking game according to places like VRFocus, but that’s not the point. Does anyone really think that splitting up PC VR into isolated experiences or (artificial) “platforms” tied to each HMD is a good idea? Aside from FB/Oculus I mean. The gaming community (and journalists) should be in an uproar about this.

    • DiGiCT Ltd

      Having your own store frontend makes good money, as in general devs need to give 30% of their sales revenue to the platform.
      At the end this makes more money as selling 1 HMD for them.
      It’s just a business wise profit decision.
      If you pay $9 for a game the platform takes $3 and the dev pays still tax over his revenue ending up with less as $6 for a game sales.
      Gamers forget that the devs dont get all the money you paid for.

      • wheeler

        I think most already know this but it’s just terrible for VR consumers and there are other ways of doing things. Valve could have made the Vive’s API exclusive to their HMD/store and also purchased Steam-only exclusives–the “PC VR war” would have already ended. But they didn’t because they know it would be terrible for VR consumers. I’m not sure if you’re saying this, but it’s not justifiable simply because it’s a business wise profit decision. Likewise, it’s not a great business wise profit decision for Valve to cede control of transactions by moving Steam to the open ecosystem they talked about at Steam Dev Days, but they’re doing it anyway.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          You forget one thing, Valve does not make the Vive, it’s HTC which actually makes and sells the Vive.. Valve is all about getting as much people to buy games through their steam platform, also the Oculus was the first headset that actually ran on SteamVR.. Valve will never limit their steam-platform to one headset, as they don’t make any money off headsets, they make money on selling games.. Everything Valve does is for the benefit of selling stuff through their steam-platform..

        • DiGiCT Ltd

          I think most people misunderstand Valve/Steam, as they are actually open for all kind of content.
          The original store for vive is called Viveport and that run by HTC, steam however is an independent platform which also has oculus stuff on it and even OSVR, they made however steamVR sdk, the software for making you hardware work but it does not need to be on STeam itself for that.
          Viveport is like oculus home, they are both HMD bound, the issue i see here a lot is that people think Steam is Vive, which is totally wrong and mistaken.
          The only difference is that Oculus home has exclusives.

          To sum it up for people :

          Oculus has oculus home
          Vive has viveport

          Steam is for any HMD and not specific for only 1.

      • Cl

        If it was about money why wont they officially let vive users use oculus store?

        If you can only get a game from the oculus store and they make more money off selling games then the HMD, they should let vive users buy it from there too.

        Also by only selling it on oculus store devs make less money. If anything wouldnt they make more by putting it on steam since both vive and oculus users can both buy from there? I can understand doing it if oculus paid them to do it though. But again.. if they paid them to do this so people buy the oculus, why would they do this if they make more money from games and not the headset itself? Maybe they make more off the headset than we think.

  • Me

    Exclusive ! New locomotion method by 4A Games: no locomotion at all… Somebody really has to fix that, otherwise VR is broken.

    • wheeler

      After trying a lot of VR experiences, I think developers should typically provide something similar to two main locomotion options for FPSs: (1) teleportation/dash (assuming it makes sense) and (2) Onward style movement. For the former, by “makes sense” I mean for both the gameplay and story/universe.

      • Me

        I haven’t tried Onward’s method but heard good things about it. Dash is OK-ish. It’s better than teleportation, but forces you to remain very static like teleportation, and makes roomscale pointless. It’s a very difficult conundrum to solve, and the one who finally does it would be better off make sure his finding is securely patented…

        • wheeler

          You should definitely try Onward if you can. The locomotion system makes it the most immersive experience on the Vive for me. One of the few games where I sometimes completely forget about my RL surroundings.

          • TheVillasurfer

            It’s the 1st game I’ll play when I get the touch controllers. It looks amazing.

        • Zcythe

          Hands down best locomotion I’ve used is Art of Fight’s.

          • Nik

            Hate that game. Didn’t like the locomotion at all.

      • David Herrington

        Why haven’t all the devs started using the Onward type of locomotion??? Are there some serious consequences to using it?

    • Pistol Pete

      That’s the first thing I noticed too, it’s weird to see teleportation with zero freedom of movement. Looks very jarring and immersion breaking to me. Graphics looks good though.

  • Mane Vr

    I wish they would have given the option for free motion but that game play clip just won me back on the give it a try maybe i’ll get lucky and they’ll give us more locomotion option… MORE options is always better then forcing everyone to play one way

  • OgreTactics

    I think teleportation is horrible crap. But yeah that debate about how you should move in VR is really interesting. It’s funny that beside perf optimisation, the camera is the hardest thing to manage in VR. I really don’t see why people don’t adopt free movement (the controller stick is made for that) since if you attenuate the typical head/camera bounce of a walking first-person character, you don’t get motion-sickness.

    But for the time-being, I still think scripted-walk system like in old arcade shooters (Time Crisis or House of the Dead) would be the best format for VR. In fact where are the Point Blank, Time Crisis, House of the Dead etc…in VR?

  • Fredrik Pettersen

    I’m really looking forward to playing a HTC Vive-ported version of this game. Q response from Get Schwifty! in 1… 2… 3…

  • JustNiz

    Is it really just yet another shooting range game?