Insomnia64 continues at the NEC, and here is our continued coverage of some of the best titles from the show floor.
Playstation allowed attendees a 15 minute slot to try out it’s upcoming third person survival horror title, which releases on the 26th April. The controls felt easy to use, even for someone who is far more used to playing PC titles. Ammo is scarce and guns, whilst effective, are loud and will attract the attention of the enemies. I noticed that even the weaker enemies that attack you are capable of doing major damage, so playing carefully is key. Marking enemies with your binoculars, distracting them and performing melee takedowns is a wise way to proceed. There were no new major mechanics on display, but everything that was present worked well. If the story is as compelling and immersive as the marketing suggests it will be, Days Gone could stand to rival the Last of Us when it comes to the standard of survival horror.
Media Molecule, the team behind LittleBigPlanet, gave 3 90 minute demonstrations of the creative toolkit available in their upcoming title. They created a beach scene from scratch to show the world creation, character customisation and music options. I was impressed by just how many options you have for world building, and the demonstrators were able to conjure up their scene from a blank canvas in just a few minutes. This included creating the areas of sand and sea, applying textures, lighting effects, movement effects for the waves of the sea, changing the skybox, and even the position of the sun relative to the area. Character customisation options are similarly impressive, being able to generate effectively any shape for a character model, as well as tailor the animations to decide how they move, with sliders for swaying, leg and arm movement and other details. Players can take default pieces of music and chop and change them to suit what they are trying to create.
The demonstrators knew their way around their product, but new players may initially feel a bit daunted with having so many menus and options at their fingertips. However, they can utilise the help of the search function, which allows them to find things other people have created and place them into their environment. In this case, the team showed off a ‘Start Gate’ that someone had already implemented the logic for, which when stepped on, would start a 3 second countdown and then a timer, all of which had camera and sound effects built in. The developers explained that if someone made use of another player’s work in their experience, the original owner would always be credited, which is a nice touch. I also had the opportunity to try a few of the games that had been made using the toolkit, which were impressive even just by their design alone. Dreams is not yet fully released, and new features are due to be added before it does. Even with its current toolkit, the scope of what dedicated players could (and already have) create is staggering.
Trover Saves the Universe
A game from the minds of Rick and Morty, this VR title uses the same style of comedy, and the the voices are instantly recognisable. It’s a title that will be enjoyed far more for it’s charm (for those who enjoy this type of humour) than it’s gameplay, and I had a nice moment when the character I was controlling told me to hurry up as other people were waiting to play the demo. This is an easy one to break down, if you like Rick and Morty, you will like this, just don’t expect any groundbreaking gameplay mechanics.
Everybody’s Golf VR
Whilst it may not be a title that will be on everyone’s must watch list, my experience of Everybody’s Golf was good. It’s a case of a simple concept executed well. The swings felt fluid, and as you took practice attempts the game would show you the arc of your swing and the direction the ball would have traveled. It was a nice balance of it being easy to pick up and play, but also that your skill was rewarded, and playing with good technique would reflect in the accuracy of your shot.