Fighting games have enjoyed a slight renaissance with the rise of eSports but it is a genre that is hard to implement on VR.
At least, if you’re looking for a Street Fighter II or Tekken-style fighter that is.
One gameplay mechanic that has had some currency in VR fighting games is sword fighting.
Schell Games’ just-announced project, Until You Fall, promises to bring a new spin to VR melee combat when it arrives sometime this year.
You might remember Schell Games from I Expect You to Die. When describing their approach to sword fighting for Until You Fall, Schell describes it as blending a lot of different styles and a “magic-infused, VR sword fighting game.”
Road to VR compares the basic concept to other titles now available for VR including In Death and Blade and Sorcery. The as-yet-unreleased Asgard’s Wrath also seems to be similarly themed to Until You Fall.
As for how it will play out, the studio is basically describing a game that sounds like a Rogue-like game or Diablo-type dungeon crawler. It is a Rogue-like in that you have one chance to see how far you can get and somewhat like Blizzard’s Diablo in that it will combine different styles and abilities.
Outside of some vague descriptions, there really isn’t much else to go on from Schell. They didn’t release any preliminary pics of the game or any footage of the game in action. It’s all really conceptual at this point (and relies heavily on knowing the competition a little bit, hence the reference to similar games currently available).
Nonetheless, Schell’s got some bold promises. They say it is not only going to be engaging, innovative, and fun but also will push VR headsets to their limits with awesome graphics and a slick presentation.
CEO Jesse Schell was quoted by Road to VR as saying, “We’re blending various styles of sword fighting to create an intense, real-time combat experience that hasn’t been seen before with VR…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.”
Hopefully, they pull through and deliver what was promised though it remains to be seen if they actually do it.
One thing that is promising about Schell’s announcement is that it shows how developers are looking outside of their comfort zones for other areas in VR. Schell isn’t known for its action-heavy games in the first place and many new VR titles tend to hew closely towards some variant of an FPS.
A dungeon crawling, Rogue-like game for VR with varied combat styles could be a really awesome experience. It’s a shame that the company didn’t reveal more about the project, such as how you move in the world and what the style differentiation will be, but the announcement in itself holds promise.