For a new wave of games and tech, everyone’s invited
As a new year in videogames begins, as well as looking to the future we find ourselves looking at the past – or at least something that was born there. 2016 is the year in which fully fledged virtual reality will be reborn (last year’s mobile-based solutions were just appetisers), with dedicated technology due from Sony, Oculus and Valve/HTC, and it’s a reworking of a 2001 game that has us most excited about the forthcoming revolution. Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Rez has never been short on the ability to transport players to another dimension, but in PlayStation VR form the game ascends to new heights as it places you inside an audiovisual landscape and delivers sensations capable of changing the way you think about videogames. After a visit to Sony’s PlayStation Experience in San Francisco on p8, we take a trip into the spinning vortex of Rez Infinite on p38. Meanwhile on p42 we strap in to play the game that will be shipped with every Oculus Rift headset, EVE: Valkyrie.
Ahead of the introduction of full-fat VR technology, this issue features our first review of a Gear VR title in the form of EVE: Gunjack (p118), which also takes its inspiration from years gone by. Moulding itself after arcade classics such as Galaga, CCP’s game is one of a torrent of ‘turret shooters’ that have been spawned by VR’s second lease of life, boiling control down to simply moving your head in the direction you want to shoot and pressing a fire button. Despite the modern technology at work, it is even easier to play than the primitive space shooters that gave birth to gaming in arcades.
Which brings us to Capcom’s legendary series of fighting games. If you were fortunate enough to have been there for Street Fighter II’s introduction as a coin-op in 1991, you’ll remember seeing a game that felt positively obtuse, with three times as many action buttons as many of its fellow machines, along with instruction panels that, for once, actually needed to be read. How did such a rule-breaking game ever get to be so popular? By being brilliant, obviously. On p62 we find out how Capcom plans to take its series to an even bigger audience by making it more welcoming to players of every stripe.
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