For a new wave of games and tech, ev­ery­one’s in­vited

EDGE - - GAMES -

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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