Load­ing Hu­man

LOAD 'HU­MAN', 8, 1, writes Heidi Kemps

Hyper - - EDITORIAL -

If 2016 is re­mem­bered for any­thing in the his­tory of the gam­ing medium, it’ll be the year when the dream of home vir­tual re­al­ity was fi­nally at­tained. With a mul­ti­tude of PC VR head­sets al­ready on the mar­ket and PlayS­ta­tion VR just around the cor­ner, it’s an ex­cit­ing new fron­tier in im­mer­sive gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that has the po­ten­tial to cre­ate new game gen­res – or, in the case of Load­ing Hu­man, bring an old genre to new heights.

Load­ing Hu­man is a VR-ex­clu­sive ad­ven­ture game that’s been in­cu­bat­ing for a while. It be­gan as a suc­cess­ful Kick­starter project a few years ago, and has been im­prov­ing grad­u­ally since. While there have been a few changes over the course of the ti­tle’s de­vel­op­ment, ev­ery demo we’ve seen of the game shows just how far the con­cept and game­play have been ad­vanc­ing over time.

The story of Load­ing Hu­man is set in a tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced fu­ture. As young Prometheus (a name that we’re sure is loaded with plot mean­ing), you find your­self sum­moned back to the lab of your fa­ther, a bril­liant sci­en­tist. As you ar­rive in his Antarc­tic lab, you learn that he is on his deathbed, and that he has a mis­sion for you. You are to find the 'Quin­tessence', a meta­phys­i­cal force of im­mense power, so pow­er­ful, in fact, that it may be the key to cheat­ing death. This jour­ney will take you through frag­ments of Prometheus’ mem­ory, from his train­ing in the Antarc­tic to his mis­sion in the deep­est depths of space.

Load­ing Hu­man is the evo­lu­tion of the clas­sic ad­ven­ture game, mean­ing that you’ll progress by search­ing through var­i­ous en­vi­ron­ments for key in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments to ad­vance the story and/or solve puzzles. While the in­ter­face of choice for the PC ad­ven­ture games of yore was the mouse, the pri­mary means of in­ter­act­ing with the world of Load­ing Hu­man are your hands. (In our case, as we were play­ing our demo ses­sion on PlayS­ta­tion VR, our hands were a pair of PlayS­ta­tion Move con­trollers.) Ev­ery­thing in this vir­tual world, much like in re­al­ity, is ac­cessed with our hands. See an item you need? Pick it up. See a weapon or tool? Pick it up, then swing, twist, or poke with it as needed. Find a book you want to read? Open it up and leaf through the pages, look­ing for the in­for­ma­tion you seek. Need to turn a knob, or pull open a door? Yes, you’ll need to mimic the ac­tual ac­tiv­ity of do­ing so. It sounds a bit cheesy on pa­per, but when you’re ac­tu­ally im­mersed in this world, in­ter­act­ing with things us­ing your vir­tual hands starts to be­come sec­ond na­ture. By in­ter­act­ing with ev­ery­thing, you re­alise just how much de­tail has been packed into these en­vi­ron­ments.

The mood of the game isn’t en­tirely a leisurely ob­ject hunt, how­ever. In one por­tion of our demo, we had to use var­i­ous de­vices to re­pair a bro­ken el­e­va­tor, crow­bar open a busted door, and solve a puz­zle in or­der to re­store power to a seem­ingly de­funct fa­cil­ity. Other clips that have been show­cased dis­play se­quences of need­ing to use your arms and tools to res­cue peo­ple in need and tak­ing care of dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions (such as putting out a rag­ing fire with an ex­tin­guisher).

Load­ing Hu­man is planned to span three episodic in­stal­ments, the first of which is sched­uled for re­lease late this year. If you’re crav­ing an im­mer­sive ad­ven­ture to ac­com­pany your jump into the world of vir­tual re­al­ity, Load­ing Hu­man should scratch that itch nicely.

Load­ing Hu­man is tHe evo­Lu­tion of tHe cLas­sic ad­ven­ture game; you’LL progress by searcH­ing tHrougH var­i­ous eL­e­ments to ad­vance tHe story and/or soLve puzzLes

The train line to the house that Tron built

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