The concept of VR and platforming integrating themselves into one fluid game is one that leaves many questions to be asked in terms of how successfully the two can be merged together. From the bulk of advertising we have seen of VR – what has been showcased of the hardware has focused more along the lines of action, horror and mini game “experiences” as opposed to fully fledged games that create something completely unique with the technology.
Created by Psytec Games; Windlands achieves a unique level of integration that some might not have thought possible on VR platforms. Sure, 90% of games you will play on the hardware will make you feel like you’re truly inside the game, but Windlands creates an atmosphere where it seems that in fact, you are the narrative. No matter the amount of time you spend with the game; Windlands exerts a feeling of loss, wonderment, and true escapism.
In terms of its platforming, the game doesn’t hold your hand, and nor should it. In fact, the quick respawn method that Windlands has at its disposal creates a high level of addiction when attempting to traverse its ever expanding environments, so much so that failing is almost half the fun.
In the short demo we had with the game we experienced the thrill of swinging through trees with the intuitive grappling hooks, the shock and awe of turning to our right and seeing a gigantic robot watching our every move and a feeling of beauty when taking a second to breathe in the encapsulating soundtrack. There are so many elements which Windlands creates a unique spin on, that the game itself oozes ingenuity and quality.
Narrative, platforming, and soundtrack were aspects of VR gaming that we were never expecting to see at such a sophisticated level this early into the iteration of the hardware. Windlands seems to deliver on all these fronts and most importantly; creates an experience that is addictive, surprising and inspiring.
After our short hands-on time with the game we took some time to chat with the developers at Psytec about this incredible experience – read our interview here.
Windlands is currently available on Steam and Psytec Games are hoping for it to be a launch title for Playstation VR. The game has us sold on the potential of VR and we can’t wait to get back into the wonderful world of Windlands.
Kris Pugh | @KrisPugh_X