What’s scarier than a horde of hungry zombies shambling across the Arizona desert? Why, a horde of hungry zombies shambling across the Arizona desert in virtual reality, of course.
At least, that’s what developer Vertigo Games is hoping. The studio’s upcoming game, Arizona Sunshine, will take undead survival-horror to the next level this fall, when the game launches on SteamVR exclusively for HTC and Valve’s upcoming virtual reality system, the Vive.
In Arizona Sunshine, players leave their car to investigate some strange noises, only to stumble on a zombie apocalypse. The game will be a first person shooter that features “enemies close enough to touch” and a strong emphasis on survival; players will need to fight off zombies, but also conserve resources as they search for other human survivors. Arizona Sunshine includes “motion-controlled weapon handling” and a custom animation system designed to make combat “more thrilling and satisfying than ever before.”
Zombie games are a dime a dozen, and the sun-drenched undead isn’t anything new – that’s the hook of both Dead Island and its Southern California-set sequel – so it’s really the virtual reality component that makes Arizona Sunshine stand out. According to Vertigo, Arizona Sunshine is optimized for “room-based VR,” meaning that the game will probably make users move around (the Vive uses two stationary sensors to track users, allowing developers to translate physical motion into virtual movement).
The game will also be broken up into “bite-sized chunks that flow together to form the complete picture,” facilitating gameplay sessions of varying length. Hopefully, that will help combat virtual reality sickness, the feeling of nausea that some users feel while playing VR games, especially for extended periods of time.
Arizona Sunshine isn’t Vertigo’s only upcoming Vive-enabled game. The studio’s turn-based strategy game Skyworld appeared at Valve and HTC’s Vive unveiling event, and demonstrated how developers might translate traditional game systems into virtual reality experiences.
Horror looks like it’s going to be one of the best represented genres when virtual reality systems like the Vive, Sony’s Project Morpheus, and the Oculus Rift launch over the next year. The PlayStation 4 slasher-simulator Until Dawn will ship with Morpheus support, while last year’s well-received Alien: Isolation is a rumored addition to the Vive’s growing line-up.
The PC version of Alien: Isolation was originally going to support the Oculus Rift as well, although that feature was removed before launch (although clever players can enable a partially-implemented VR mode by manually editing the game’s settings).
Source: Vertigo Games