GDC 2019: Stormland Dazzles With Immense Polish And Traversal Freedom

GDC 2019: Stormland Dazzles With Immense Polish And Traversal Freedom

Stormland is definitely one of the vital anticipated VR video games of the yr. Ever because it was first introduced round E3 final yr we’ve solely seen one single demo of the sport in motion at PAX West and OC5. Now immediately at GDC 2019 Oculus is exhibiting a model new demo and we received to take a deep dive into what Insomniac has been cooking up.

When Stormland hits Rifts later this yr it actually has the potential to be one thing particular. We’ve seen large Oculus-funded titles earlier than like From Different Suns which have plenty of replayability or Lone Echo which supplied an ideal linear narrative, however Stormland appears like the subsequent degree of VR gaming. It’s received a big open world that’s dynamic and ever-changing, there’s co-op, you may improve your skills, discover loot, climb wherever, glide round, skate throughout the clouds, and usually discover to your coronary heart’s content material. I feel it’s truthful to say that Stormland is in contrast to something we’ve seen in VR but.


Versus the earlier Stormland demo, which was closely targeted on fight, this new demo was way more narrative-driven and truly kicked off from the very starting of the sport.

From what I can inform the story revolves round you being one of many final androids left remaining. There’s a large storm known as the Tempest that has ravaged the Stormland and left nothing however destruction in its wake. Most of my demo simply had me exploring islands above the clouds, gliding round, and viewing recorded recollections of previous androids strolling round completely different base camps.

What stood out to me, apart from the superb visuals, was the great voice appearing. Every little thing has a really AI-sounding filter excessive of it, nevertheless it does an ideal job of immersing you on the planet and truly making you are feeling like a robotic avatar. I don’t suppose there are lots of VR video games that allow you to yank off certainly one of your arms, place it on a desk, and set up upgrades earlier than locking it again into the socket. It’s like a brand new sort of phantom dismemberment feeling.

It’s value noting that my demo was truly on the brand new upcoming Rift S headset and never the unique Rift, though Stormland will after all work effective on both one. Taking part in on Rift S meant I didn’t have to fret concerning the placement of the sensors within the demo house in any respect and will freely transfer round simply. There was nonetheless the wire to take care of after all, however the lack of sensor placement was releasing compared to different Rift experiences I’ve had.

Because the Rift S has 5 whole cameras on it (two in entrance pointed barely down, one one both sides, additionally angled down a bit, and one on high) the monitoring by no means gave me any points. In truth, whereas hanging from a wall, I may flip and shoot with my different hand and stay caught to the wall simply effective.


Throughout my demo, which took a couple of half hour to get via, it appeared like I used to be unlocking new issues at a fast tempo, which makes me marvel how the complete recreation goes to really feel. Inside that thirty-minute timeframe I had gotten two varieties of weapons, a protect, boosters for gliding and skating throughout clouds, and instruments on my fingers for climbing.

You recognize that characteristic most VR video games use that will let you level and use telekinesis to make objects float to your hand from a distance? Stormland does that, nevertheless it additionally does the identical factor for climbing. So even when you can’t fairly attain that wall that you simply’re climbing up you may emit slightly tether that connects to the wall virtually like a short-range hookshot. That is tremendous helpful for swinging your self throughout gaps.

There isn’t any full-on flight in Stormland, however you may glide when falling from excessive heights. I didn’t do an entire lot of fight this time round, however the entire collectible sources within the setting have some satisfying results whenever you break them aside. The bits of steel cascading round me felt loads just like the nuts and bolts foreign money in Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank.

Insomniac isn’t any stranger to VR recreation improvement. First there was the superb supernatural motion journey thriller Fringe of Nowhere, then the top-down brawler Feral Rites, and eventually magic dueling recreation The Unstated. Now, they’re taking their skills in a brand new path.

Stormland has extra in frequent with the studio’s non-VR improvement roots than their previous tasks, resembling Ratchet & Clank and Sundown Overdrive with its heavy give attention to modified weapons and freedom of exploration. Besides this time it appears to take cues from the likes of Anthem, Future, and The Division as nicely with its cooperative environment and ever-changing world.

Since Stormland has been in improvement for a number of years we in all probability gained’t see a recreation like this from Insomniac for fairly a while. Hopefully it comes out quickly because it was introduced virtually a yr in the past, however we weren’t given any indication of the particular date.

Stormland is because of launch on Oculus Rift (and/or Rift S) later this yr. Tell us what you consider the sport to date down within the feedback under!

Tagged with: GDC, Insomniac Video games, oculus rift, Stormland

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