Freediver: Triton Down launched quietly on the finish of Might, and whereas the $9 value displays its quick playtime, the title demonstrates a robust grasp of VR sport design with a ‘swimming’ locomotion mechanic which is woven into the underlying gameplay.
From developer Archiact, Freediver: Triton Down is a complete departure (in all the suitable methods) from the studio’s earlier title, Evasion (2018). It’s a brief however worthwhile narrative journey about an oceanographer who will get caught in a capsized analysis vessel after discovering one thing surprising in a cave within the ocean depths.
With a operating time of roughly an hour, Triton Down is small in scope however huge on VR sport design. The sport is constructed fully round a ‘swimming’ locomotion system which is greater than only a technique to get the participant from A to B. Not solely does it can help you seamlessly navigate in 3D house underwater, it creates a built-in pressure between motion and survival because the participant has to floor for air or threat drowning. This successfully places a time restrict on puzzle fixing which is at all times at the back of your head, particularly because the oxygen indicator in your arm beeps because it will get nearer to zero%.
Swimming works by pulling the triggers after which swinging each arms on the similar time to stroke, pushing you within the desired course. If you wish to flip artificially you possibly can swing only one arm at a time which is able to rotate your physique. To me this felt just a bit bit odd and I most well-liked to easily rotate my actual physique in place (after all that meant I needed to cope with the wire). There’s settings to regulate how a lot velocity and momentum you get from every stroke; I discovered the default to be stability between ‘realism’ and never feeling such as you’re taking part in the sport to get exercise.
Along with swimming, you too can seize just about any a part of the terrain to drag your self alongside. This isn’t solely handy and pure, Triton Down neatly makes use of it as a way of getting via areas of excessive water present that’s flowing too quick so that you can swim in opposition to.
The sport is actually a story journey with some mild puzzle fixing. And whereas neither the story nor the puzzles get significantly deep, it’s enjoyable simply to be a part of the journey because it unfolds.
Picture courtesy Archiact
Exploring the capsized vessel with swimming locomotion permits the sport to make fascinating use of house as gamers discover areas made overseas by their the wrong way up orientation. The sport does job of creating gamers really feel embodied with its interactions. There’s the terrain to seize, doorways and levers to drag, oxygen refill stations, glow sticks for lighting your method, and the oxygen gauge in your wrist which you’ll be referencing typically. Sensible use of lights a a number of factors all through the sport helps you to catch a glimpse of your self utilizing your arms to swim via the world which provides to the embodied feeling.
Regardless of lots of sensible VR sport design on show, Triton Down does make just a few odd missteps for immersion; initially of the sport the participant inexplicably sees themselves via the attitude of one other character (why?), and the handful of cutscenes surprisingly reduce to a disembodied third-person view.
Contemplating the small scope and low price of the sport, nonetheless, it’s straightforward to forgive these flaws for what’s in any other case an immersive VR journey price taking. In comparison with Evasion, Archiact’s earlier sport, Freediver: Triton Down is a breath of recent air due to its partaking interactivity and considerate VR design. I hope to see the studio embrace this method and apply it on a bigger scale to future titles.