• Windlands 2 Review: A High-Flying Sequel That Builds On Its Predecessor
    Windlands 2 Review: A High-Flying Sequel That Builds On Its Predecessor

    In the realm of what you should do for a sequel, Windlands 2 gets a lot right. Just like its predecessor, you still spend most of your time with your arms outstretched, above your head, swinging between trees. You still gasp in desperation as you attempt a last-ditch effort to hook onto that tree just outside your reach as you plummet towards the ground. And you still get frustrated at just how floaty and imprecise the movement mechanics can be from time to time.

    But like any good sequel, Windlands 2 is all of that and more. This time around there’s elegant and effortless multiplayer integration for cooperative fun, a lot more action with a brand new bow, and dramatically enhanced visuals that really make the bright, colorful world pop more that ever before. Make no mistake: if you adored Windlands, like many VR early adopters, then you’re gonna find a lot to love in Windlands 2.

    Windlands 2 is directly connected to the previous game in terms of lore and setting, but this time around you’re supposed to care a bit more about everything going on around you. There’s an admirable amount of world building going on this time around with lots of characters, an excellent soundtrack, and large areas ripe for exploration, but it all feels like things were placed out of necessity rather than as pieces to a living, breathing society.

    For example, all of the environments, which are expansive and full of vertical layers just waiting to be explored, are completely empty. An objective might consist of reaching a handful of checkpoints or collecting a certain number of random doodads before progressing to the next boss fight, but seldom do any of the regions feel alive in the way you might expect.

    Traversing the world of Windlands 2 is exhilarating. The simple act of going from point A to point B is often more exciting than even the most intense boss fight in many other VR games. When you’re nailing each grapple and swinging through the air it feels amazing. But then you fall, or miss your landing, or skid off the edge of a platform because it’s nearly impossible to cease your momentum.

    In Windlands 2 there really isn’t a punishment for death at all. In fact, you’re expected to fall to your death repeatedly. You’re expected to die so much, in fact, that there is a dedicated respawn button on the controller. Rather than fine tune things like movement accuracy and combat difficulty, the developers at Psytec opted to just diminish punishment for mistakes so much to the point that you can never actually mess up.

    Windlands 2 does feature two major additions that weren’t in the previous game: a bow and arrow weapon and co-op multiplayer. Thankfully, both are excellent inclusions that expand on the foundation in logical ways and enhance what already made the premise so much fun.

    Obviously adding friends to any game can make it better, but it’s particularly noticeable in this case. The character models are

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  • LISTA, Vidmar Debut Virtual Reality 3D Visual Planning Software At IMTS 2018 Does your business need a little space?
  • Lenovo’s Windows VR Headset Down To $99 Right Now
    Lenovo’s Windows VR Headset Down To $99 Right Now

    It’s finally happened; you can pick up a decent PC VR headset for less than $100, though there’s a bit of a catch.

    Lenovo’s Explorer headset, which is part of Microsoft’s ‘Mixed Reality’ line of Windows-based devices, is down to just $99 on B&H right now (and it’s in stock at the time of writing). For a headset that offers solid inside-out positional tracking (meaning it doesn’t require extra sensors like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive) with a 2880 x 1440 resolution, that’s a really good deal. Heck, we quite liked the headset when it was priced at $450.

    With a Lenovo headset, you can runs apps from both Microsoft’s own Mixed Reality ecosystem as well as SteamVR games, provided you’ve got a PC powerful enough to run them.

    The issue, though, is that this is just for the headset. It doesn’t include the six degree of freedom (6DOF) motion controllers that are essential to access many VR apps on both the Microsoft Store and SteamVR. Worse yet, Microsoft still doesn’t offer a standalone set of controllers to buy separately and the bundle with the headset and controllers is still priced at $399. You might be able to find a pair of motion controllers on eBay or something, though otherwise you’ll only be able to use a more traditional gamepad.

    Still, that would mean you can still play great games like Moss and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Does that make it worth the lower price of entry? Only you can answer that.

    Now if we could just convince Lenovo to drop the lovely Mirage Solo standalone headset to the same price…

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  • Firewall Zero Hour Stays Strong In This Week’s UK Charts
    Firewall Zero Hour Stays Strong In This Week’s UK Charts

    First Contact Entertainment’s Firewall Zero Hour made an impressive debut in the UK software charts last week (for an exclusive PSVR game), coming in just outside the top ten in the 11th spot. We’d assumed we’d see a dramatic fall for the game this week, but that’s not the case.

    The VR shooter only fell three places this week, landing in 14th. Considering this is on the same week as the fastest-selling release of the year, Insomniac’s PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game, we’d say that’s a job well done.

    As with last week, PlayStation VR Worlds is just a few spaces behind Firewall, this time in 17th. That’s telling as the PSVR minigame compilation comes packed in with the headset itself, which has been on offer in the UK with bundles that include Firewall at £199.99. No doubt that’s helping Firewall’s performance, though we’d like to think the sheer quality of the competitive experience has something to do with it too.

    The UK charts only track physical sales, so it doesn’t account for digital copies sold via the PlayStation Store. Still, last month’s store charts for August put the game in third place for European VR charts, so it’s doing well there too. It even topped the US charts.

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  • WePlayVR Announces Multiplayer Options Location-based VR company AiSolve reveals new projects at Euro Attractions Show (EAS).
  • Unity CEO John Riccitiello: Two Thirds of VR and AR Apps Are Built with Unity Riccitiello believes that current VR devices are still the 'beta' versions.
  • Ace Combat 7’s PSVR Support Looks Polished In New Footage
    Ace Combat 7’s PSVR Support Looks Polished In New Footage

    It won’t be too much longer until we can finally get out hands on Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown‘s exclusive PlayStation VR (PSVR) mode which, judging by this trailer, is shaping up very nicely indeed.

    The below footage, which was revealed at Sony’s PlayStation Line-Up Tour showcase in Japan yesterday, gives us a brief look at the VR support that was first confirmed when the game was announced back in 2015 (!). It offers cockpit views of the series’ signature aerial combat, though it has to be said the visual fidelity of the environments surrounding the player is hugely impressive, especially for PSVR.

    We do know that Ace Combat’s VR support doesn’t include the entire original campaign. Instead it’s a handful of unique missions that should take you about three hours to see through.

    After several delays, Ace Combat 7 is touching down on January 17th, 2019.

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  • VR vs. The All-Knowing It's been a rough week for Kevin E, but he knows that to some not being aware of the VR news for the past few days will be positively criminal.
  • The Fourth VR Diversity Initiative Announced for 19th October Learn a little extra about virtual reality this Autumn.
  • Dolphin Image and ARwall Partner To Augment Visual Effects ARwall uses AR technology to create cheaper, more efficient visual effects for studios like Dolphin Image.
  • Fight Through The Witching Tower In This Upcoming VR RPG
    Fight Through The Witching Tower In This Upcoming VR RPG

    A trailer for Witching Tower shows what looks like an effort to satisfy Game of Thrones fans itching to fight a blue-eyed undead army this Halloween.

    Witching Tower’s description on Steam promises an action adventure game with blade and bow combat as well as puzzles to solve as you work your way through a tower “owned by the Queen of the Undeads.”

    The trailer focuses on building up this menacing Queen and your opposition to her, with the last segment above showing some of the gameplay and environments you’ll encounter.

    We haven’t gone hands-on with this title yet so there’s no telling how it feels to actually play, but we did find this earlier gameplay video posted back in May showing some item interactions and early combat:

    Witching Tower has undoubtedly progressed since this video was made, but there are some high bars to beat with games like Skyrim VR still drawing in people with the incredible depth and breadth of that world. VR action adventure games are in high demand too, but it is not clear from these videos exactly how this game will satisfy buyers.

    Witching Tower releases Oct. 4 for Rift and Vive.

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  • VR Being Used By Indian Real Estate Firms Real estate portal Housing.Com thinks VR is becoming a necessity in the industry.
  • Transform The Sky Into An Open Canvas With Blue Sky Paint AR App

    Paint augmented artwork and leave behind messages for others via this collaborative AR experience. Have you ever wished you could use the endless landscape of the sky as a blank canvas for you to display your artwork or write messages for the world to see? You are a not alone in that wish. The developers

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  • DEEMO -Reborn- Is A PSVR Remake Of The Classic Rhythm Game
    DEEMO -Reborn- Is A PSVR Remake Of The Classic Rhythm Game

    Deemo is a 2013 mobile game in which you tap on the screen using your fingers, like a piano, to the tune of various music tracks. Deemo -Reborn- which was just announced today with PSVR support, is a total re-imagining of that original rhythm-based music game. We’re just not sure how well the format will transition to a VR interface.

    Make no mistake: DEEMO -Reborn- sounds like it will have an absolutely mesmerizing and beautiful soundtrack, but I’m honestly at a loss for how exactly the screen-tapping concept will translate to PSVR. The debut trailer from TGS today only really shows the flat, PS4 version and not the PSVR version so I’m left with more questions than answers.

    You can see it below:

    “DEEMO -Reborn- is not just a remake of the original; this new version adds even more gameplay elements, new voice acting, more cinematic cutscenes and PlayStation VR support,” states a prepared statement. “As a little girl who finds herself lost in a magical castle, players will unravel the mystery of DEEMO and this fanciful world. The detailed scenery and exploration elements invite players tol dive deep into the mystic world through puzzle solving and DEEMO‘s signature musical gameplay.”

    The only gameplay mechanic I can imagine working would be some sort of spatial drumming? I guess? Perhaps something similar to how the orb drumming works in Electronauts, perhaps? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Let us know what you think of this news down in the comments below!

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  • Hands-On: Falcon Age Is Like A Metroidvania Meets Bird Handling
    Hands-On: Falcon Age Is Like A Metroidvania Meets Bird Handling

    I screwed up while playing Falcon Age at PAX West. I didn’t realize an enemy turret had as long an effective range as it did, so the next time my bird came back, it had a bunch of painful-looking darts sticking out of it. I pulled out the darts with the Square button, and after I removed the last one, I discovered the same button was also used to play with the bird. My character reached up and scratched her bird under its chin, and all of the people waiting in line behind me, as one, let out a little “Aww!” sound.

    If nothing else, then, Falcon Age has one thing going for it: it is perhaps destined to be the leading “pet a pretty bird” simulator in the virtual reality market. Also, the bird can wear hats. You can pet the bird and dress it up. It is possible—perhaps even likely—that this is all you needed to hear.

    Falcon Age has been in production for about ten months at time of writing, built in Unity with a small distributed team, and made its public debut at this year’s PAX West, in the Indie Megabooth. The creative director Chandana Ekanayake is originally from Sri Lanka, and he’s brought some of that culture to Falcon Age’s story and character designs. Before this, he worked at Bethesda, and was the team lead on other VR games like Wayward Sky and Dino Frontier.

    You play as Ara, a young woman who’s a member of the native population of a planet that, over the course of the last couple of generations, has been getting strip-mined by robots, made and sent by an invading army of colonizers. Ara gets thrown into prison on a minor infraction, and while she’s there, befriends a young falcon. With its help, she escapes, and decides to learn the ancient, nearly-lost art of falcon hunting from her aunt, in an effort to rally and help oppose the colonizers.

    A big thanks to everyone that checked out Falcon Age at PAX. We had five different real life falconers stop by and play it. They were not disappointed.

    — Chandana Ekanayake (@Ekanaut) September 5, 2018

    Ekanayake described Falcon Age to me as a sort of “Metroidvania” game. You begin in a big, open map, and by exploring it, you can gradually accumulate new tools, which are all upgrades for your bird. Those upgrades, in turn, let you get around obstacles and reach previously-inaccessible parts of the map.

    There were two stations at PAX for Falcon Age. One was PSVR, where you played with a PS Move controller in either hand. The other switched it over to a non-VR game with a traditional controller setup, which felt like a typical first-person shooter on a console.

    Either way, you can interact with the world either with your bird, or by using Ara’s baton. The latter serves as either a short-ranged melee attack, perfect for crushing pesky robot bugs, or can be turned into a sort of electric whip. The whip

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