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The Art of Fight is not your ordinary VR FPS game. There’s no teleportation, there’s no auto-load, and the graphics weren’t true-to-life. So I decided to get with the developer, Raptor Lab, and see if they could talk me in to taking the game for a spin.
The Art of Fight is an “Attack / Defense” based game where the red team is constantly attacking the blue team by trying to set off a virus in the blue team’s base, and the blue team needs to defend their bases from the virus and kill as many red attackers as possible. It’s a variation of capture the flag except there’s only one flag (aka the virus).
I’ve really come to love the semi-standard way of moving around in VR, teleporting. It’s easy, it makes sense, and it doesn’t make you sick. Kevin and Samuel, the developers behind The Art of Fight, weren’t satisfied, however. They wanted to make movement in VR as close to realistic as possible without getting the user sick. I have to admit, I was hesitant to try the game because after testing a different game that didn’t want to use teleportation as the locomotion mechanic, it left me in the fetal position on my bed for four hours.
In The Art of Fight, you need to press and hold down the menu button of your non-dominant hand and physically grab the air in front of you and pull it towards you. When I played the tutorial I was saying to myself “what kind of person makes locomotion in a VR game this hard?” Well, after playing the game for about 5 minutes I quickly realized it was 10x better than teleporting because it made the game feel way more realistic. After all, do you know how frustrating it is to lock someone in to your sights only to find out they just teleported away? I found out when I played the Paint Ball game in Rec Room. Every time I was about to splatter somebody with paint they’d zip off in to thin air and I couldn’t even “lead” them with weapons fire to try and hit them. The Art of Fight changes all that because people move about the same speed as they do in games like Call of Duty, after you get the hang of it, of course. So, I spent the first five minutes in the game getting the hang of moving all over the place since once that’s accomplished, all I had to do was to figure out how to shoot the other player before they shot me. I can tell you, locomotion wasn’t the only thing that’s different about this game.
Unlike games such as Unreal or Quake, you don’t automatically pick up weapons by running over them. In the lobby, before the actual game starts, you get a certain amount of money to buy the weapons you need. Since I was new I only had enough money for a pistol and some magazine clips that I was able to “stick” to my body when my gun ran out of bullets. In order to load the gun you need to take the clip in your left hand and stick it in the gun in your right hand. After that’s done you need to then “cock” your gun as to make sure there’s a bullet in the chamber. I’m telling you, these guys thought of everything you need to do in real life if you actually want to shoot somebody.
Once you go through all the bullets in your magazine clip you need to drop the clip out of the gun, grab a new clip of your body (you can store up to 6 items on your person at any given time), and then reload the gun to start all over again. Oh yeah, don’t forget to cock your gun once you load the new magazine!
When the round ends, you get more money depending on how many people you killed, and if you were able to either attack or defend your base successfully. When I was beta testing the game with the developers the rounds didn’t last that long. Samuel told me you can play the game with as little as one player (with the rest of the players being bots). If you choose to play with two or more people you can set up the teams any which way you’d like by manually configuring the teams with bots or people. There’s a max size of 4 people/bots per side.
The game is currently in Early Access on Steam and Samuel told me “the game will stay in Early Access until the community is happy with the game”. The developers currently have one map in the game with 2 more planned in the next few weeks.
Raptor Lab plans on porting it to the Oculus Rift in the coming months but in the meantime they’re 100% focused on adding levels and weapons to the game on Steam, all of which can be purchased by winning money in the game by killing people and winning the round. Don’t fret if you didn’t kill enough people, you can always sell the guns you took off dead people in the game at the end of the level.
If you take a look at the screenshots you’ll notice that all the buildings, cars, NPCs, etc. are all white and nothing is moving in the game except the players. When I asked Samuel and Kevin about that they were very opinionated. Here’s Samuel: “We wanted to make a game that stands out in terms of art direction. We needed a dense, urban environment that allows various game scenarios; on the other hand, we wanted to highlight the fact that the game takes place in a simulated environment. We didn’t want to hide the fact that this is a virtual reality game but instead use it for its artistic value”.
All in all, I have to say how impressed I am with the game. For a 2 man team developing the game from different countries the communication can be extremely difficult but they somehow managed to pull it off. If I had to pick one part of the game that stood out as my favorite, it would definitely be the locomotion since it’s a ground breaking feature I believe more developers will use in the coming months.
This is one game I absolutely cannot wait to come out of Early Access. These guys definitely have something here and I’m really happy I got the chance to report on it before anybody else.