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Exclusive Preview: Blue Effect VR

Paul Trowe

As VR Today's Entertainment Editor, I use my 30+ year tenure in the interactive entertainment industry to research, test and play the latest VR games and applications for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung GearVR head mounted displays. I take notes on various attributes and features, collate my notes and write an article, review, or preview of one of the games or apps after I've done all the research. If it's a review, I give the publication a rating out of our 10 point rating guideline.

If you’re looking for a level based shooter that’s sure to give you nightmares long after you’re done playing the game, take a look at Blue Effect VR. The game officially launches on September 29th, but thanks to DIVR Labs  I was able to take a sneak peak today.

This is the first game from indie studio DIVR which stands for Dive Into Virtual Reality. I spoke with their product manager Milena Koljensic before playing the game and she told me this is just the very beginning of the development of the game.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to be as scared as I was but at the end of the level when the boss is sneaking up on you from behind the crates, it really scares the s*it out of you!

Environment

You start the game with a warning sign telling you that if you have any type of heart condition this game might not be for you and to check with your doctor first. When I read that I thought they were just trying to set me up or something. No. It’s clearly been at least 45 minutes since I got done playing the game and my heart is still pounding. Sure, I might be a wimp when it comes to scary movies, but scary VR games takes it to a whole new level.

The game starts off with you in an abandoned warehouse filled with crates and other storage items you can’t clearly see since it’s pitch black. Sure, you do have this orb which is essentially a blue flare, but it doesn’t do much good. All you see are red eyes popping in and out of the crates in the far off distance. It really creates a sense of anticipation when you don’t know where the red eyes will pop up next.

The developer does an excellent job combining the ambient music with the waves of attacks. I pretty much knew when an enemy was about to jump out at me because the music started getting more and more intense, and with it, my heartbeat.

Update 9/27/16 5:33 pm:  I just found out why the music and sound effects were so well done. The game’s core creepy atmospheric sounds are composed by Star Wars and Warcraft  composer, Jaroslav Beck adding another scary and meticulously designed environment. To read up more about Jaroslav and his work head over to his website.

Equipment

You start off with a simple pistol in your right hand and your orb in your left hand. It should be noted that you can create a new orb with the Blue Effect, which is basically energy that powers your orbs and your pistol. Currently in the game the Blue Effect energy is unlimited but I have a feeling they’re going to limit that when the full game is released so that you can’t just continue firing without any penalty.

You have the option of throwing the orb in an attempt to light up a specific area or keep it in your hand. When playing the game I found the best strategy was to throw them in areas wherever I saw monsters creeping and crawling. You’ll never actually see them for any longer than a split second or two, but at least you can see which way they’re headed (which is essentially all of the place).

More to come

Since this is only an Early Access title I was only given a pistol and my Blue Effect energy, but I was told that more weapons, more environments, co-op multiplayer, and a full story based campaign mode is in development and should be released in the coming months. Typically developers release games on Early Access to get the extra development dollars they need to finish the game. Milena told me that’s not the case here. The full game is in production, but the more people that buy the game, the quicker they can come out with those updates. For one, I’m really looking forward to the story mode since I kept getting eaten by the boss monster at the end of the levels. When that thing jumps out at you it’s like you’re transported in to the movie Alien or something, because it literally jumps right out at your face. Yes, my heart is still beating out of my chest.

For a game that’s only been in development for 3 months, they’ve done a really good job at scaring the hell out of you. Now let’s see if they can bring everything together and make a full game we’re all going to want to play in the coming months. In the meantime, enjoy having your face eaten and the “face hugs” from the bio-mechanical monsters in Blue Energy VR.

Written by Paul Trowe

As VR Today's Entertainment Editor, I use my 30+ year tenure in the interactive entertainment industry to research, test and play the latest VR games and applications for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung GearVR head mounted displays. I take notes on various attributes and features, collate my notes and write an article, review, or preview of one of the games or apps after I've done all the research. If it's a review, I give the publication a rating out of our 10 point rating guideline.

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