2016 is getting closer and platforms like Oculus, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive/Steam VR are vying to release the best virtual reality game titles at launch. Although there should be a good amount of game titles that launch on multiple platforms, Oculus gets to chalk up an exclusive with Crytek’s The Climb.
Crytek who is known for their best-selling titles like Crysis and the Far Cry series, as well as currently in development virtual reality games Robinson: The Journey and Dinosaur Island, is bringing a new type of gameplay to VR. The Climb is a speed-climbing game where you scale treacherous mountainsides using only your virtual hands, in this case an XBOX One gamepad or Oculus Touch controllers.
When the Crytek development team first began working on The Climb, Oculus Touch controllers were not available. So the team had to dream up an entirely new set of control mechanics where your head directs both perspective as well as your virtual hands. Turn your head left, and the camera will swing that direction along with a floating in-game hand. To grasp a hard-to-reach hold, you have to really lean your shoulders and crane your neck, as if straining your arm muscles to scale a steep slope.
This is a stunning game. As Oculus Head of Worldwide Studios, Jason Rubin puts it, “The Climb is a beautiful combination of art and thrill that’s bringing an entirely new level of adventure gaming to Rift.”
The previewed climbing destination setting takes place in Asia, inspired by Vietnam’s famous and picturesque Halong Bay, but also draws upon other features and landmarks from all over the continent to create a unique rock climbing environment. I can only imagine the additional destinations from around the world the Crytek VR team will dream up of next. Every destination or challenge will have three different difficulty tiers that involve multiple pathways for players to traverse the mountain.
Although this is a solo rock climbing VR experience, there is always room to make it more social – right Facebook? The Climb will have scoreboards for competing against your friends and scores will be based on various factors including difficulty of path and time.
The Climb is expected to be released during the launch window of the consumer Oculus Rift, which should be sometime during the first quarter of 2016. Although The Climb will be exclusive to the Oculus Rift at launch, future versions could come to other platforms.