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Epic Games' 'Robo Recall' VR Game Picks Up Where 'Bullet Train' Began

Epic Games showed off Robo Recall as part of the VR game demo showcase here in San Jose this week at Connect 3, the annual Oculus developer conference. The demo showcase mostly features games that use the Oculus Touch controllers.

Robo Recall is an FPS, and it is one of my favorites so far this week. It converts many of the VR game mechanics from last year’s Bullet Train concept VR experience, which managed to steal the 2015 conference with its notion of teleportation and slow-motion bullets that you could dodge, catch, or even throw back at your enemies, all using the Touch controllers.

Unlike Bullet Train, this is meant to be a full-fledged game. Like so many of the games and experiences we were privy to this week, however, it won’t be ready for a while. Epic said it would be ready in Q1 2017 and it will be free. 

The basics here: You have guns, and you shoot robots and spider robots and even big monster robots. You also have pistols, shotguns, and laser cannons. 

Like with Bullet Train, you can use your guns to bash or backhand robots, and you can grab and toss bullets back at the robots. There are robots that show up with damaged limbs, and you can grab the robot by its mechanical lever and rip off the offending limbs. You can even bash the robot with its own ripped-off limbs. Discovering some of these elements happens a bit by accident at times, and it's exciting every time you do.

There are robots that shoot out laser beams, which you must duck. There’s a monster robot that you can weaken by shooting it in the knees and then jump on top and essentially remote control it to kill all of the other robots with its powerful weapons.

Teleportation is a major contributor here, along with several of the other games we've tried. Not only can you teleport for locomotion, but you can also teleport at particular angles. The game also teleports weapons to you.

This is all just great fun. I only played one part of one level, and there’s a great deal more complexity to explore, I was told. Nevertheless, just being able to shoot and move without discomfort, and to rip things apart, is fun enough for me.

There were a few things in Robo Recall that we saw in a great many games so far this week. The Touch controller, for one, works very well, especially for controlling guns. Successful aiming seemed to merely involve pointing in the general direction of the enemy and squeezing the trigger. In other words, precision aiming isn’t necessarily required . . .either that, or I’m really good. This is true for some of the games we tried, but not all of them.

Also, while you can see your hands and the weapons in them, you have no arms, no legs, and really no other body parts, which can be a little disconcerting at times. Guns are on your holster, which is where your hips are, but the holster is suspended in mid-air. Fortunately, the action was enough to take my mind off this discontinuity.

  • techy1966
    Got to ask has Toms become the VR zone because it seems 97% of the stories are about VR and almost nothing else. I get that VR is the new thing right now but it will pass just like so many other fads have that come before it. I think it will be replaced by much better tech in the next few years.
    Reply
  • jj1979
    Doubt it, VR is still in it's infancy and we will be hearing much much more to come over the next few years. You might be holding out for holographic interfaces and space ships by the time the VR "fad" has faded :P
    Reply
  • wifiburger
    wow another VR game, keep it up tomshardware
    i'll be laughing at every game developer pushing new games onto this tiny obscure market
    we all know all these VR games will be comming to regular non-vr in the near future at super discount price !
    Reply
  • FritzEiv
    Techy1966 and Wifiburger, I disagree, but I respect your right to be wrong and then some day let me know that coverage we're devoting to the Oculus Developer Conference and VR content and hardware overall was worth it :-) In all seriousness, though, we made a big bet on covering this stuff about 3 years ago, and I still think that's right, but we will see. Facebook/Oculus just put up another approx $350mill of funding for content development, and also worked to reduce the barrier of entry (even a $500 minimum spec machine) . . . writing a piece on this right now so feel free to ridicule me there too.
    Reply
  • techy1966
    FRITZEIV the intent was not to ridicule anyone I was just noticing that 4 out of 5 articles are VR related on this site these days. I have been coming to this site since the days of the slot 1 CPU when Mr Tom wrote an article about a Intel CPU and was scared of the backlash from Intel from what he had wrote in that article. Those were the pioneering days of web sites and pretty much no rules to be had or protection from upset companies if you wrote something they did not like about one of their products.

    I still like Toms Hardware even today but VR everything every day seems like way to much coverage of a tech that is about 1% of the market if that. You should set up a VR day each week and fill that days coverage with VR content and the rest of the week with everything else probably friday as it is the end of the work week and also the end of any type of worthy news coverage until Monday comes along again. Just my thoughts on it all.
    Reply
  • FritzEiv
    Thanks for the input TECHY1966. I truly appreciate it. We have been a bit games and VR heavy, and especially now since the Oculus VR conference is happening at the moment. Also, so many games are being released, and we're at a bit of a standstill on news around the typical hardware fare. Did you see our coverage of the Intel endurance rating? We revealed this, and we've covered it, and Intel has responded by increasing it; further, we're testing it to show what happens. So we are still living by the mission of trying to uncover the truth, and testing things until they break. I hope that doesn't get lost in the shuffle, but we'll strive to ensure it doesn't.
    Reply
  • Zapin
    Hopefully Revive will have an answer to the Touch controllers. It would be nice to see some real VR titles in the Oculus store for a change. The sit down Xbox controller titles feel pretty lacking to a Vive owner like myself. I will admit that Chronos was pretty good though.
    Reply
  • techy1966
    FRITEIV Yes I seen the Intel endurance Rating and am very interested how that turns out when the tests are done. I just got a standard Samsung 1TB EVO 850 PRO SSD for my gaming system and like it very much I know it is only Sata but for me it is good enough and very fast for what it is used for. SO the tests you are doing on the Intel drives should hopefully show what to expect from SSD drives as a whole as in what happens when they reach the manufacturers end of life rating. Will the drive work after that or just fail I know you stated Intel 600 drives lock at that point not sure if the Samsung drives lock or not but it would be good to know if the Samsung drives can make it to the rating they put on their drives and if the SSD drives they make will go farther before failing.
    Reply