As a limited-time part of the Steam Game Festival this week, you can download and play a demo of WWII-era VR shooter, Blunt Force, until June 22nd. This is the first playable demo we’ve seen since the game was first revealed nearly four years ago.
In Blunt Force (developed by Monad Rock) you’ll play through two parallel storylines that primarily take place before and during World War II, before converging at the end. The storyline before the war sounds like it will be more of a detective mystery plot while the mid-WWII story is more of a traditional shooter with arcade and challenge modes. They’re both featuring the same character and happen nearly back-to-back.
Visually, it looks pretty good. The initial reveal a few years ago looked fantastic and it certainly appears sharper in the screenshots on the Steam page than it does in the actual headset. I played the demo on an Oculus Rift S and it looked fine, but certainly not as cutting edge as it seemed to be nearly four years ago.
The story is told in a really interesting way that involves jumping back and forth in time. For example, in the gameplay video above, you’ll see me at a pub pre-war in 1939 and then suddenly the memory fragments and puts me at the same location, in ruins, after the war starts. It’s a clever mechanic that conveys a good sense of how locations can trigger memories.
I didn’t dig through the options very much, I played with the default settings, which is just teleportation based. When you’re behind cover you can grab things like walls and tables to pull yourself up and down and to the side to go in and out of cover, or just physically move yourself.
Gameplay felt pretty clunky, but the studio has stated online this demo is outdated. It was very difficult to place the submachine gun on my back and have it stay there and my left hand had a lot of trouble getting recognized when I tried to grip the front of the gun. Shooting felt fine, although lacking in weight and impact a bit.
Voice acting is above average for indie VR games, but the animations and performances aren’t quite smooth enough to really fool you into getting engrossed in any sort of wartime drama. At its heart, Blunt Force is still just a relatively simplistic cover-based shooter with a narrative over the top and a bit of puzzle solving sprinkled throughout. Although — the developers actually making the effort to create something with a unique premise, actual voice acting, and a storyline rather than just a wave shooter or lifeless multiplayer game, is worth looking forward to.
You can grab the Blunt Force demo for yourself too for free until June 22, 2020 on Steam and see what you think for yourself.
Although it may have been several years since we heard much about Blunt Force, but that hasn’t quelled our excitement to see how the project turns out. We still ranked it on our list of top 7 VR games we’re still eagerly waiting for just a few months ago in late 2019.
Despite being the most popular video game setting in years’ past, WWII has fallen out of populartiy for game developers as of late. Other than Front Defense and Front Defense Heroes, there aren’t really many existing VR games that cover the conflict — unless you count Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond from Oculus and Respawn Entertainment. That’s still slated for this year as a Rift exclusive but it’s been complete and total silence from both companies ever since Oculus Connect last year.
Here is the 2018 teaser trailer:
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