For more than two years Sweden-based Neat Corporation has been working to turn its robot-killing VR demo Budget Cuts into a fully fledged game with hours of entertainment.
We just left the first demo of the game at GDC and learned how close they are to releasing one of VR’s most anticipated titles. A complete play through of Budget Cuts is estimated at around eight hours — though of course that varies a lot depending how you play. It is planned for release on May 16 on both Steam and the Oculus Store, priced around $30.
The game features a collection of updates to all of the systems we saw when the original demo launched. In case you are unfamiliar, the Budget Cuts demo deployed an awesome teleportation system that, for me at least, didn’t break immersion because it showed a preview of your new location before teleporting there. You still fight robots. You still throw sharp objects to try to disable them (or blunt objects to temporarily slow them down). And you still try to sneak around and find your way around the most dangerous enemies. But now, it has all been refined and expanded.
Games Editor David Jagneaux and I tried about half of the second level of the game, each of us quickly punished by the robots we encountered. Though the office environment that we tried (seen in the screenshots on this post) resembles the original demo many Vive owners already tried, we’re told the finished game includes enemies, environments and puzzles that go far beyond what we’ve already seen.
The developers told me you can’t interact with everything in the environment, but everything you want to interact with should work. I found this to be true, from objects in drawers to cabinet doors to trash on the ground you can sweep with a broom.
At one point a robot spotted me, his light turned yellow, and I could hear it moving closer to me. When it finally emerged through the doorway I was hiding behind, I put a pair of scissors through its back, then immediately retrieved the weapon for further use. I was glad to see my training in the demo still worked, but I didn’t make it past the second robot because I accidentally put a dart in my own head.
Neat Corporation is being tight-lipped about what the later game involves, including what environments we might encounter. What I saw though in our tiny slice of the game was what I imagine most people who played the demo want — a deeper world with smarter, more reactive enemies and refinements to all of the game’s innovative user interface ideas.
We’ll keep you updated at Neat Corporation reveals more about Budget Cuts.