When Oculus Touch launches in December it may already have its killer app releasing right alongside it. Dead and Buried is one of the most exciting titles coming to the already jam packed platform. Developed in-house by Oculus Studios, Dead and Buried is a multiplayer shooter that takes place in a literal ghost town. You assume the role of an other-worldly gunslinger brought back from the grave in order to shoot some bad guys…or some good guys.
We first saw the game demonstrated at an Oculus press event during GDC 2016. At that point, the only gameplay option available was a 2v2 deathmatch that took place in an old-fashioned saloon. Even in its unpolished state, Dead and Buried was still one of the most memorable and enjoyable demos that Oculus showed off at that event. Months later, at Oculus Connect 3, the company pulled back the curtain on the new and improved version of this hotly anticipated title.
The new version of Dead and Buried steps up an already interesting experience with the addition of two new game modes: horde and co-op. The horde mode, which Oculus Studios co-developed with Gunfire Games, lets you take your guns off of your friends and aim them instead at wave after wave of undead enemies.
The main antagonist of horde mode is a banshee-esque witch and her zombie army. You and three friends spawn into one of four cover points set up horizontally from one another. Your job is to gun down monstrosities trying to peel away your cover, and have you for dinner, while keeping yourself and your friends alive.
If you’re killed during the round you remain out-of-service until the next one begins which means there are some true hero-moments where one player can save a session for the rest of the team. There are a variety of enemy types to be aware of including standard zombies, suicide bombers, and even snipers. Each wave gets successively harder and the demo we saw culminated in a boss fight with the witch herself.
The horde mode had our team shouting like maniacs in the middle of a crowded convention hall without hesitation. It’s challenging, entertaining, and a fantastic example of co-operative multiplayer gaming, which is something we have not seen much of on VR platforms just yet. Anyone who’s ever played “what would we do in the zombie apocalypse with their friends will enjoy this immensely.
Every great western needs a great heist and Dead and Buried is no exception. In heist mode you and a friend will compete against two other human opponents as either a duo of lawmen or a posse of outlaws. The robbery, of course, takes place on a train that is divided into several different levels. In each level you need to kill your opponents a certain number of times to either advance up the train as the bandits, or push them back as the sheriffs.
If the ne’er do wells reach the front of the train then they must accomplish one last objective by breaking into a safe using a classic dial-style combination lock. But it won’t be easy as Johnny law is still hot on their tail, guns a-blazing. In this final level one outlaw takes on the safe while another takes on the fuzz with a large shield to aid him or her in that ignoble quest.
Trying to physically spin a dial in real time while bullets are exploding all around you is…stressful to say the least. During our attempt at the great train robbery we dominated all the way until the safe and then lost in spectacular fashion. But maybe we wouldn’t have if DAVID KNEW HOW TO USE A FREAKING SHIELD. Deep breaths Joe, deep breaths.
As fantastic as these two new gameplay modes are, Oculus Studios confirmed on the show floor that there is still more content to be packed into what is shaping up to be a must-have title for day one of the Oculus Touch launch. These other updates include more heists, more guns, and we’re sure, a whole lot more fun.
Dead and and Buried releases on December 6, the same day as Oculus Touch.