It was about a year ago now that myself and UploadVR’s David Jagneaux played through Downward Spiral: Prologue, a surprisingly engrossing teaser for an upcoming game by Finland-based 3rd Eye Studios. The zero-gravity experience featured Lone Echo-like traversal months before Ready at Dawn’s VR hit was upon us, and included brilliant two-player co-op and even competitive multiplayer. It was a demo that suggested the full game would be something special.
Today, we can finally tell you about it.
Downward Spiral: Horus Station is coming to PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR this spring with optional support for PS4 and PC, too. The core elements of the original game are all in place here, meaning there’s an atmospheric campaign to be played either by yourself or with a friend alongside an eight-player competitive option.
In the story mode you’ll explore an abandoned spaceship using zero gravity traversal. That means throwing yourself through environments just like in Lone Echo but also using a gun-shaped thruster and a magnetic tool for more effective movement. For PSVR, Vive and Windows fans in particular, it’s great to see something that uses this immersive form of locomotion on those systems. While it might look like Lone Echo, though, don’t forget Downward Spiral was on the scene a few months beforehand.
“Lone Echo was one of my favorite games of 2017 when it was released last July,” 3rd Eye’s Lead Designer, Greg Louden, told me over email. “I also feel it’s one of the best VR games yet, and I’m big fan of Ready At Dawn so it’s been inspirational. However the locomotion used was already used in Downward Spiral: Prologue which was released in March 2017. We both struck gold in discovering that using grab to move allowed exploration and was a perfect fit for space and zero gravity.”
Horus Station will also feature more combat. You’ll use tools like bolt throwers and rail guns to take care of drone-like enemies in battles that take place in expansive environments. That said, if you want to play the game without the stress of gunfire you’ll also be able to play an Explorer mode that just keeps the puzzles intact, allowing you make your way through the game without the worry of combat.
As implied, then, story is a big focus for the game as you try to figure out what happened aboard Horus Station, though there won’t be any dialogue or cinematics; you’ll have to work out the plot for yourself through exploration. You can obviously expect the game to be longer, too; Louden tells me that the game has eight acts and features many new weapon and enemy types not seen in the prologue.
The exact release date and pricing will be announced in the weeks to come. Along with Apex Construct, Downward Spiral looks like the kind of full VR game fans have been clamoring for these past few years. Let’s hope it holds up.