Dragon Front is a collectible card battling game that is played entirely in virtual reality. It carries similar DNA to other online trading card games such as Hearthstone, and it is currently in an open beta for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR. We’ve previously covered the general rules of the game and provided a detailed hands on with the PC version. But at Oculus Connect 3 we had the chance to try out the mobile Gear VR version to see how it compares and how multi-platform crossplay functions between the two headsets.
Upon booting up Dragon Front on your Samsung Gear VR the first thing you’ll notice is that it looks remarkably similar to the full Rift release. No significant assets were stripped out or lost in the translation process and this applies to the card battles themselves as well.
Battles in Dragon Front were designed from the beginning to be playable on both systems easily, according to representatives from creator High Voltage Studios.
Anyone who has tried the game on PC will know that it can be played fully with just the Oculus remote and its limited number of buttons. This streamlined gameplay design means that the Gear VR’s built in headset touchpad is more than sufficient to control a game that on the surface may seem mechanically complex.
The only real inputs you will need on Dragon Front for Gear VR are gaze aiming, tap selection, and a simple up-swipe on the pad if you wish to bring up a specific cards stats and abilities. Almost every action in this very strategic system can be accomplished using just those basic inputs. This makes Gear VR feel like Dragon Front‘s true home. The short games and pick up and play mentality fit naturally on a mobile platform and even the online matchmaking doesn’t skip a beat.
While on the show floor, two of our writers were able to play a complete match of Dragon Front online with one on the Rift and the other on a Gear VR. The experience flowed beautifully with no loss in performance, frame drops, or other forms of lag on either end. The game’s ancillary functions, such as the head avatars that reflect each player’s movements, also remained intact.
There are some notable losses in graphical fidelity on Dragon Front for Gear VR. The most notable of these is the absence of parallax for the card art. On Gear VR the card illustrations are flat whereas on the Rift they are given a pleasing sense of depth.
According to High Voltage, “parallax was the first thing to go but the entire process was a constant battle for performance. We’ve done everything we can and explored every possible creative solution to get Dragon Front running on Gear VR with as little drop off from the Rift as possible.”
The inclusion of this additional platform should mean for quicker matchmaking and more varied play styles, which is important for a title that depends so heavily on multiplayer.
Bot the Gear VR and the Oculus Rift versions of Dragon Front are currently in an open beta that you can sign up for today.
Are you in the beta? Let us know what you think of Dragon Front so far in the comments below.