I’m not sure which was the very first cooperative multiplayer video game, but it was certainly a fantastic addition to the medium. Some of my all-time favorite gaming memories involve someone either sitting by my side or talking to me through the internet while we enjoyed an adventure together. With the dawn of VR technology the possibilities for cooperative gaming are enormous.
Outside of traditional co-op games, like playing the latest Halo with a friend, is a sub-genre of games called “asymmetrical” multiplayer in which the players do not have access to the same type of experience. For example, in Evolve, one player controls a massive super-powered monster while the others play human soldiers set on taking down the beast. There have been a variety of asymmetrical VR games over the last year across all major headset platforms, many of which we listed here.
Eye in the Sky is the latest asymmetrical multiplayer game we’ve seen and it does something a bit differently. Instead of asking you to work against one another as you might do in Mass Exodus or most of the mini-games in Playroom VR, Eye in the Sky takes more inspirations from the Portal franchise. In this game you actually work with one another (one person in VR, the other outside of VR) to solve a variety of puzzles and try to “escape” multiple different rooms. It’s much better than just watching someone else play a VR game.
“Our main inspiration was the fact that we were frustrated with having to sit on the couch while our friends tried out our VR headsets,” explained Alex Terziev, Art Director at VinLia Games. “My friends showed me this prototype they were working on and I immediately jumped on it as an opportunity…You can of course picture the influence that Portal had on us, as it has had it’s influence on all modern 3D puzzle games. But we wanted to take that a step further by playing around with the physicality of room sizes, room scale locomotion, and lighting. As for art style I got to push my own blend of late 70s and 80s sci-fi movie obsessions.”
Eye in the Sky is currently available on Steam Early Access with official support for the HTC Vive at a price point of $14.99. Single player content is included as well, but the asymmetrical co-op levels are the real focus. What do you think of asymmetrical multiplayer games in VR? Let us know in the comments below!