The superhero genre remains a box office juggernaut four years after Marvel’s The Avengers grossed over $1 billion, so it only makes sense that it would come to VR sooner or later.
Stepping up to that challenge is Canada-based indie team, Red Meat Games, formed of developers that have worked on the likes of Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. For one of VR’s first superhero games the studio has elected not to simulate the powers of your favorite comic book characters, but instead allow you to create your own. With that, let me introduce you to an early first look at First Impact: Rise of a Hero for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR as well as non-VR platforms, due for release in spring 2017.
In this first-person experience, you’ll gain mysterious powers from a meteor strike that also cuts off your island home from the rest of the world. You’ll set about uncovering the source of your newfound abilities, unlocking even more as you go. Players will be able to create their own avatar and costume, adding new elements to it to modify attributes.
So let’s start with what’s most important about any superhero game; the powers. First Impact features four main elements that include different kinds of attacks, defences, and even modes of transport. The Air Element, for example, will allow you to fire out whirlwinds but also grants you the power of flight. On the other hand, the Earth Element lets you defend with a wall summoned from the ground, attack with spikes, and bounce from place to place with a super jump. Fire allows for fireballs and super speed, while Water grants ice shards and a healing sidekick.
There’s a fifth form too; super strength. Here you’ll be able to pick up objects like cars and trash cans and either hurl them at swarms of enemies or bat them away holding items like weapons.
While it doesn’t look like the game will be a Room Scale experience right now, Red Meat Games is making great use of motion controls in other ways too. To start flying, you lift both of your arms above your head in a move that’s sure to attract the attention of Superman fans. Each attack power is also fired by extending one arm forward – channelling Iron Man – while you can defend yourself by crossing your arms over your chest. It’s these actions that could be the key to First Impact really making you feel like a true superhero.
And you’ll need every trick in your arsenal to overcome the super villains that Red Meat is lining up. A look at concept art teases fiery minotaurs, walking trees and even land-roaming sharks, and there’ll be more to take down too.
First Impact will have its full coming out party at PAX West in Seattle this September with a playable demo, but you’ll be able to grab another early look at gameplay tomorrow when Red Meat Games hosts the first livestream of its project at 2pm EST.
Again, it’s early days for First Impact but if Red Meat can nail those gesture controls and avoid the potential sim sickness issues that could come with its super powered movement, then VR might just have its first great superhero game. I’m certainly hoping that’s the case.