GDC 2017: Landfall Team’s Next Game is Term1nal – A Stealthy Gear VR Adventure
I’ve always wanted to be a hacker. No, not a boring, real life hacker that has to spend hours writing competent code and squashing bugs. I want to be the kind of hacker that types fast and breaks the firewall all while wearing sunglasses and a black leather jacket. Fortunately for me, that’s the exact kind of hacker you get to play as in the newly revealed Gear VR stealth, action video game from Force Field Studios: Term1nal.
Force Field VR’s first foray into the VR scene, Landfall, has already been launched and received well by critics and fans alike. That game was a twin stick shooter that focused on strategic gunplay and quick reflexes. Term1nal for Gear VR, however, is more of a thinking man’s game.
In Term1nal, you play as Flynn Lightman, hacker extraordinaire. You are contracted by a mysterious woman to infiltrate the offices of STRIDE Industries — the world’s most successful (and well guarded) data security and robotics firm on the planet. Getting the information you need from STRIDE can only be done by taking over the controls of a temperamentally experimental new robot model. Operating her remotely, you’re able to use this robot to sneak past STRIDE security, hack terminals, unlock doors and maybe even unlock something even more important: the truth.
I had the chance to play Term1nal in its first ever public demo at GDC 2017. The games designer’s emphasized that the game was still quite early in development, but from what I saw its already shaping up to be one of the most polished and enjoyable campaigns available on a mobile VR platform.
You play Term1nal on the Gear VR using a bluetooth gamepad. Once you’ve assumed control of your new robot host, you play the game from a variety of changing perspectives. The in game reason for this is that the optics of your vessel are malfunctioning so instead you have to observe her through the office’s CCTV cameras. Walking from room to room triggers new camera angles but, for the most part they will all be from a birds eye view. Certain actions will also trigger a first person viewing mode as well.
Your main obstacles in Term1nal are STRIDE’s seemingly never ending army of robot patrols. There were at least four or five different types of guards that I saw in just my demo alone. Each of them has a limited view, represented by a red cone that you’ll need to avoid in order to make it to the next objective unscathed. Your robot doesn’t have any weapons, however, so you’ll need to use smart strategies and your enviornment to bypass the security.
Towards the end of the demo I also found the “key” I had been searching for. This key was actually an adorably eager robot dog that, once I introduced myself, became bonded to me and would follow my every command. I could use my new, synthetic K9 friend to distract guards, unlock previously inoperable doors and otherwise go wherever I ordered him to. He wasn’t given a name in the game but I like to call him Joe Jr. I love him.
There were also a variety of puzzle terminals that I needed to access and complete. Often times these logical brain-teasers had to be completed while keeping one eye on and avoiding the gaze of a lumbering robot guard. The few that I saw were creative and satisfyingly challenging and indicate that Term1nal should end up being an enjoyable game for the more intellectually minded VR gamer.
Term1nal is currently slated for a release sometime in Q2 of this year. No price has been set yet for the experience.