GDC 2019: Dead and Buried 2 Feels A Lot More Like Quake In VR Than Expected

by David Jagneaux • March 25th, 2019

Last week at GDC 2019 Oculus officially unveiled Dead and Buried 2, the dramatically expanded follow-up to 2016’s original western-themed shootout. I tried out the demo for Dead and Buried 2 on an Oculus Quest using two of the new-style Touch controllers. I played in a free-for-all Deathmatch against one other Quest player (an editor from IGN) and a bunch of bots.

I won of course.

My Dead and Buried 2 demo only featured that one single Deathmatch game mode, but the full release promises more. In addition to returning modes from last time like duels and shoot-outs, as well as cooperative modes, there will be more smooth locomotion movement modes like this one as well.

To be honest I didn’t expect to be able to play a fast-paced first-person shooter like this on the Quest so early in its life cycle. I thought it would take a while for developers to get the hang of the new tracking system enough to deliver something that works well. Thankfully I was wrong.

The great thing about playing a shooter like this is that you’re almost always holding your hands out in front of you while playing. Every now and then you’ll need to reach out to either side, but it’s pretty rare. Sometimes I reached down to my waist while looking up or in a different direction and that motion was a little hit or miss since the cameras couldn’t see my hands. The tracking seemed to sort of “guess” where I was reaching and got it right about 70% of the time (that’s a purely anecdotal guesstimate, keep in mind.)

And to reiterate here, when I say it reminded me of Quake and Unreal Tournament, I don’t just mean that it had me running around a map shooting people, although that certainly contributed. But more specifically there were floating health pickups scattered around, new guns to grab, and various items like dynamite to use.

The map I tried was full of corridors, multiple floors, elevation, and lots of cover points — it’s the same one shown in all of the screenshots. Visually it looked bright, colorful, and very distinct and even though I was on Quest I didn’t feel like I was using “mobile” hardware. This felt like a real, polished 6DOF VR shooter with two tracked hand controllers. When you’re in the moment playing the game and it just works you don’t have time to stop and spot the differences.

That’s a very good thing.

Dead and Buried 2 is coming to Oculus Quest at launch and Oculus Rift (presumably) at the exact same time. You can see a direct comparison video of the visual fidelity right here. The game will be 100% cross-play with its multiplayer and supposedly cross-buy since it is an Oculus Studios title, meaning if you own it on one device your account will own it on both.

Let us know what you think of the game so far down in the comments below!

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