This is an on-rails shooter for the HTC Vive. The player is taken on what the developer describes as a “dream-like journey” in which you’ll aim and fire weapons using the headset’s position tracked controllers. The twist is that enemies come in two forms: fire and ice, and you must use your own ice attacks to defeat the former and fire attacks to kill the latter. You’ll earn points in each level and get multipliers for tagging as many enemies as you can see and then firing a swarm of missiles. You can then use those points to compete on global leaderboards.
As the trailer above notes, the game is inspired by the likes of Ikaruga and Panzer Dragoon. Getting perfect scores will test your dexterity (or DEXterity, as the developer likes to say). There are three levels and a boss encounter, making for around 20 minutes of gameplay that Ninja Theory hopes you’ll revisit to perfect scores.
The game costs $9.99. Its sudden launch comes as a big surprise as we hadn’t even heard of the title before. This isn’t some long in-development AAA project, however. DEXED started life as a project in an internal game jam and was completed by a team of eight developers over the course of three months. Ninja Theory declined to comment as to if the game could come to PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift in the future.
It’s not the only big VR launch for Ninja Theory this month, though. Back at the beginning of September the company launched the new Senua Studio, which specializes in translating live performances into digital capture in real time. As the team has showcased with Hellblade, it can take an actor’s performance and within moments have it running within a game engine, with the character model in question realistically mimicking emotions and actions. It could play a key role in delivering not only more believable VR characters but also social VR experiences at some point in the future.
Between this work and the main studio’s games, Ninja Theory is certainly a developer VR fans will want to keep track of.