Using VR we’ve become fighter pilots, elite athletes and secret agents, but what about hostage negotiators? That’s certainly something new.
You’ll fill such a role in Negotiator VR, a brand new game from indie developer 4PM. You’re cast as Jonathan Martell, who is returning to the UK in disgrace after a failed rescue mission in South America. Social media beings to haunt both him and his family as he becomes known on the likes of Twitter as the #killerofinnocents. Martell is offered a second chance in life and a fresh start in South Asia, which he decides to take up. However, on an embassy visit to pick up his travel visas, Martell gets wrapped up in a hostage situation that will take him across London.
The game itself is comprised of four main components. As you might expect, one major element in people management. Here you’ll take control of conversations, balancing cooperating and defying others in an attempt to keep everyone as happy and as safe as possible. There’s also a degree of action in puzzle sections in which you might sneak through enemy-occupied territory, even taking control of other characters to move around the environment, locate key items and return them to gather more intel.
You’ll also face tough choices, usually coming down to characters being killed either by terrorists or the police. To make matters worse, each of the game’s sections will have a time limit enforced upon it, forcing you to make quick decisions that you may come to regret later down the line.
It’s safe to say that Negotiator VR sounds unlike anything else yet seen in VR, but there’s a long way to go if project lead Bojan Brbora and his team are to make it a reality. For starters, the developers are hoping to pass a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign of £15,000 by June 3rd. It’s a relatively small target, but Brbora notes this is mainly to help prove interest in the product to investors so that it can raise further funds. If successful, then Negotiator VR should release for the Oculus Rift, with other VR HMDs also a “strong possibility”. A non-VR version will also launch.
For £15, you can get the full game, estimated to arrive this September. If you still need more convincing, a playable prototype for DK2 and above owners is now online.