This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is well underway. Los Angeles is currently filling fit to burst with thousands of video game professionals, journalists, and other industry luminaries. This year’s E3 is already shaping up to be a banner year for the virtual reality scene too with big, early announcements from Electronic Arts and Bethesda. This list of exciting revelations is now growing by one as Oculus – the “father” of modern VR – announces Wilson’s Heart: a 2017 addition to the upcoming Oculus Touch’s library and completely exclusive to the kit.
Wilson’s Heart is being developed by Twisted Pixel in partnership with Oculus Studios – the headset manufacturer’s in-house content production house. It’s a story-driven game that’s drenched in an intriguing black and white art style. The developers describe it as an homage to 1930’s and 40’s horror movies in which the protagonist discovers his heart is missing and must build a new one. The game is being described as:
“A psychological thriller with a one-of-a-kind visual and narrative style. It takes full advantage of the natural hand gestures made possible by Touch to let you fully examine and interact with your surroundings in the virtual world. You become Robert Wilson, a patient who wakes up to discover that his heart has been replaced with a mysterious device.”
This description constitutes all we currently know about Wilson’s Heart but it is worth noting that, from what this brief paragraph suggests, the game will represent a significant departure from Twisted Pixel’s normal development fare.
Twisted Pixel has made a name for itself via cartoonish, brightly colored, arcade-style titles. A story about a man who’s heart has been replaced with a foreign contraption certainly serves to break that mold and represent a new direction for the company. However, from the description it does seem that the studio’s talent for crafting memorable visuals will be fully on display during its first VR outing.
Oculus Touch is a hotly anticipated upcoming peripheral projected to ship for the Oculus Rift headset later this year. There is no set release date for the add-on as of yet, but it is an accessory that the company sorely needs. The HTC Vive – Oculus primary headset rival – has snagged headlines, as well as potential market share, through the in-the-box inclusion of its own hand-tracked control scheme.
Once Touch ships Oculus will have taken one more massive step toward platform parity with HTC. As this happens the hearts and minds of potential customers will be swayed more by content than anything else, thus making titles like Wilson’s Heart all the more important.