Orion13 is an upcoming story-based adventure game in which you take on the role of a self-aware robot that just wants to go home. It uses a heavy retro-futuristic art style that’s drenched in neon colors to evoke a very distinct visual flair.
This is how Scott Matalon, Co-Founder and President at Metro VR Studios, described Orion13 to me in an email:
Orion13 is a first-person, VR hack-and-slash, story-based adventure that plays like you’re the main character in a movie. You are a newly self-aware combat robot who just wants to go home, and the game is set in a robot-ruled society with strict class hierarchies. It uses open locomotion with full-body IK, and we spent a lot of time dialing in the comfort level.
I only played the intro and a bit after that to get a feel for the game and my main takeaway was: “WOW that’s a lot of color!” Environments are popping bright, loud, neon colors that drench textures and cover entire walls from top to bottom. It’s a lot to take in at first. And you’ve got a great deal of freedom of movement with very fast speeds and high jumps across levels.
When you watch the trailer and look at the screenshots it looks extremely flat at first, but inside the headset once the 3D effect sets in and you move through the space, things look and feel a lot better. I was also a big fan of the electronic music and robotic voice acting.
From what I saw Orion13 is mostly a melee combat game with some cybernetic sword-fighting. I don’t think the mechanics are quite there yet and it mostly just felt like I was flailing my arm around wildly. Enemies got extremely close to your face when attacking as well, making it difficult to really see what was going on. As a result, I mostly used my ranged “life steal” attack instead. All that stuff needs quite a bit of tuning still, but those things can be fixed before release.
I also had some performance issues. Once the main part of the intro was over and I was down on the street level of the city I noticed some stuttering and frame drops, which seemed odd because that honestly never happens in any other VR experiences with my 980Ti. Once again, likely just an optimization concern.
Right now this early demo includes the full “first act” of the story, which is about two hours long across five levels in total. They sent me an Oculus Store build for the demo, but I’d imagine it will be coming to other PC VR headsets too.
Orion13 still has a ways to go before it’s ready for release, but they’ve got an intriguing concept that I’m curious to see more of — especially if the combat can be tuned up with more physicality.