E. McNeill has quickly and decisively established himself as one of the premiere game developers working on the Oculus platform with successful games on both the Rift and Gear VR, such as puzzle game Darknet and real-time strategy game, Tactera. The developer’s most recent addition to his growing catalog is another take on the tactical strategy genre in the form of a spiritual successor named Skylight.
Rather than being played as a fast-paced real-time strategy game, such as in Tactera, Skylight takes a much more measured and methodical approach. The entire game exists in a large 3D space around you with X, Y, and Z axis movement. Instead of your forces moving and reacting constantly throughout the game, it’s instead split into phases where you’re either issuing commands or watching them be carried out.
However, you don’t just get to sit back on your turn and watch your units move around, as you would in purely turn-based games such as XCOM, Advanced Wars, or even Fire Emblem. In the case of Skylight, it takes a more hybrid approach. While you’re issuing orders to your troops, so too is your opponent. Once the order phase is over, all of those troops carry out their orders simultaneously.
This means that you might tell a unit to go to a specific point to set up an ambush, but the unit you were anticipating to attack soon may change their trajectory and go somewhere else. It creates an interesting ‘cat and mouse’ dynamic that forces you to both anticipate your opponent and preemptively respond.
“Skylight puts a strong emphasis on strategic decision making while requiring true mental agility as the game unfolds,” states the game’s press page. “Each turn culminates in cinematic and spectacular space battles as Skylight navigates an unexpected dynamic between thoughtful, carefully plotted turn-based gameplay on the one hand, and real-time action-packed battles on the other.”
There will be 3 classes of ships, with 12 individual types, offering plenty of variety to the combat. The whole game is focused on tactical combat and decision making, taking the emphasis away from base management and macro-battle decisions. The campaign mode will feature over 30 different missions and intense multiplayer ensures plenty of reasons to keep coming back for more.
Expect to learn more information about Skylight this week during Oculus Connect 3 in San Jose. Skylight is currently in development for Gear VR without a definite release date established.