I’m standing in my living room but in VR I’m directing my ship through space toward a planet being attacked with energy beams reminiscent of the assault on Vulcan in the recent Star Trek reboot. I swivel my body around in place to redirect my ship in the other direction and there’s an enormous black hole in the distance that looks just like Gargantua from Interstellar.
The gorgeous environment is where one of 13 highly varied missions takes place in the upcoming Gear VR game Anshar Wars 2, which should be released in the coming weeks. It’s a sequel, of course, but the original (free to download) was more of a glorified tech demo and this is a fully realized game built by Switzerland-based OZWE Games and executive produced by Mike Doran of Oculus.
UploadVR got the opportunity to play the game on our headsets ahead of its release and, if you don’t have a swivel chair close by, it might just be the Oculus game to force you to get one. The game uses head movements to fly a ship floating in front of you through space in full 360 degrees. This new-to-me game mechanic is used to great effect to navigate in every direction through a variety of scenarios, including navigating menacing asteroid fields, a bombing run on a planet-side base and chasing a train through a colorful canyon. Missions don’t last too long — roughly five minutes or so — and seem well-suited for short mobile VR sessions played with a gamepad controller either standing or sitting in a swivel chair.
There’s also a story and lots of voice acting. If you’re not interested in it, the story is easy to skip and get straight to the action. Here’s OZWE’s summary of the game:
The Ansharian Empire is in peril. The Nergal, an ancient and fierce enemy, have unleashed a galactic super-weapon capable of decimating entire planets. Take on the role of a newly enlisted pilot in the deadliest squad in the Ansharian arsenal. Bring the fight to the Nergal in dazzling ship-to-ship battles in deep space and lush planetary surfaces. Utilize a variety of weapon and ship power ups such as missiles, overcharged lasers, tesla blasts, and portal generators to transform your fighter into a powerful war-machine and cut down the Nergal forces wherever the fight may take you. Fly a variety of spacecraft including the Ansharian Fighter, Bomber, and EMP ship. Gear VR technology allows you to see the fight all around you, real-time, for fast-paced and accurate combat awareness. Steer your ship by simply moving your head, dodging space debris, asteroid fields and huge Nergal capital ships.
The price of Anshar Wars 2 isn’t known yet or precisely when it will become available, but suffice it to say that between the polish I saw as well as the range of objectives and gorgeous environments, this is a really fun game and might just drive some people (like me) who don’t have a swivel chair at home to start looking for one.
Note: The featured image was provided by OZWE, all others are screenshots from an S6 Gear VR.