VR Mech Shooter Archangel Getting Off-Rails Multiplayer Mode

by Jamie Feltham • January 22nd, 2018

VR mech shooter Archangel was one of the more polished games to release for headsets last year, but its overly-simplistic gameplay held it back from greatness. It sounds like an upcoming update to that game will address that somewhat, though.

Archangel is getting a multiplayer mode. Chris Hewish, executive vice president of VR at developer Skydance Interactive, confirmed as much to VentureBeat in a recent interview. Players will be able to take their giant, Pacific Rim-style battle suits into combat against other human players for the first time. Interestingly, though, competitive play will also introduce off-rails gameplay, whereas the original campaign is all on-rails.

Hewish didn’t elaborate on exactly how that might work, but it could add an entirely new dynamic to Archangel. Having freedom of movement will change up the gameplay considerably. “You’re piloting this giant mech,” Hewish promised. “We have locomotion and torso twisting and the fun combat that goes along with that. We’re adding new classes of mechs into the mix.”

The update will apparently be arriving in the middle of the year, presumably on all the platforms the game’s already out on: Rift, Vive and PSVR. Outside of that, Hewish confirmed that the studio is still working on a new VR experience based on the ever-popular Walking Dead brand as well as a new title set for release in 2019. Hewish said that Skydance Interactive looks to establish itself as a “triple-A player in the VR space” over the next few years, so expect to see big things coming from the studio.

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  • David D. Taylor

    I love this game! Can’t wait to dive back in!

  • Rothgarr

    I haven’t played Archangel yet but it sounds cool. My favorite Mech game was Mech Assault — I hope it’s as accessible as that. I hope it’s easy to control using a Dual Shock controller. I imagine the twin stick would allow you to turn and move independently, but I love where games allow you to aim by looking at the target, like Starblood Arena.

    • Daniel

      The newly revealed Vox Machine trailer makes this genre seem more promising than ever!

      • Rothgarr

        That looks cool… but I only have PSVR so I can’t play it 🙁

  • Raphael

    It was a bad idea to release an on-rails mech shooter when perusal of many game forums reveals how people want off-rails mech shooter for VR. VR gamers haven’t had much luck with mech games.. Hawken was abandoned and then picked-up briefly by a new team with no interest in VR… Was a steam-punk WW1 mech VR game in development shown a few years ago and nothing has been heard of it again… it looked amazing. A few amateur indie mech games not worthy of mentioning.

    • David D. Taylor

      While off-rails would have added even more to the experience, the game as a whole had a ‘AAA’ feeling to it, from the graphics, the story, the acting and the rest of the gameplay. Just my opinion. I really enjoyed it despite the on-rails factor!

  • Firestorm185

    Good to hear that this game is getting multiplayer, another reason for me to pick it up!

  • This move might finally convince me to buy Archangel. I’d skipped it specifically because it was on-rails… but I’m still going to await at least a video preview of what we can expect before I’ll commit to this one.

    @Rothgarr:disqus Me too man. Mech Assault was awesome! I loved it’s multiplayer mode. I’m also a big fan of Mechwarrior 4:Vengeance (PC) and still break that one out from time to time, whenever I want to play a completely proper mechwarrior title… MW3 was pretty good too though –I liked that one a lot when it came out, but 4 blew 3 away so hard that it became my fave-in-series on PC, but on consoles, to this day, Mech Assault was the best feeling mech title I’d ever played. I still maintain an original Xbox specifically so I can still play Mech Assault. I’ve also got Mech Assault 2, and it’s good, but I don’t know… it’s almost like they tried too hard to improve upon an already excellent formula. MA2 always felt mis-balanced to me.

    Is the Mechwarrior license still held by Microsoft? I’d read a few weeks back that Mechwarrior 5 is in production now. It’s a shame, really, that FASA hasn’t licensed Mechwarrior to Sony, or a neutral 3rd party developer that has cross platform publishing rights and capability. It’d be really cool to see Mechwarrior or even Mech Assault come back as a multiplatform release with full VR and multiplayer support. Running a Madcat, or even a little Uziel mech from cockpit-VR would be totally insane, especially if the mechs didn’t move like they were stomping through a tarpit. For that kind of speed though, we might need to look to Robotech. Back on the PS2, there was a really good Robotech game. I’d love to see a VR sequel to that as well.

    Really, we just need a lot more good mech games on VR platforms overall. Mechs rock!

    • Rothgarr

      Hah, I still have my original Xbox as well! I was a beta tester for Xbox live and I remember when Mech Assault was one of the first games to use the online Live functionality — it was awesome. The game was the perfect blend of arcade and “sim” and I love the effects when a building would come down or a mech would explode.

      I never played any PC mech games so I’m unable to comment on those titles…