The first time I saw the trailer you are about to watch for Wands, an upcoming virtual reality game, I was sure that it was going to be a game releasing for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Playstation VR. The graphical fidelity, environments, and gameplay all seemed far too powerful to be on anything but these high-end platforms.
However, to my great surprise, as the title faded and the platform flashed on screen I saw three very surprising words: Samsung Gear VR.
Now, lets get something straight right off the bat: good trailers can — and frequently do — overhype a product. Dead Island may have had one of the best video game trailers of all time, but the final product was slightly less than legendary. And just recently, Suicide Squad — a movie with amazing trailers — is breaking the collective hearts of DC movie hopefuls around the world now that the lackluster reviews have begun to pour out.
Now that I’ve educated you all about the dangers of the hype train I also want to make it clear that I am currently riding in the center carriage. Wands looks like an amazing game that combines the engaging wizardry of The Unspoken with the gothic aesthetic of Hogwarts.
Wands releases on August 18. The gameplay looks interesting, the visuals look incredible, and the online wizard battles could be one of the most interesting multiplayer offerings on the Gear to date. To be clear, Wands doesn’t utilize motion controllers and the Gear VR still lacks positional tracking, so chances are this won’t be quite as engaging to play as the trailer seems to indicate, but the possibilities are there nevertheless.
I’m a huge fan of the Gear as I’ve come to realize that some of the best VR experiences on the market today either got their start (Dead Secret) or make their home exclusively (Lands End) on the mobile VR powerhouse.
The Gear VR’s low cost, mobile design, and amazing content library make it a system that should not be overlooked even though more powerful headsets are now on the market. It is encouraging, therefore, to see that developer’s like Nux Studios are continuing to invest in the platform by building top quality experiences like Wands.
Wands releases for the Samsung Gear VR on August 18th.