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Virtual Reality  header logo

 VIRTUAL REALITY PREVIEW

Gamescom2015: VR shooter Damaged Core is Watchdogs meets Time Crisis

Judgement day

Summary Preview Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  
Product: Damaged Core | Developer: High Voltage | Genre: Shooter
 
Damaged Core Virtual Reality, thumbnail 1
Damaged Core is one of the most sensible Oculus games I've seen. Not only do you play it sitting down with a controller in your hand, but it presents almost no risk of motion-sickness because your perspective is pinioned to a static point.

The game is set in a topically dystopian future in which the world has been overtaken by robots. As foretold by Hawking et al., these robots have become sufficiently intelligent and ambitious not only to destroy humankind but to start creating even greater robots.

All this robot construction comes at an environmental cost, of course, and the robot population is busily mining the world to a husk before heading into space to repeat the process on another planet.

The ghost in the machine

You play not as a human, nor even as a robot, but as an AI capable of scanning areas and transmitting yourself between Cores – a process that feels quite similar to hacking cameras in Watchdogs.

From the vantage point of these Cores you shoot enemy robots of various kinds with rockets, machine guns, and more, and you can also equip a shield for limited bursts of protection.

All the while a floating sphere called Melody dispenses advice and witty remarks, occasionally using emojii to add colour to your HUD.

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Damaged Core has an interesting, Blade Runner-esque neon-infused look. The art director comes from Nintendo, where he worked on the Metroid series. The heritage is clear in the colourful, futuristic gameworld.

I only had five minutes or so with Damaged Core, during which time I saw off a few waves of enemies, tried out a few different weapons, and jumped between a few Cores.

It was all quite linear, but High Voltage assured me that once you get through the tutorial stages it's possible to jump between several Cores, cycle between weapons, and even transmit yourself to Cores on giant robots for a bit of on-rails action.

Damaged Core is solidly made and nice-looking game, but above all it feels – in its opening moments at least – very restrained for a VR title during this period of giddy experimentation.

If motion-sickness worries you then then restrained is probably what you're looking for, but High Voltage may also be playing it a little bit safe.

You can find out when the game arrives next May.
 

Reviewer photo
Rob Hearn 9 August 2015
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