Virtual Reality and their games have only just begun to make their foundation in the overall larger worlds of games. Some VR games are attempting to bring ambitious experiences, such as Resident Evil 7 and Ace Combat 7. But, keeping it simple is never a bad thing, and that is what the team at Germany-based THREAKS Studios is doing with the release of Battle Planet for Android devices, and the Google DayDream, Google’s answer to Virtual Reality.
Battle Planet tasks players with defending their micro-planet from evil alien invaders, known as TERMINOIDS, who will naturally, terminate you and your planet. They have an entire fleet of bad guys, ranging from robots to mechs to planet-crashing bombs and even nasty bosses. You are the lone savior of your planet, and you will do what is necessary to defeat the hordes and survive.
With the last few minutes of PAX EAST ticking by, I caught this game in a small corner on the show floor. Intrigued, I grabbed my VR gear and got straight into the action. Immediately, the battle began. I noticed the VR visuals worked extremely well, as I felt like I was in orbit around the planet. While the war waged on the ground below, the enemy ship would orbit around the planet, and feel like it was mere inches from my face! The game actually has a surprising amount of detail, as I could see enemy units deploying from the ship and onto the surface.
What I didn’t notice until after my demo was how easy the game was to control. The game utilizes a revolutionary “one-stick” control. The player can move around the planet, but as the main character is a combat robot, enemies that fall within his range of sight are automatically targeted and fired upon. This is most evidenced by the red-glowing circle that surrounded my robot. While this may sound easy, this means that the player must move carefully across the planet, as well as stay moving to reach important objectives.
As the demo began, I was immediately under heavy assault by a variety of combat mechs. I was also tasked with running around the map and disarming nuclear bombs. Instantaneously, the game provided sheer thrilling action. I was running using my badass laser cannon to destroy anything that stood in my way. Of course, as the game was in VR, the explosions and particle effects were pretty nice to observe in the heat of combat.
I moved to the next wave, where things got even tougher. I recall things being quite frantic; many more enemies were converging on my location. They consisted of mechs, ships, big machines, and smaller baddies as well. Environmental hazards, such as lava, also came into play. I was still tasked with disarming the bombs in the level. However, I managed to use new weapons, such as a bazooka and a lightning gun. As I moved around the planet, it was ta thrill to hear a booming soundtrack and see an incredible amount of destruction unfold at a constant rate. The sheer sci-fi action violence was tremendous throughout my entire demo. Lasers fired, ships whizzed by, and of course, a plethora of intergalactic explosions dotted the screen.
My demonstration lasted approximately five minutes. While my demo was quick, it was nonetheless incredibly exciting. Battle Planets is currently available on the Android store for $10. You can play the game without the Google Daydream VR headset as well. For those lucky enough to own a Google Daydream, which is very inexpensive at around $80, the VR was very well done and wisely used throughout my experience. It felt like you were truly part of the frantic experience of defending your homeworld against an army of invaders. If you are a fan of instant-action and non-stop challenges, definitely, give Battle Planets a look.