fated, vr game, storytelling in vr, frima studio,

PAX East 2016: Fated: The Silent Oath (VR)

Fated is I believe the first VR-only game that I’ve played so far with my experience in VR, and it really goes to show what you can do in the VR space. Super excited for this game, just need to wait on the PSVR as I don’t have a VR-ready PC.

Fated is an unusual game because not only is it VR-only, meaning you can’t play it without a VR headset, but it puts you behind a character who can’t speak. During the demo at PAX which ran about 10 minutes long, you don’t have your standard “Press X for yes, Y for no” type prompts. Instead, you must nod your head at the character you wish to answer, either in agreement or disagreement. A really interesting challenge is presented to the player because it brings another level of immersion to gameplay but also removes a level of interaction given that your options in some cases are limited based on “yes” or “no” type answers.

In the demo itself, you’re posed with a handful of questions that may have some effect on events that happen later in the game (at least I think they will) and for a moment I sat staring at the in-game character wondering what I was supposed to do. The whole process of shaking my head back and forth to say “no” to one of the characters was really interesting and then to look around at the other characters beside or behind me through the demo was cool. The entire demo setup for Fated at PAX was outstanding, and designed for full immersion. You sat on a wooden bench, because in-game the demo sequence has you on a horse drawn carriage. Your controls were two reigns, that controlled your horse’s movement. As you passed certain areas in game there were real life elemental effects. While riding past a waterfall, they set up a water-mist sprayer and fans to add that extra sensation to the experience.

The tension builds even moreso as something just out of sight starts taking out your fellow caravan travelers. Your speed starts increasing, and now controlling the carriage as you barrel alongside cliffs is more of a challenge. You’re also looking around completely unaware of what happens next, so that desperation of just sticking forward and guiding the horses, or turning around just for a moment to get your bearings on where the next attack will land was crazy. While that particular section was more or less just about guiding the carriage left or right (there were no jumps or weapons to attack with), it built such a great foundation for the story in a way that makes me want to know more. 

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed the game and though I won’t have the same type of immersive VR experience (no fans or water sprayers) playing it, I really dig what Frima has done with VR for gamers. This type of interaction will no doubt impact the way future developers work with VR and that’s really exciting. I’ll be getting this on PSVR once I get a setup for my PS4. It may not be for everyone because it’s a VR-only title, but I think it’s a unique storytelling approach that many people will enjoy. 

Fated is available for purchase for PC (Steam and Oculus Store) for $19.99, coming to PSVR at a later date.

Source: Frima Studio

-Written by Andrew(@SoAfterISaid)