SDCC 2017: If VR needed saving, Archangel might be just the game

San Diego Comic-Con is full of many things including comics, TV, movie, and of course games. During my trip, I got some hands-on time with Skydance Interactive’s Archangel VR mech title, the team that helped out with Gears of War 4. The game is what happens when you take Titanfall and mix in elements from Star Fox and use VR to fully entrench the player in its world.

Skydance is promising a full story experience along with the great gameplay and visuals. While this may be their first VR title as a team, behind it are members from studios that have been developing titles for decades. Anyone here played Spider-Man 2 or any other Treyarch title? If so you know the quality that this team consistently delivers.

My demo took place in one of the earlier stages of the game. And it had me controlling a monstrous-sized mech equipped with shields, rockets and a trusty minigun. Each hand is equipped with one of the weapons and its own separately powered shield. Throughout the course of the game, the player will gain access to new weapons, upgrades, and other customizations based on their performance. It will give players more options to take down bigger enemies while also making the game fun.

The game is an on-rails shooter akin to classic Star Fox games. And it doubles down by adding 3 allies each with their own unique personality and support mechanics. Like Star Fox, it’s sometimes imperative that you keep your allies alive as they will often supply you with health pickups and other bonuses, as well as calling out key objectives.

The combat and gameplay are extremely fast and requires the player to be actively observant from multiple directions. You will need to make snap decisions with precise, and the timing of your shield and attacks are crucial. With that said, you can still use your weapon on the hand not with a shield. But your shields each have a limited range for blocking shots, and players will need to alternate which hand is shielding and which is shooting. Shields also drain as long as they’re active. So players will need to lower their defenses for a recharge to prevent them from taking damage when walking through the level.

My recent experience with Archangel left me wanting it even more compared to my previous session at E3. (You can see our coverage from that experience here.) Archangel is just one of those games that keeps you in the action almost 24/7. And its difficulty will have you pushing yourself to improve your skill level in the game.

One thing I am sad to say is that currently, Archangel has no branching paths like one of its inspirations. It seems like a bit of a missed opportunity since you are this giant mech of destruction. This isn’t a negative per say as it would have been icing on an extremely delicious cake. And if Archangel does well enough, we might just get that icing in a sequel.

Archangel is currently exclusive on PSVR until August 1. It will then release for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

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