Survival games are big business these days. Everyone from indie developers to household name companies have some form of game where you must pit your wits against the environment to progress and flourish. Far Beyond: A Space Odyssey is one such game that has launched for HTC Vive and soon comes to the Oculus Rift.
Mains Digitales Interactive is a small indie developer based in Montpellier, France. They have created what they are calling, “the first hardcore Rogue-like in Virtual Reality with a Sci-fi atmosphere and AAA graphics.” The premise of the game is to travel across the Universe on an aging spacecraft called Genesis. Alone, and running low on supplies, you must manage resources, craft, and use complicated strategies to reach the final destination of a habitable planet where you can found a new civilization.
Although the idea of a survival game set in the vastness of space is not an original one, bringing the total immersion of this genre to Virtual Reality adds a new edge to the action. On higher difficulty levels, the game operates a “Permadeath” system, resetting your adventure back to the beginning of a different procedurally generated universe.
Having 4K rendering sets Far Beyond at the top end of the gaming spectrum. For the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the developers also boast there is no artificial locomotion or camera movement, reducing the risk of nausea that has seemed to plague other VR titles. Mains Digitales also state that, “All user interfaces are fully integrated into the environment to not ruin the feeling of immersion.”
Space will always be the final frontier. 2016 saw the launch of the much hyped but ultimately flat No Man’s Sky, which has the same general goal as Far Beyond: A Space Odyssey. The French created game hits general release for the Oculus Rift on December 6th and is currently on HTC Vive for $19.99/ €19.99/ £14.99. It will soon face stiff competition in the genre of space exploration and survival in the shape next years Hellion, which reaches Steam Early Access at the beginning of 2017.
Perhaps the 4K graphics and VR release sets Far Beyond: A Space Odyssey in a different class.