Tuesday , 28 March 2023
First Look/Hands-onPCVR

EGX Rezzed 2018 | First Look At EPYKA

On my walk around on the first day to get my bearings on the layout of the event and what was there I came across EPYKA in the Unreal Room, so this was noted down to visit that day before I left – so what did I think of EPYKA?

Firstly, until I seen it at the event I had never heard of EPYKA, so my interest was instantly peaked because I really wanted to get on and see what it was all about. When waiting to have my turn I was speaking a member of team at Singular Perception getting a little bit of information about the game.

EPYKA is the first VR game from this Italian Studio and they have aimed to make a game that both beautiful and enjoyable, the demo at EGX was about ten to fifteen minutes long and I was informed the full game is going to be about two hours in length with the full release.

When it comes to the gameplay the game is very much a puzzle game, and in the time with the game there was a few different puzzle types some to do with pressure plates and ones using other objects to help figure it out, like looking for symbols through a plate. The puzzle involving the plate took some figuring out at first – but I like that fact they weren’t all straight forward and required some thinking. They are also making this a non violent puzzle adventure to make sure it fun and friendly for all the family – which is nice to see.

Throughout the game you are going to be accompanied by a furry companion in the form of Jack the dog. Who in this demo was used to help you solve some puzzles, like asking him to go to pressure plates, you commands were given using the touch pad on the controller you weren’t using to teleport yourself. Jack didn’t really interact much with you when you tried to pet him, but the team have confirmed that he will respond you and behave like a realy dog when it is released, and you will also get the control him with simple voice commands. Which for me will really bring this companion to life and really bring that extra immersion into the game.

Speaking of immersion the part of the island in the demo they have built-in the Unreal engine really dragged you into the world of EPYKA. Everything in the demo seem really well polished when it came to the visuals and I was really eager to let the team member know once I was out of the game. It really was a pleasure going from the Island and into the cave as the interactive parts of the world all came to life in front of your eyes. One thing I was really interested in testing was getting in close to Jack and seeing if any visual clarity was lost when close up and I was pleased to see that it was not lost. Which to me is going to be a really important part of the future interaction options with Jack and keeping the immersion in that area.

At the end of my play through I was asked for my feedback and opinions on the game bad or good, and to be honest as a game/product it was really hard to say anything overly bad about. The only feedback I gave was maybe contemplate adding the option of free locomotion into the game. Where the teleportation in the game did not really annoy me because for me what the game offers the movement style is not really an issue, but I know this a major gripe of the VR community.

Lastly I would like to just add that the team have an Oculus set-up one side and the HTC Vive Pro set-up on the other side, so I took the chance to see what the Vive Pro offered – with already owning the Oculus. Given the fact the bad press around the pricing for the headset, I really wanted to see what this price was all about. Being honest the resolution boost did look nice, but other than that It was a lot more comfortable as well given all the extra passing around the straps – but I didn’t think those two things are really a reason upgrade.

EPYKA was a huge surprise for me, from both the fact I had not heard anything about it until to show and what a fantastic experience I had with the game – it definitely goes down as my shock title from Rezzed 2018. This is one I will certainly keeping an eye on as it develops up until it’s release in Autumn this year and one I hope to bring more coverage for on it’s release.

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