Practical: “UNDERDOGS” is a good time and an innovative approach to VR machine combat.

UNDERDOGS is a virtual reality mech wargame from the veteran indie VR studio.Rocket: Nx On a new ambitious path

In 2018, with its release, it was clear Rocket: NxThe developer One Hamsa has a special sense of gameplay and attention to detail that is rarely found in most VR games. The studio managed to take a broad idea like “racquetball in virtual reality” and turn it into something truly unique and perfectly suited for the medium.

Now, five years later, the studio’s next project is a far cry from the bland VR sport it created, but you can still feel the developer’s talent for taking a broad idea and turning it into something unique for VR.

under the dogs It’s not due out until early next year, but I got my hands on an early build of the game and found a very solid foundation with unique mechanics and gameplay that I can only describe as a “mecha warrior”.

under the dogs It has a strong identity, it’s not a “sit in a cockpit and push a bunch of buttons” type of game mechanics, it’s a “let’s screw up” atmosphere, and the studio does a great job of building on that with the game’s aesthetic. .

that inunder the dogs You control a short, nimble mech driven by intuitive weapon-based movement. You basically drag yourself around the arena with your mechanical arms, using the arms to swing and punch enemies in front of you. You can also use your arms to throw yourself at enemies like a sumo wrestler throwing an opponent out of the ring. Hitting enemies is a lot of fun, thanks to ragdoll physics and some nice visual and audio effects to go with it.

Image from One Hamsa

It appears with a range of different arm appendages, some of which are broken, some of which are daggers, and some of which are functional (such as grappling hooks).under the dogsIt can make for a fun playground for different “builds” as players test which attachments work best against different enemies.

Oh and did I mention that not only can you swing at enemies but you can also pick them up and squish them or simply throw them across the field? It’s not exact work… it’s demolition and it’s really fun.

Image from One Hamsa

Speaking of destruction; The field I was fighting in had a big piston in the middle that would hit the ground every few seconds. And you can bet it was joy every time I dropped an enemy under it just in time to get crushed. The developers really know how to make things like this feel satisfying with a combination of effects and sound.

Even in the short portion of the game I played, it was clear that the studio understood the need for enemy variety. I saw at least three types of enemies, one of which had variants that significantly changed how I approached them (like a temporary shield that had to be dodged until vulnerable). There was also a mini-boss fight with a charging rhino robot that was fun to dodge and then swing in to hack and break its vulnerable points. I hope this is just a taste of the enemy and boss variety in the full game.

Image from One Hamsa

The action is a bit chaotic at times, but it seems that with practice there will be a chance for players to perfect their moves and attacks. And with any luck, swapping out parts of your mechanics will lead to completely different playstyles.

behind the scenesunder the dogs It’s doing some solid worldbuilding by casting the player as a…weak…who fights in the underground arenas as a way to move up in the world. As a cybersteam punk world, the setting is a familiar quantity, but so far the game’s presentation has given it a unique feel.

Watching the crowd cheering you on was an impressive sight, showing just how much climbing you have to do (literally and figuratively) if you want to make it anywhere in the world.

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What I playedunder the dogs So far it has me intrigued and excited for the full game. However, it is unclear to me what the full game will look like. Will it simply be a wave of mindless brawls taking place on the same few squares? Or will the world and story be a means for a more interesting linear narrative and gameplay development? We have to wait until early next year under the dogs Will be running on Quest and PC VR to see if it holds the landing.

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