Over the summer, I took a trip to the home of VR video-game developer nDreams to check out their most ambitious game to date, a story-oriented experience called The Assembly. Aside from my cynicism regarding the concept of virtual reality itself, I came away feeling as though I’d gotten a brief glimpse at a promising new title, and judging by the Steam page I’d say many of my fellow writers felt the same way upon its release in July.
I even took the time and effort to write a couple of articles, which – not to blow my own trumpet or anything – you can engross yourself in here, and/or here.
I return to this topic once more because nDreams announced and simultaneously rolled out (for HTC Vive, at least) an update for The Assembly that stands as the first and most significant for the game. The patch addresses one fundamental issue that has clearly been the subject of discussion within the walls of the nDreams Farnborough office: the lack of compatibility with the motion controller hardware offered by the top VR headset companies.
The update includes essential support for most motion controller variants, as well as options for what they call roomscale gameplay, which is exactly as it sounds – the use of the space around you, as opposed to being seated – and will serve to compliment the new levels of immersion offered by the touchy-feely approach. As an added bonus, new and existing owners of The Assembly on Steam will receive the soundtrack, script, ‘making-of’ videos, and a PC wallpaper for free.
Full details of the patch and its limitations can be found on the nDreams blog site, but in the mean time, consider this: virtual reality is popular because of the extraordinary levels of immersion that come with a game in three dimensions. It is a step in a particularly intelligent direction, then, for The Assembly to offer the player the option to ditch their gamepad in favour of motion controllers, particularly given the hands-on nature of the game itself. I’d also just like to commend nDreams on their willingness to listen to their fans, because that alone is an increasingly rare trait these days. Jolly good show, as we Brits never, ever say.
As an aside: if you’ve invested in some VR gear and fancy giving The Assembly a run for its money, you’re in luck, because right now the game is reduced some 35% on the Steam and Oculus stores.
The latest update for nDreams’ flagship VR game, The Assembly, is out now on HTC Vive, and is set to hit PSVR and Oculus Rift at some point before the end of December. Game priced at GBP £19.99.