So if you’ve been following major VR news, then you know that the space simulation/PvP multiplayer, Detached, created by Anshar Studios will be out of Early Access on May 18. And since that’s only three days away, we got to play the game and share some thoughts.
If you haven’t heard of Detached yet (where have you been!?) then you can read more about it here, or just watch the new launch trailer below:
There are two difficulty settings in the game: arcade (easy) and simulation (hard). These settings basically just affect your locomotion options. Which either allows for free movement and rotation that you then have to keep adjusting for with your thrusters (simulation) or suppressing the natural movement you would have in space by letting you have more control over where you go (arcade).
Solve Puzzles In Single Player Mode
Single player mode is basically a sandbox game that has you exploring abandoned space stations with the goal to get through the puzzles before the space suit’s oxygen runs out. These puzzles involve figuring out where to go and what to do to get to the next section of the station.
It took a moment to get used to the controls of the suit, but luckily there’s a handy tutorial to show you the way. Let’s just say that since I’m inside an enclosed area, in a suit with thrusters – that zero-g feeling quickly becomes prevalent. You can turn in any direction in Detached by rotating your right controller. But I couldn’t easily tell up from down sometimes – which makes things pretty disorientating if you’re inside an enclosed area. In the big openness of space, it’s much less of a problem since there isn’t really an up or down.
You use the left motion controller to turn on your thrusters and to break. But one thing I quickly became tired of was having to move around at the speed of what seemed like 2 mph. I mean, what are these thrusters powered by – hamsters? Though I have to be honest, I was pretty glad that the suit feels so slow. Since anything faster would probably have been cause for an unplanned bathroom break. That being said, the movement does feel natural. You get to where you need to be by gliding through space at an adequate speed, and the suit does not come to a complete stop when the thrusters are released unless you connect with a wall something.
You can also look around in your suit, but you still need to move around and rotate to be able to see all the way around you. It’s like I’m really flying through space.
Multiplayer mode offers you the chance to go up against another player to get a package and deliver it to a marked zone. It’s kind of like a capture the flag game, but there’s only one flag. Also, a very talked about feature of the multiplayer game style is that it doesn’t encourage combat. Instead, it favors strategy and outmaneuvering your opponent – which is why spending more time in single player mode affords some advantage.
With the upcoming full release, there’s also a new map which you can access through multiplayer mode (it’s already available in single player mode). And you still have a puzzle element to figure out. So it’s basically a race against your competitor – and time since oxygen is still a factor here – while trying to get a package from one point to another. But, every player has some tools available to him. There’s the boost, which increases your thrusting output; the disrupt missiles – my personal favorite – which you can shoot your opponent with, frying his suit momentarily and making him drop the package; and a shield which protects you for a certain amount of time.
I have to say, it’s quite a challenge to have to keep track of the other player, fly around in space, and get the package to the drop point. Oh, and I found out the hard way that if you fly into something too fast – you’re gonna have a bad time.
My Final Thoughts on Detached
Firstly, I have to comment on the great soundtrack of the game. It must have cost Anshar Studios quite a bit of cash (and a non-essential employee’s arm in sacrifice maybe) to get a fully orchestrated score composed by Mikołaj Stroiński for their game. Then, in terms of the graphics, all I can say is wow. The developers did a great job. I really liked the design of the environment and the space station interiors were especially well-designed in my opinion.
And lastly, since you’re either going to love or hate the locomotion in the game, I procrastinated with this opinion till the end. Detached’s locomotion is definitely going to appeal to VR locomotion purists – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. If you are a VR newbie – or don’t quite have your VR legs yet, then I really don’t recommend this game. Or at least go with the easier locomotion option and make it a sitting experience, since that seems to help a bit. It’s much less disorientating than Adr1ft, but it’s still somewhat of a doozy.
Personally, I liked the easier locomotion option better. When trying the simulation mode, I found myself flying forward at a slanted angle or just flying in the wrong direction a lot of the time. Though I can already see some people choosing simulation mode as their preferred option. Because they’re more hardcore than me and all that.
So if you see yourself as a hardcore VR player and you’re really looking for a good VR experience, then check out Detached when it releases on May 18.