Let’s start off with saying, I’m a huge RPG fan. So the idea of an open world VR fantasy RPG with missions, character storylines and NPC’s really gets my blood pumping. Enter The Soulkeeper VR that’s currently in development by Helm Systems and we’ve got some pretty sweet hours of gameplay coming our way this spring.
The game will release on Early Access on Steam for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift in the coming months, though there’s no word on a price tag yet.
In the world of Gerindak, is where you’ll find yourself upon starting this adventure. You can play through the intertwining stories of various different playable characters, each with their own set of skills and style of gameplay. The developers aren’t giving away too much just yet, but the game will be episodic, with you playing different characters with different play styles each time.
Check out the game trailer below:
Discover the Lore and History of Gerindak
With every consecutive update, the story of this first episode will start building up more and more. There are a number of factions in the game as well, like the Lavordians. They are “a legendary order of warrior monks wielding some of the most powerful magic known in Gerindak. And your first steps into the SoulKeeper universe with episode 1 will be through such a Lavordian monk, named Isoporos. He is a spellcaster armed with spells, magical stave, and sword. As the monk, you are sent to investigate rumors of an old threat re-emerging in the world, Gerindak. ” But defeating enemies won’t be easy, you will have to use quick and strategic thinking to leave the fight intact.
We had a chat with the developers and they said that “already from this very first release, you will begin to understand some basics, like which faction your playable character belongs to, what they represent, who their worst enemy is, and what other factions might come into play. That said, in this first release, there will undoubtedly be more questions than answers like any proper epic scale fantasy tale.”
In The Soulkeeper VR you will be able to engage in melee combat with swords and axes. Or you can use your free hand to activate magic with runes you draw in the air. And there is a multitude of spells available, like fireballs, electricity, and ice. But if you’re more into ranged attacks then you will have to wait for the character who has the ability to shoot arrows with a number of ranged weapons.
You can even use magic to enchant your weapons, as displayed by the tweet they developers shared below:
— The SoulKeeper (@SoulKeeperGame) March 14, 2017
No Story Would Be Complete Without Other Characters
And no RPG would be complete without friends and foes to help you navigate your journey. The developers have divulged that players will encounter many over the world, some of which are quite daunting, like a huge troll, who features as one of the boss fights. But you won’t just encounter enemies in the world of Gerindak. There will be a plethora of NPC’s with their own stories, going about their business, with whom you can interact.
We also asked them what type of interactions we can expect from NPC’s in the game, and they said, “You will be able to interact with them through combat as well as professionally acted voice-overs and dialogue options. The main goal is to make the interactions for VR immersive, there are a lot more things in store for future updates, post-Early Access release, to keep striving for immersion including more forms of character interaction.”
The Gameplay of The Soulkeeper VR
From what the developers have shown so far, there’s a lot that the world they created has to offer. There are various mounts, including dragons. Yup, you can ride and control dragons in The Soulkeeper VR. The developers also worked to make the environment interactive for players to manipulate in an intuitive way, including puzzle like elements which you need to figure out to complete quests. For example, you can shoot a fireball at a chandelier to drop it on your enemies.
For now, The Soulkeeper VR is strictly a single player experience, though the developers aren’t ruling out the possibility of multiplayer. According to one of the lead devs on the game, “Our team is very open minded and takes user and community feedback very seriously. So it is definitely not out of the question that we might see features or add-ons that didn’t make it in the first release like co-op or multiplayer as the resources and technology become available for it.”
We also asked the team how many hours of gameplay there will be, to which they answered, “It really depends, as there are several in-game activities to perform, which might take up a lot of time if the player wishes them to. In the first release, all in all we expect the average playtime will be somewhere between 5 hours, as we expect certain types of players will be speedrunning through it and focusing on the action, while others will take their time and study the environment, avoid online guides, solutions for puzzles and absorb everything the game has to offer.”
In terms of the locomotion mechanic in the game, the developers included multiple locomotion options, including trackpad-based/freeform locomotion, room-scale, and teleportation. So you can choose the walking style that suits you best.
Keep An Eye Out for The Release Of The Soulkeeper VR
Helm Systems are also working on a normal PC version of The Soulkeeper. They said that the VR game is a first-person prequel to the third-person PC game, but that they “might be able to offer both versions to both mediums, but it is too early to know that for sure.”
But I’m more than fine with experiencing a single-player RPG game in VR. Since we have no exact release date yet, we’ll keep you up to date on any further developments on The Soulkeeper VR. Are you as excited as I am about riding a dragon in VR?