What do you get when you combine virtual reality, cyberpunk, and great art direction? An exciting upcoming turn-based tactical RPG for Gear VR called Augmented Empire, of course!
Developed by Coatsink, Augmented Empire is set to release on the platform tomorrow. Set on the island of New Savannah, an isolated neo-noir city divided into three tiers by the ‘Citizen Grade System’, you are brought into the story by getting to take control of a band of augmented misfits who are fighting the oppressive system. Because on this virtual island the citizens deemed of high societal value live in luxury at the summit, while the outliers and criminals are forced to live in squalor at the island’s depths.
“With a strong focus on story and deep but accessible gameplay, we wanted to give Gear VR gamers an extraordinary experience. We’re thrilled with the caliber of talent involved in Augmented Empire,” said Coatsink CEO Tom Beardsmore.
Check out Augmented Empire’s beautiful trailer below:
Make the Most of Your Moment
In Augmented Empire the battles are fought on a tiled augmented-reality hologram platform which is set on a table in front of you within the virtual world. It’s a very meta-concept but works well within the setting. “From the armchair of their secluded hideout, the player uses simple look-and-click controls to instruct their team of 6 augmented misfits in a world rendered as an ‘augmented reality’ diorama before their eyes, while interacting with the office around them to investigate new developments, make calls, and develop the skills of their team, Coatsink said in a press release.
Since this is a Gear VR title, it makes use of the standard gaze-based and touchpad controls that the Gear VR offers. But the developers have also added support for the Gear VR controller for those who prefer using it. During your turn-based actions in the game, you will be able to complete various tasks, like hiding, ducking and keeping out of enemies lines of sight. Then there’s also shooting them of course – this is a shooter after all – and other RPG-type actions like collecting items and creating custom weapons.
A Cyberpunk Future With Age-Old Issues
The game’s narrative is the star of the show, with deep storylines like the story of a mother tracking down her long-abandoned high-caste daughter. The title will be comprised of episodes that focus on the story arcs of several characters within the world of Augmented Empire and there are reportedly more than a hundred hours of voice overs in the game (which means that you’ll have to download the game in batches since it’s so big).
What has me even more excited than the prospect of a good narrative is that these episodes will be voiced by famous actors like Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black, Star Trek Voyager), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Doug Cockle (The Witcher series), and Garrick Hagon (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Horizon: Zero Dawn). Great narratives and great voice acting are sadly rare finds within the mobile VR content basket so this is a real treat. Plus, while Augmented Empire is set in a cyberpunk future, the game grapples with age-old issues that affect society and the human psyche.
According to Coatsink, Augmented Empire offers more than 10 hours of gameplay across 26 missions and 60 environments. So make sure to check out this promising title when it releases for Gear VR tomorrow, July 13.