Small studio Pixyul seemed a touch over-ambitious in announcing dreams to scan the entire world with drones and recreate it in 3D with their first game, top-down survive ’em up ReRoll. We have not heard much about that recently. Their second announced game is far more modest, arguably more interesting (mapdrones aside), and something you can actually play now.
BIOS [official site] is what Pixyul call a “racing first-person shooter”, a time trial-o-rama about zipping through levels and gunning enemies as fast as possible, learning and repeating to shave seconds. It launched on Steam Early Access this afternoon.
It’s set up as a simulated virtual reality sort of thing where you’re trying to score the best time possible. It’s like an FPS existing inside an FPS – whoa, man. Like any time trial game, then, you’ll want to scout the level out, give it a few cracks, then really focus on honing it by cutting corners and optimising action. This sort of thing relies on having a really store core you’ll want to repeat, which I couldn’t comment on as I haven’t played it yet.
The initial Early Access release has 21 maps across seven environment types, and four kinds of enemies. Pixyul expect to be in Early Access for a fair while, at least a year, while they respond to feedback and add things like more weapons, enemies, environments, maps, and so on, as well as a narrative side.
It’s a shame that they’re not really doing much with the virtual reality setting, and that these imaginary places we step inside are generic FPS staples like a shipping yard, car park, and concrete corridors. I wonder whether it’d benefit from a more clean and stylised look too, as obscuring anything in darkness and detail is bad for time trials. Heck, remember how gorgeous Mirror’s Edge’s time trials were? The Quaker in me would love some exploitable movement physics for real speedrunning fun too.
BIOS costs £11.55 right now on Steam Early Access, a price which is due to go up with each major update.