Compound is a free retro VR shooter with tremendous potential

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“This is a cool thing I found,” Dominic told our Slack channel. “But it probably doesn’t meet the qualifications for a news hit on the site.” I agreed. But then I watched the video and then I thought, “Yeah, it isn’t exactly news. There haven’t been updates on the game in a few months. But the people… the people should see the game.” And I wasn’t wrong. After all, a randomized rogue-lite free-roaming dungeon crawl based on 90s shooters — which keeps the blocky graphics and bullet-hell elements alive — well, I couldn’t imagine anyone being upset about me taking some time to share that. Even if it seemed I was putting in a lot of effort to hit the minimum word count for the piece. The piece that I was writing. Trying to hit the minimum word count for that. Which brings us to Compound. Compound is the name of the game.

Compound is a tough-as-nails retro FPS with multiple locomotion options for Vive and Rift users. There’s only a demo available right now, but it’s free to play and a delightful five minutes. I think you’ll see why:

That’s just fantastic, right? It’s a Duke Nukem 3D art-style game, fully realized in VR in such a way that it feels fresh but also alive. Like, the most exciting part for me is seeing the leans around the corner and the smooth transition from standing into kneeling — but also some of those dives to avoid bullets makes me think that bullet-hell shooters in VR will be my ultimate work-out. It really makes me want to see Crusader: No Remorse remade in the same style.

The game’s creator has a post apologizing for the slow stream of updates. Hi, Bevan McKechnie! We really want you to finish this game! We’re all rooting for you!

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You can grab the latest version on itch.io and Steam (click that there demo box).

ALZkZP

20 Comments

  1. Chrithu says:

    Hmm, when I get home I will have to look up if Bunker Punks has VR support.

  2. Seyda Neen says:

    Compound is the best thing ever, yes. I’ve been singing its praises around these parts for about a year, so thanks for catching on, slowpokes! :P

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      particlese says:

      Yes indeed – I originally found out about and tried this gem because of one of your WAWAPTW comments!

    • Vandelay says:

      Was probably your comment that brought it to me a while ago too. A great example to anyone that says FPS games can’t be played in VR.

      The demo didn’t have a huge amount of content, but even the bare bones was good enough to return to many times. Looking forward to seeing what more comes in the Early Access version.

  3. Voxel_Music_Man says:

    What the hell!!! My game is on Rock Paper Shotgun!? Thanks Brock for writing about COMPOUND. If all goes well, it will enter Early Access next week. The upcoming new version is upgraded in every way, especially for Rift users. I’ll send you guys a Steam Key then :) Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  4. bill says:

    Screw minimum word counts! Fight the man!(Graham!)

    The game looks cool… more Wolfenstein 3D than Duke Nukem 3D, if my memory isn’t playing silly buggers with the pink glasses again.

    It’s a bit weird to see the slow movement and ducking behid cover mixed with something as speedy as Wolf3D was, but I’m not sure there’s any other way to do it, and it grew on me a lot over the video.

    [approved]

    • MajorLag says:

      I’m not really sure how Brock is getting Duke3D vibes from this. From the video, it’s stylistically much more like Wolf3D with its complete lack of lighting, simple wall textures with occasional giant signs, sparse floor objects, and non-use of 3D space. The engine obviously isn’t as primitive as either game.

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    particlese says:

    I’d peg the art as more Duke 1 or 2 than 3, but it works really well regardless! I found the sound and unconventional SMG reloading mechanic to be quite nice, too.

    Brock, if you want a bullet hell workout, boot up Superhot VR if you haven’t already! And if you only need your arms to be totally ripped, there’s that “Xortex” arcade machine in Valve’s The Lab, which I rediscovered last week and found to be a superb use of VR with its more natural depth perception and all. It’s really good fun besides, save when my light-reflecting windows suddenly throw off the tracking and send my hand-held ship hurtling into an in-game wall…

  6. Bishop51 says:

    And there you have it folks! How on earth are developers in the VR space suppose to drum up interest in their titles if their titles receive ZERO press? That first paragraph highlights one of the key reasons VR has had such a rough time gaining traction. The mainstream gaming press flat-out ignores it because it doesn’t drive “clicks”.

    I squarely blame mainstream gaming sites for throwing the baby out with the bath water when it comes to VR. Editors/Owners give your staff some kind of reasonable green light to expend a tiny bit of energy in the space! STOP reviewing garbage VR titles (ports), start keying in to innovative/strong “made-for-VR” titles and you’ll start seeing better numbers. Educate yourselves on what is good and bad in the space. Spend some time playing the actual games. People WILL start clicking through. Especially with whats coming over the next few months (both in terms of hardware & software). You guys are going to be so far behind the curve because you didn’t take a chance and made the wrong bets…

  7. April March says:

    Compound is a tough-as-nails retro FPS with multiple locomotion options for Vive and Rift users

    I’d have liked it if you’d used some of the words you needed to make this article’s wordcount were spent to explain what those locomotion options were.

    • Voxel_Music_Man says:

      Hi! I am the dev. To answer your question, the locomotion options are several variations of artificial locomotion (smoothed, instant accelerate, etc. with more coming) and teleport, and the new version coming in a few days supports front facing setups for Rift people and the teleport mechanics are improved. (Rift controls will also be overhauled).

  8. Dzhulian says:

    Good to see some love for VR games. I’d love a first person mechwarrior style game, a flying combat game like Descent, and a more forgiving driving game than Assetto C to be developed

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