While we here at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have been ardent admirers of walking simulators for years, the mainstream video games industry is only now starting to cotton on to their wonders - and I suspect that's mostly because expensive cybergoggles somehow make it 'cooler'. While video games are still searching for our Citizen Kane (searching so desperately! crying ourselves to sleep over this hackneyed metaphor!), we might have found our Avatar.
Crysis folks Crytek today announced Robinson: The Journey [official site], a virtual reality game about exploring a lush alien planet and discovering its odd wildlife. It sounds like a walking simulator to me. I wonder if their recent Dinosaur Island VR demo is related.
I don't know whether their vagueness is intentional or they're holding back for a big reveal at a press conference this week (for goodness' sake, please don't mess me around any more than E3 week already does), but all Crytek have to show is two similar pieces of artwork and all they really have to say is:
"Harnessing the power of Crytek's CryEngine, Robinson: The Journey will offer players an unparalleled sense of presence in a game world as they assume the role of a young boy who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet. With freedom to explore their surroundings in 360 degrees of detail, players will become pioneers by interacting with the rich ecosystem around them and unearthing incredible secrets at every turn."
Aye, that sounds like a walking simulator to me.
Avatar was the first 3D movie I saw, which was also when I discovered my eyes apparently don't work right with modern fake 3D trickery, seeing everything blurry. Imagine sitting through Avatar - all three hours of Avatar - with only its writing and acting to enjoy. Just imagine! Every Oculus Rift I've tried has been similarly wonky, so I'm awfully sceptical of this supposed VR revolution (not to mention the cost). How long did the 3D movie fad last?
No word yet on when Crytek will release Robinson.