It’s an early December afternoon in Stockholm, Sweden, where I’m sitting in a fancy office suite eating falafel amid a small group of journalists and VR content creators. This is my third day in the office-packed Norrmalm district of Stockholm, a stone’s throw from the quaint Old Town, where roughly 200 game developers from around the world commute each morning to work in Resolution’s labyrinthine three-story studio. Games. It’s surprisingly easy to get lost here amidst the chaos and excitement that surrounds each of Resolution’s various VR projects, but the atmosphere is so warm that you wouldn’t be surprised to find that the studio contains two rooms specifically designated as “team rooms.” nap” according to Swedish. law.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t have much time to nap, given the extreme jet lag one experiences when traveling from Portland, Oregon to the snowy Nordic kingdom of Sweden. But that’s okay because I’m wired by my own excitement in anticipation of one thing: a unique mixed reality arena shooter called space operations, which myself and 10 others would eventually test against each other just moments later. The VR game, coming out today, may very well be the next big thing for technology, showcasing the true potential of mixed reality gaming.
If you’re not familiar with Resolution Games, the studio is best known for creating highly original and somewhat wacky VR games like Demeus Y blastonthe first of which is arguably the most faithful VR recreation of Dungeons and Dragons, simulating everything from the tabletop experience (which lets you share a simulated space with up to four players across multiple platforms, in and out of VR) to the miniatures on the tabletop, which you can pick up and place by hand, giving them a realistic feel. In the meantime, blaston it’s a physically active shooter where you face exactly one other player in a duel, but the twist here is that each gun fires very slowly and you have to outsmart your opponent by blocking their ability to evade your bullets while they try to do the same with you.
Compared, space operations it’s basically laser tag in virtual reality, superimposing a partial virtual world onto the real one. The two hours I spent in it left me impressed and reinvigorated in my enthusiasm for competitive mixed reality gaming, but not completely blown away as I initially expected. In its center, space operations it’s an arena shooter like Halo or Call of Duty, but you play it inside the Quest 2 or Quest Pro headset using motion controls instead of remotely controlling an avatar behind a screen via a traditional controller. Early modes for him include Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Free-for-All, though I also tried a Capture the Flag mode that worked surprisingly well, although it doesn’t look like it’s coming yet.
Many virtual reality games, especially action shooting games like Half Life: Alyx, are based on the premise of making you feel like an action hero. For the most part, they do a good job of tricking you into giving you physical interactions involving your head and hands, but there’s not much you can do there. The problem with the “action hero” premise in VR is how difficult it is to convey that feeling of full-body engagement when you’re limited to running around a game world holding down a joystick.
For your benefit, space operations it literally requires you to use your entire body to be effective. It is much more intense than your average. aura session, but it’s also a lot like pantomime die hard with your friends as a teenager, and those positive endorphins, the ones usually associated with playing a team sport, are what really make it stand out.
It’s basically a laser tag in virtual reality.
space operations It works like this: Individual game assets that simulate physical geometry in the form of barriers, boxes, and spawn points are placed on top of the physical world, mixing VR gameplay with real-life motion. Each team is given opposing spawn zones where you run to respawn each time you die, but as you venture to the enemy team’s side, you’ll quickly find that the map is abundantly dotted with weapon spawners that shoot pistols and grenades, each. of which it feels shocking to use. You have space operations various weapons in your virtual hands, but since everything is superimposed on the real world, it almost feels like you’re holding a cartoon weapon in your actual physical hands.
You can judge the quality of a shooter by his shotgun, and space operations shotgun passes that test. Requires me to pump it out after each round while racking up a ton of damage on each shot, often forcing an enemy player to physically walk back to their team’s spawn point after I landed a headshot on their avatar.
Likewise, grenades and pistols are versatile, allowing me to tactically coordinate precise headshots and use grenades to force others out of cover. I was pleasantly surprised by the tracking accuracy of each headset for everyone playing in real time. My own movements also felt perfectly in sync with my avatar’s, making it possible to slide, kneel, crouch, and even militarily crawl across the floor in a competition to get the most deft shots and rack up as many kills as I could. . I wasn’t always successful, and I ended up nearly colliding head-on with my teammates more than once, though space operations It cleverly highlights where each player is with a clearly marked indicator, potentially minimizing any mishaps that might occur.
Simulating a full-blown matchup might be one of the best uses of Meta Quest 2 I’ve seen so far, though it’s probably not that practical for the average Quest 2 owner, who may not have the physical space to play. space operations at home. Fortunately, Resolution gave us open space that stretched at least two 5x5s, making for one of the coolest battles I’ve ever fought in VR. Very similar space pirate arena before that, space operations It’s best when it pits real players against each other in a local physical space, but if you don’t have anyone to play with, it can fully simulate up to seven other players.
At least for those who have the space to play it, Spatial Ops is sure to be a pivotal action game that steps up what can be expected from mixed reality gaming. And since it’s officially open to the public, it’s quite possibly the best launch title for Quest 2’s mixed reality mode.
Spatial Ops is now available in Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro.
Disclosure: Digital Trends flew to Stockholm, Sweden to preview Spatial Ops, with travel accommodations covered by Resolution Games. This did not influence our coverage of the game.