Vive Studios Titles to see Arcade Distribution via Synthesis VR

Studios need to get their projects out to as many customers as possible to gain revenue, doing so by supporting multiple headsets as well as appearing on numerous sales platforms. Location-based entertainment (LBE) is another avenue has proved fruitful for a number of virtual reality (VR) studios. Today, Vive Studios has announced a partnership with Synthesis VR to distribute its content VR management and licensing platform.

Front Defense: Heroes image

Synthesis VR is a dedicated LBE VR platform designed to help VR arcades with online and offline booking, customer retention via customer management features, gift card and membership functionalities; cater to multiple experiences and also capture and stream real-time gameplay.

With Vive Studios now onboard, titles such as Front Defense and Front Defense: Heroes (developed by Fantahorn Studio) will now be made available to any entertainment venue using the Synthesis VR system. Both of these titles will have their different use cases in a VR arcade. Front Defense is a WWII-era first-person shooter (FPS) with a single-player campaign. Originally released in 2017 for HTC Vive, Front Defense puts you in the role of an Allied Forces hero defending a fictional European town against an entire Axis armoured division.

Front Defense: Heroes, on the other hand, is a multiplayer experience offering 5 vs 5 multiplayer, with multiple maps to fight on and the option to play as the Allies or the Axis powers. Game modes include Capture the Flag, Death Match and Defense Mission. VRFocus reviewed the title in 2017, giving it three stars, noting: “In comparison to Front Defense, Front Defense: Heroes is certainly a step up, offering a far more dynamic experience than its single-player sibling, it’s just not quite the standout experience it could’ve been.”

Vive Studios has helped to publish several other titles including Jam Studio VR, Super Puzzle Galaxy, Arcade Saga, Operation Apex and Knockout League. All of which could come to LBE venues thanks to the collaboration.

Synthesis VR has also revealed a studio partnership with Dutajaya Media, offering a pay per play (PPP) licensing option to LBVR operators through the platform. Two videogames will be available, Dimensions 13, a 2-4 player co-op, and Verxus, a 4-6 player PvP experience. For further LBE VR updates, keep reading VRFocus.

HTC Vive Gets Free Games To Celebrate Its Second Birthday

HTC Vive Gets Free Games To Celebrate Its Second Birthday

Tomorrow is the HTC Vive’s second birthday. Yes, it’s really been two years since the SteamVR headset started transporting us to other worlds. Hard to believe, isn’t it? To celebrate, the company is giving away some free games from today.

From 12:01am PDT on 4/4/18 through 11:59pm on 4/8/18, every Vive owner will be able to claim some free games over on Viveport. Specifically, you can get World War II-era wave shooter, Front Defense, and its multiplayer sequel, Front Defense Heroes, at no charge. We weren’t blown away by either game, but you can’t really argue with free, can you?

Also available in the promotion is the likable Super Puzzle Galaxy Lite and one of the first Vive Studios-published games, Arcade Saga (which was also free last Vive Day).

That’s not all, though. During the same period of time all Viveport Subscribers will be getting a free copy of Solfar Studios’ Everest VR. Not only that but you can grab a three-month subscription for half the price, allowing you to play up to five VR experiences a month, choosing from a library of more than 400 titles.

Of course, tomorrow is also the launch of HTC’s enhanced headset, the Vive Pro, along with a new SteamVR 1.0 tracking bundle. So if you’re jumping into the world of Vive for the first time tomorrow, this is a good place to start.

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‘Front Defense: Heroes’ Early Access Review – Brief Glimpses of WWII Greatness

Front Defense: Heroes (2017), Fantahorn’s next installment of its WWII-themed shooter, is available in Early Access today for HTC Vive, now serving up multiplayer action in classic 5v5 shooter fashion. We don’t score reviews in Early Access, which is probably a good thing, because several game-breaking bugs are simply too prominent to make this anything other than a quick diversion at the moment.

Front Defense: Heroes Details:


Developer: Fantahorn Studios
Publisher: Vive Studios
Available On: HTC Vive
Early Access Release Date: December 8th, 2017

Note: This game is in Early Access which means the developers have deemed it incomplete and likely to see changes over time. This review is an assessment of the game only at its current Early Access state and will not receive a numerical score.


Set near the grizzly end of the World War 2, you can choose between Allied (only Americans currently) and Nazis, fighting it out across 5 typical maps; a French village, a church, city streets at night, an abandoned factory, and a train depot with an armored train. For now, only the train map presents anything other than a classic deathmatch by allowing a Counter Strike-style bomb planting mode.

Maps are very rough at this stage. I constantly had trouble walking through door frames, and got stuck several times in the maps’ geometry, although I was warned the pre-release version would have these sorts of bugs. During the match, the studio suggested dropping your gun to reset your position, but that never fixed the problem for me personally, leaving me to wait for the 5-minute round to be over before I was spawned back in at my team’s starting point. To its credit, the maps are both varied and interesting enough to keep you playing for a while.

Weapons classes aren’t limited to whichever team you pick, meaning an Allied player can decide to load-out with a typically Axis weapon like an MP-40 or Gewehr 43, which I found to be a big missed opportunity. Part of the fun in sneaking around in WW2 multiplayer games is indefinitely robbed when you roll up on a team full of Nazis and all you can hear is the noise of M1-carbines and Tommy guns.

The shooting experience wasn’t the most refined I’ve ever tried. Reloading is simple and clear, which is a big plus, making it so you’re never faffing around for your next magazine. Guns have appropriate recoil which is suppressed somewhat when you go two-handed. Much to my dismay, there’s an omnipresent crosshairs projected wherever you point, meaning you’ll never have to aim down the sites to get a clear shot.

Several times I grabbed a grenade and pulled the pin when trying to reload a magazine for my rifle, although in the pre-launch matches I played there was no friendly fire—annoying, but not penalizing.


Unfortunately for a game that boasts realism, the rifles felt slightly smaller than they should be, although it’s much less noticeable in the game’s pistols: the Colt 1911 and the Pistole Parabellum 1908 (aka Nazi Luger). I’ve had a chance to fire an original full-stock M1 carbine and a modern-day replica of a Colt 1911, so I can speak from experience. The difference isn’t extreme, but still noticeable to anyone who’s handled firearms.

Unless you have a peripheral like a gun stock, shooting rifles in VR never quite feels right either. It’s never weighty enough, and dual-grips never give you the sense that you’re actually holding a solid weapon in your hands. That’s more of an issue with VR as a whole and not the game itself, so it’s hard to knock Front Defense: Heroes for being ineffectual in that respect.

Avatars leave much to the imagination at the moment immersion-wise. When engaged in automatic running (discussed in the ‘Comfort’ section), players are well-animated, replete with normal strides and normal postures. When you snap into normal room-scale locomotion though, the difference becomes immediately apparent. Several of my brothers and sisters in arms were set at incorrect heights, leaving some to walk on their tippy toes and others to float in the air at some points.

I mentioned before that I clipped several time through geometry. I want to revise that. About half the time I was playing, some combination of reloading, throwing grenades and walking had me fall through the world, or into buildings that aren’t normally accessible, which either left me completely immobile or with a newfound wall-hacking shooting advantage over other players. I was assured by the studio that this was an important issue they’re working on and will endeavor to fix some point before its release.


Smooth locomotion is locked to your head, and not to your hand like VR shooter Onward (2017). Personally I find head-locked smooth motion much more comfortable than the former, but that comes down to player choice.

A big plus is the inclusion of third-person locomotion, like that seen in From Other Suns (2017), letting you ‘drive’ a remote-controlled version of yourself and instantly teleport to where you’ve stopped. The studio calls their version ‘V-move’. In the context of shooters, this level of physical continuity is important so you aren’t zooming around and dodging bullets, or popping out of view whenever you please, as you’re always vulnerable to enemy fire.

Guns are easily accessible once they’re on your person, but I would like to see more ‘force grabbing’ ability, as you have to physically bend down and pick up guns from the floor.

We partnered with AVA Direct to create the Exemplar 2 Ultimate, our high-end VR hardware reference point against which we perform our tests and reviews. Exemplar 2 is designed to push virtual reality experiences above and beyond what’s possible with systems built to lesser recommended VR specifications.


For under $10, it’s hard not to take a chance on some WW2 deathmatch action. As it is now though, Front Defense: Heroes needs some serious TLC to become a trusted VR shooter that people will come back to. The core premise of the game is valid—essentially Day of Defeat in VR—but whether Fantahorn is able to put in the hours to make this rusty wheel eventually spin before its true consumer release… well … we’re hoping for the best.

Note: This game is in Early Access which means the developers have deemed it incomplete and likely to see changes over time. This review is an assessment of the game’s current state, and will not receive a numerical score.

The post ‘Front Defense: Heroes’ Early Access Review – Brief Glimpses of WWII Greatness appeared first on Road to VR.

Front Defense: Heroes Review – A Classic WWII VR FPS In VR

Front Defense: Heroes Review – A Classic WWII VR FPS In VR

I’ve played a lot of WWII shooters in my lifetime. They’re not as popular now as they used to be, replaced mostly by zombies and an obsession with the post-apocalypse, but I must have killed millions of digital Nazis over the years.  But what I haven’t done much of yet, surprisingly, is visit that era from inside a VR headset — a topic the Front Defense series aims to rectify.

Most of the VR shooters we’ve seen so far focus on either zombies or try to take a futuristic sci-fi spin on things, but that’s not the case with Front Defense: Heroes. Instead, it’s a throwback of sorts to the days of Axis vs. Allies and MP40s. After spending some time with Front Defense: Heroes we don’t think it will have much trouble finding a market for itself despite some glaring flaws.

Check out a bunch of gameplay footage here:

What Front Defense: Heroes lacks in terms of original content it makes up for in its mechanics. Aiming down the sights of a rifle or the scope of a sniper feels great, as does ejecting and reloading a magazine in the heat of battle. Once you’ve got the rhythm down and you can effortlessly snag a new clip from your belt without even needing to look down, you’ll know the sense of presence is strong.

And then that’s when the awkward movement system that no one asked for, known as V-Move, rears its ugly head. I understand that a lot of people do still experience motion sickness when trying to use smooth movement in VR, but for a game such as Front Defense: Heroes, anything other than full, smooth locomotion cripples the entire experience.

The V-Move system works by having you press a direction on the left trackpad and then you watch as your character moves in third-person. When you let go of the trackpad you resume control in the first-person view again. It’s just like the comfort setting in From Other Suns. The result is a quite literally stop-and-go experience that throttles the action and forces you to master an obtuse mechanic before you can actually enjoy the game.

To be clear: the developers have told me that a full, smooth locomotion system will be added, but as of the time of this writing that has not happened, multiple weeks after launch. It gets the job done for what it is in its current state, but it’s far from a real solution for a game like this. In Front Defense: Heroes I want to move and shoot at the same time such as I would in Call of Duty, Battlefield, or even Onward. With V-Move that’s impossible.

Looking beyond the strange movement system decision, the rest of the game has promise. It’s a bare bones multiplayer affair for the most part and feels like an early 2000s multiplayer shooter got VR support, but given the nature of the technology it doesn’t feel out of place.

I got to play both Team Deathmatch and an Attack vs. Defend game mode. The latter game mode tasked my team, the Defenders, with preventing the Attacking team from laying explosive down on tanks. If we prevented them from blowing up all three before the time ran out then we won. Fantahorn and Vive Studios have also mentioned there should be a Capture the Flag mode at launch too.

Games support up to 5v5 but we only ever were able to do 3v3 for the testing session. Between pistols, automatic rifles, single shot rifles, rocket launchers, snipers, grenades, and more there was plenty to do in each match. The game is very likely going to open up dramatically once we get the chance to try it with smooth locomotion.

Perhaps most impressively of all though is the way in which HTC is planning to distribute this title. Like the lackluster, stationary wave shooter before it, Front Defense, this new title, Front Defense: Heroes, is a Vive Studios game, which means it has support from HTC behind it.

The game launched at a discounted price of only $4.99 and will be given away for free to anyone that already owns Front Defense. Plus, you can buy both games in a bundle right now for $9.99 and Front Defense: Heroes will be added to the Viveport Subscription service. The powers that be really want everyone with a Vive to play this game.

Final Score: 6/10 – Decent

Front Defense: Heroes is certainly much better than its poorly conceived wave shooter sibling, Front Defense, but it still feels a bit unfinished. It’s a shame it still doesn’t have smooth locomotion, but even in its current form it scratches a bit of an itch for VR shooter fans by delivering something a bit more casual and arcadey in design than its competitors.

You can find Front Defense: Heroes on both Viveport and Steam for HTC Vive with a special launch price of only $4.95. You can read our Game Review Guidelines for more information on how we arrive at our review scores.

[Editor’s Note] – This was originally a review in progress on December 8th, 2017, but has since been updated with additional context throughout the article and with a final score on December 22nd, 2017.

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On The Front Lines with These Front Defense: Heroes Screenshots

Earlier this year, developer Fantahorn Studio worked with HTC Vive’s home-grown studio to produce Front Defense, and now the two have partnered again to work on a sequel, titled Front Defense: Heroes. New screenshots show further details of what players can expect.

The first Front Defense was, at its core, a wave shooter that featured authentic historical weaponry as well as some impressive graphics and a heavy focus on realism as players take on the role of a soldier in the Allied forces fighting against the Nazi war machine. While movement was possible, moving from cover to cover, picking up weapons and ammo in order to take advantage of the offered room-scale experience.

Front Defense: Heroes aims to build on the experience by creating a more expansive multiplayer videogame. As before, the experience will be room-scale, offering 5 vs 5 multiplayer, with multiple maps to play on and the option to play as the Allies or the Axis powers. There will be multiple game modes available, including Capture the Flag, Death Match and Defense Mission mode.

Responding to recent discussions regarding locomotion in VR, Fantahorn Studios have created a new locomotion system called V-Move, though full details of exaclty how this will work have not yet been revealed.

Front Defense: Heroes is expected to be released on Steam and Viveport in early December, with a launch price of $4.99 (USD).

The screenshots are are available to view below.

VRFocus will bring you further news on Front Defense: Heroes as it becomes available.

Front Defense: Heroes Is A Multiplayer WWII VR Shooter From Vive Studios

Front Defense: Heroes Is A Multiplayer WWII VR Shooter From Vive Studios

When Front Defense released earlier this year it packed a lot of promise into a less-than-impressive package. The shooting and cover mechanics felt great, but it just needed a bit more time in the oven to really shine. Now just mere months after its release the developers at Fantahorn Studios and publishers at Vive Studios are back again with a follow-up titled Front Defense: Heroes. However, instead of being a stationary wave shooter like its predecessor, this is a fast-paced, online, 5v5, multiplayer shooter.

I’m not the only one that thinks that’s a pretty big shift, right?

The popularity of military shooters is no new thing, even for the young VR industry. Onward is one of the most popular VR games to date, with similar titles such as Pavlov springing up in its wake, and other entries such as Bravo Team due to release early next year. According to the official press release, Front Defense: Heroes will include not only deathmatch, but also capture the flag and defense-based game modes. The release also mentions a unique locomotion system called “V-Move” but there aren’t any details on what that means exactly.

“With Front Defense: Heroes we’ve built upon our experience with Front Defense to engage the community and offer new challenges with every match,” said River Ho, Front Defense producer in a prepared statement. “As a dynamic multiplayer shooter, Front Defense: Heroes lends itself perfectly to the competitive ethos of VR e-sports, an important feature as VR gaming matures.”

Vive Studios is also announcing a new game from developer 2 Bears Studio today (Arcade Saga) titled Super Puzzle Galaxy, which is a physics-based puzzle game. Both games are expected to be available in early December.

Perhaps most surprisingly of the news about Front Defense: Heroes is that during its launch window it will be available at a price point of only $4.99. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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Capcom Reveal Monster Hunter VR Experience

Capcom’s push for virtual reality (VR) experiences has taken on new ground. Following the hugely successful Resident Evil 7: biohazard launched for PlayStation VR back in January of this year, another big franchise has received the VR treatment: Monster Hunter.

Monster Hunter VRDesigned as an out-of-home experience, Monster Hunter X Circle of Saviors is a collaboration with Fivefor, a Japanese development studio for whom the business model includes making multiplayer VR experiences designed for a mixed reality (MR) suite. This allows the players to team-up in unique ways, with Circle of Saviors offering VR to one player while a second acts as support shooting a crossbow to take out enemies in the virtual world.

Monster Hunter X Circle of Saviors is built upon that core Circle of Saviors experience, bringing original Monster Hunter enemies and weaponry into the videogame. Players are also able to eviscerate their fallen foes, taking with them the ingredients for new equipment, just as in the Monster Hunter videogames.

Monster Hunter X Circle of Saviors is played with a HTC Vive and is currently available at Capcom’s GameLand venue in Aeon Mall, Tsudanuma. Other VR titles on offer include HordeZ and HTC’s own Front Defense.

Monster Hunter VR at GameLand

There’s currently no word on whether Capcom intend on bringing Monster Hunter X Circle of Saviors to other territories or releasing the title on home systems – the version seen in Tsudanuma does not make use of any modifications to the HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD) – however the project is billed as a ‘limited collaboration’, so it doesn’t appear likely. VRFocus will of course keep you updated with all the latest details on Monster Hunter X Circle of Saviors and other VR titles from Capcom.

Australians Get a Very Limited Edition HTC Vive Featuring Front Defense

If you’ve been planning on getting into virtual reality (VR) gaming, are keen on purchasing HTC Vive, and happen to live in Australia then there’s a very limited deal available that’s not on offer anywhere else.

HTC is currently a Front Defense bundle that includes the VR system, the videogame, a limited edition HTC Vive protective cover – with the Front Defense logo – for the headset and controllers, and $100 AUD off the regular price. This deal is available now, directly via until 11.59am 24th August, 2017.

Front Defense screenshot

There is one small catch however, this bundle isn’t just limited in time, it’s limited in quantity as well. There are only 80 units available if you want one. On the plus side, all the units come with free shipping.

So $100 off and some nifty protective covers might be enough to tempt you into purchasing, whereas Front Defense not not as much. Developed by HTC’s internal virtual reality (VR) development team at Fantahorn Studio, VRFocus reviewed the title, only giving it 3-stars saying: “Front Defense is an experience that leaves you wanting. It’s one of those titles in which you can see bags of potential in the individual elements but ultimately it just doesn’t fit together as a perfect whole. You’ll play it a few times, complete it, but then never be drawn back to face another wave of Axis forces.”

VRFocus will continue its coverage of HTC Vive, reporting back with the latest announcements.

HTC Vive: Viveport Abonnenten erhalten im Juli acht neue Spiele

Der Viveport wurde Ende des Jahres 2016 gestartet und hatte im April bereits wöchentlich über 100.000 Nutzer. Damit bietet HTC einen eigenen Store für VR-Spiele und Anwendungen an. Zudem gibt es ein Abo-Modell für den Store, bei dem Kunden für 7,99 Euro monatlich fünf Titel zum Spielen auswählen können. Nun erscheinen im Juli insgesamt acht neue VR-Spiele für Abonnenten.

Auswahl zwischen acht neuen VR-Titeln

Im Viveport können die Abonnenten jeden Monat in einer Auswahl von über 150 Spielen und Apps insgesamt fünf Titel wählen. Im Juli erscheinen nun acht weitere interessante Titel, die bei Steam zwischen 5 und 25 Euro kosten:

Front Defense

Front Defense von Fantahorn Studio ist ein VR-Shooter im Arcade-Stil, der in der europäischen Stadt Axis spielt. Dabei wird der Spieler an die vorderste Kriegsfront gebracht und muss sich gegen die anstürmenden Feinde bewähren. Zusätzlich ist Bewegung gefordert, denn ducken und verbarrikadieren ist notwendig für den Sieg.


LyraVR vom gleichnamigen Entwickler ist eine Plattform zum kreativen Schaffen von Musik. Dafür setzt die Anwendung auf Room Scale VR. In der Anwendung platziert der Nutzer Sounds innerhalb der virtuellen Umgebung, setzt diese zusammen oder nutzt Loops, um neue Musikstücke zu komponieren. Des Weiteren kann man ein virtuelles Schlagzeug, Keyboard und vieles mehr spielen. Sämtliche Kreationen können mit Freunden oder anderen geteilt werden.

Dwingle B.O.T

Dwingle B.O.T von XXII fällt in die Kategorie der Escape-Room-VR-Erfahrungen, jedoch unterscheidet sie sich von herkömmlichen Erfahrungen. Im Spiel erschafft man seinen eigenen AI-Begleiter – den Bot – der euch zur Seite steht. Je nach Aktionen verändert sich die Stimmung und Verhaltensweise des mechanischen Begleiters, wodurch sämtliche Neustarts erfrischend anders sind.

Panzer Panic

Panzer Panic von Handygames ist ein lokales Multiplayer Panzerspiel, bei dem ihr im Capture the Flag-Modus gegen eure Gegner antretet. Dies wird mit Power-ups unterstützt. Außerdem kann man seinen Panzer frei nach Belieben anpassen.

Twisted Arrow

Twisted Arrow von Phaser Lock Interactive ist ein Virtual Reality Shooter, bei dem ihr euch per Teleportation innerhalb einer riesigen Stadt bewegt, um mit einem Bogen bewaffnet die insgesamt sechs Level zu meistern.


#Archery von VRUnicorns bewaffnet euch mit einem Bogen, jedoch in einem ganz anderen Stil als bei Twisted Arrow. Hier müsst ihr einfach sämtliche Handlungen des Alltags mit euren Bogen ausführen. Dazu zählt auch der Verkauf von Eis oder das Ausliefern von Zeitungen.


#SelfieTennis ist ebenfalls von VRUnicorns und geht einem ähnlich verrückten Gameplay nach. Hier muss der Spieler jedoch mit einem Tennisschläger anstürmende Bälle mit Augen und Füßen zur Stecke bringen.


HoloBall von Treefortress Games ist der letzte Titel und führt den Spieler in eine mit Neonlasern überflutete futuristische Welt im Pixel-Stil. Das Ziel hierin ist euren Gegenspieler im Ballspiel zu besiegen. Dies erfordert jedoch einiges an Können.

(Quellen: RoadtoVR | Vive Blog | Videos: HTC Vive Youtube)

Der Beitrag HTC Vive: Viveport Abonnenten erhalten im Juli acht neue Spiele zuerst gesehen auf VR∙Nerds. VR·Nerds am Werk!

Viveport Subscription Adds 8 New Games for July

HTC continues to expand the app selection on its Viveport subscription service, adding 8 new games for July, detailed on the official Vive blog. The $7/month service allows unlimited access to any 5 titles each month from a selection of over 150 games and apps.

Having recently doubled the Viveport app count, including some highly-rated titles such as Pierhead Arcade, Galaxy Golf, and Sairento VR, HTC has added a further 8 titles for July, including the innovative music tool LyraVR and well-received games like HoloBall and Twisted Arrow.

The 8 titles, which are usually priced on Steam from between $5 and $25, are Front Defensean arcade shooter published by Vive Studios, LyraVR – an Early Access music creation platform, Dwingle B.O.T – an interesting ‘escape room’ puzzler, Panzer Panic – a tank-based local multiplayer battle arena, Twisted Arrowan intense action shooter, #Archery and #SelfieTennistwo quirky games from VRUnicorns, and HoloBall – an intense ‘VR Pong’ sports game.

A free trial is also available on the Viveport subscription page.

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