Despite launching first on Quest, the team at Bit Planet Games ensured us that the PC VR version is not a scaled up version of the Quest 2 release. In fact, it’s the other way around. You can check out the PC VR launch trailer embedded above.
The developers say that the game should shine with the higher specifications on PC compared to standalone hardware, too.
The only caveats for now are that HOTAS support isn’t included for PC VR at launch (but it is coming soon) and multiplayer isn’t quite ready yet. Testing for the latter feature is ongoing, but you can access an early build that’s likely to have stability issues. If you want to access multiplayer on PC regardless, you can find the access code on the Ultrawings Discord server. Until multiplayer and HOTAS support are finished, the game will remain in early access on Steam.
In our review of the Quest 2 release, we called Ultrawings 2 “a super sequel you won’t want to miss”, awarding the game a rare Essential label. You can read the full review here.
Facebook and Instagram have been blocked in the Russian Federation, with both social media platforms now completely inaccessible to users in that country. Meta’s VR services haven’t been mentioned by name in the bans, although they’re also likely to become inaccessible as a side effect.
The ongoing invasion of Ukraine has caused a huge backlash from businesses around the world, which has resulted in a laundry list of consumer products and services pulling out of both Russia and its ally Belarus.
Last week Reutersrevealed that Meta was taking a temporary stance on how it’s addressing hate speech on Facebook and Instagram. The report maintained that users in many of the former Eastern Bloc countries who called for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion wouldn’t be considered a breach in terms of service. It was later clarified that only users in Ukraine would be exempt, and not the wider list of surrounding countries.
Now both Facebook and Instagram have been banned outright in Russia, with the country cutting those services off to some 70 million users in response to Meta’s now fairly obvious stance on just who it supports in the conflict. Meta messaging app WhatsApp hasn’t been specifically included in the ban, although that has the distinct possibility of changing fairly soon.
The Russian government opened a criminal probe last week against Meta in hopes of classifying it as an “extremist organization,” which Business Insiderreports may see a complete prohibition of its activities in Russia. It’s a growing and frankly nebulous designation levied by Russia on organizations such as al-Qaida… but also Jehovah’s Witnesses, so it’s not certain what effect it will have on users who try to bypass bans by using Meta’s services through virtual private networks (VPNs).
Unsupported, Unwanted Business
Countries not included in Meta’s list of supported regions can’t buy VR headsets directly from Meta, although residents can import hardware from elsewhere and access the digital side of the platform without issue; supported regions include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States.
Still, over the years getting a Quest or Rift in Russia wasn’t like buying one in Germany or Mexico (both unsupported regions), where you can simply login to Amazon and purchase with one click. In Russia, importing things from outside—especially European countries—has been notoriously difficult and costly, making a $300 Quest 2 significantly more expensive whether you decide to import or buy through a local reseller.
Russian Quests and Rifts aren’t expensive paper weights just yet though, although it looks like it’s moving in that direction. Since March 2nd, Russian banks have been banned from SWIFT transactions, the leading payment system for international bank transfers, and Russian-issued Visa and Mastercard have also become useless outside of the country.
Effectively all digital sales for services such as the Quest Store, Steam, Epic, etc., are now dead as a result, meaning Russian users can’t buy games online.
Quest Gets Caught in the Dragnet
Russia’s version of the FCC, Roskomnadzor, has the power to ban or slow down any service it deems inappropriate. Last year the agency announced it was reducing the loading speed of Twitter in response in response to the website hosting “illegal images,” bringing the service to a crawl for its users. Hitting the F5 button resulted in multiple minute-long waits to refresh your feed, something which ultimately was designed to stymy the user’s ability to view and share video and images. The year-long slowdown is over though. Twitter is also now blocked.
And then the agency targeted Facebook and Instagram, which got on the blacklist when Roskomnadzor said those services were allowing for “calls for violence against Russians.” At the same time, Quest users weren’t able to login since some ISPs in that country seemed to have enacted their own interpretations of the ban. At this point, Quest users in Russia aren’t certain whether it’s intentional or accidental.
Speaking to Russia-based VR users, we learned that Roskomnadzor doesn’t appear to have the same degree of control over service providers as China does with its ‘Great Firewall’—not yet anyhow. For now it appears some Russian ISPs are being more heavy-handed than others when it comes to blocking peripheral services. Blocking web services not explicitly mentioned in bans could be anticipatory, overzealous, inaccurate—or some combination of the three.
Back in 2018, Roskomnadzor moved to block messaging app Telegram, which resulted in a host of unrelated web services, such as PlayStation Network, being inaccessible to users. It was a decidedly indelicate way of shutting down Telegram in Russia, so it’s possible Russians may be experiencing a similar situation, albeit on a much larger scale now.
For Russia-based users, the first and most obvious workaround to accessing any of the blocked services mentioned above is setting up a VPN, but it’s still too early to tell if that’s an enduring strategy. Meta may soon be considered an “extremist organization” by the Russian government, and interacting with its services surreptitiously may be even be considered a criminal act. And that would probably go for Quest users and developers alike.
Virtual Virtual Reality 2 wird am 10. Februar für Meta Quest und Rift erscheinen. Eine Version für SteamVR soll anschließend am 17. Februar folgen. Um auf das neue Spiel einzustimmen, haben die Entwickler und Entwicklerinnen einen neuen Trailer veröffentlicht.
Virtual Virtual Reality 2 für Quest und PC VR angekündigt
Virtual Virtual Reality erschien 2017 und ist in lustiges Abenteuer, in dem ihr zwischen unterschiedlichen virtuellen Realitäten innerhalb der virtuellen Realität wechselt und versucht die Bedürfnisse der Bewohner zu erfüllen, bis ihr schließlich hinter das Geheimnis dieser Realität kommt.
Virtual Virtual Reality 2 spielt nach den Ereignissen des ersten Teils. Diesmal haben sich Menschen und KIs in einem friedlichen digitalen Paradies namens Scottsdale zur Ruhe gesetzt. Als jedoch die Finanzierung der Plattform eingestellt wird, werden die Server abgeschaltet. Ihr müsst einen Ausweg finden, bevor eure Existenz ausgelöscht wird.
The last announced Oculus Rift exclusive title, Lone Echo II, will launch on August 24 for $39.99 and it will be playable on Quest from a VR-ready PC via Oculus Link or Air Link.
Lone Echo’s impressive single-player campaign in 2017 was one of consumer VR’s early standouts for hand-controlled interaction and the original game will be priced $9.99 until the release of Lone Echo II. So if you haven’t already experienced the compelling story of Liv and her artificially intelligent companion Jack, now is a great time to get caught up on the mechanics of zero-g gameplay before the launch of the sequel. We’ll have to test it when Lone Echo II launches, but many Rift platform games are playable on other PC VR headsets via hacks like Revive.
Lone Echo likely represents a swan song for Facebook’s Rift platform and effectively marks a finale to one of its first efforts in consumer VR. Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014 and funded a series of PC VR games as it learned through trial and error that players enjoyed VR games with tracked hand controls over those played with traditional gamepad. Facebook’s efforts in PC VR ran parallel to those in mobile VR, which won favor with consumers as Facebook progressed from Samsung’s Gear VR phone-powered headset to the underpowered Oculus Go and finally to Oculus Quest, which combined the room-scale and tracked hand controls that made Rift compelling with a standalone wireless form factor.
People who buy Lone Echo II will get a new Jack-themed chassis for their avatars in Echo VR. Last year Facebook acquired Ready At Dawn, the developer of all the Echo games, after the studio adapted the zero-g mechanics it pioneered in Lone Echo into a competitive sport that also ran on Oculus Quest. The free-to-play game is one of VR’s best competitive sports titles. Facebook provided the render below showing the VEGA X-3 chassis players will get for purchasing the game.
Facebook teases that players will get “a new assortment of tools to overcome complex challenges and startling discoveries of deep space in the far future” in Lone Echo II.
Will you be playing Lone Echo II when it launches in August? Let us know in the comments below.
The public Phasmophobia Trello board outlines plans for future updates, with new content, an overhaul of the progression system and OpenXR support on the horizon.
The Trello board lists extensive changes and plans, with a mixture of specific and more general goals for the game. Some of the wider, game-wide changes planned include increased accessibility options (such as colorblind support and quick chat for ghost communication), randomized weather on each maps, more uses for temperature actions (such as opening a window or turning on a heater) and tracking of a player’s long-terms statistic (such as total deaths, contracts and hunts).
A task labeled “Horror 2.0” features such as new ghost events (and an overhaul of ghost events in general), hallucinations, new death rooms and new death animations are mentioned.
There are also plans to overhaul many of the game’s larger systems, such as an overhaul of the sounds, the UI and the main menu room. Changes are also planned for the equipment layout in the starting van and the design of your journal. In terms of an overhaul of the progression system, there’s not too many details but the Trello board lists reworks of the objectives, equipment, leveling, money and difficulty systems.
For new content, the goals are described very vaguely but include new ghosts, new evidence, new maps and new equipment.
Cyan Worlds is bringing classic puzzler Myst to PC VR headsets later this year.
The rebuilt and upgraded version of one of the most important PC games of all time is listed on Steam as releasing in Q3 this year. The new version first released on Quest in late 2020 and it is a great and faithful port of the classic nearly 30 years after its first release. For those who originally journeyed across the mysterious ages of the Myst universe decades ago, visiting it in VR can bring players to tears because they already have rich memories of a place they visited partly in their imagination. Now, with VR powering the experience, transporting to that island and standing on the dock to begin your journey is a far more complete experience.
The title is listed as including support for Valve Index, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift as well as tracked controllers. The new version is also playable in flatscreen mode. The game is such a faithful reimaging of the game you can even look up guides written in the 1990s to help you through your journey. That said, this updated version also adds an option for puzzle randomization, so you can experience the true challenge of Myst before everyone learned how to use a search engine.
The minimum specifications for Myst list at least 8 GB of RAM while the recommended specifications boost that up to 16 GB.
Here’s the trailer for the game that was released when the Quest version was announced:
There are no details on what the big new update is exactly, but it’s being described as a “major content update” for STRIDE. You won’t need to own the game already either — you’ll be provided access.
STRIDE is a VR parkour free-running game, similar in style to Mirror’s Edge, except it’s got an “endless runner” format along with a gun that lets you fight back against assailants. In the short clip posted to Reddit, it looks like the content update is probably adding a more exploratory game mode that lets you explore the city in more directions rather than going in a straight line. Perhaps this is the long-alluded to Story mode.
If you’re interested in helping test the new features for STRIDE, you can visit the Closed Beta sign up page right here. You’ll have to be willing to sign an NDA, available to playtest today at a scheduled time, have access to a VR-ready PC with a Rift, Quest + Link, or Quest + Virtual Desktop, and you must live in the EU, UK, western CIS countries, Turkey, or North Africa. Feel free to invite friends to apply as well.
Lots of behind-the-scenes tidbits and details were revealed today in a massive oral history report published by Facebook that chronicles the history of Oculus to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the original Rift launch. One of the most interesting details to me is the surprising shift in tone and genre that Asgard’s Wrath went through between its conception and its release.
For those unaware, Asgard’s Wrath is a massive VR action-adventure RPG that’s exclusive to the Oculus Rift PC VR store developed by Sanzaru (now owned by Facebook) in which you take control of a Norse God that has the ability to possess mortals and control them directly. The game plays out similar to a Zelda or God of War game in which you explore various realms of Norse mythology, solve puzzles, and fight hundreds of monsters. You can also transform animals into humanoid familiars that fight with you and all have unique abilities to help you on your journey.
It’s a huge, sprawling game that captures the essence of a large-scale AAA quality RPG and puts it into VR with great results. It was the first 5/5 score we ever game here on UploadVR back in 2019 and it’s still my personal favorite VR game to date.
In the oral history report that published today, developers from Sanzaru and Oculus Studios discuss a surprising revelation: the game wasn’t even planned to be an action game at all originally. Not even close.
“Asgard’s Wrath actually started as a Touch-centric demo like VR Sports Challenge,” said Grace Morales Lingad, Creative Director at developer Sanzaru. “It was meant as a Toybox-like demo early on and grew from there… It was more focused on being the god and helping this puny mortal.”
Toybox was a multiplayer Oculus Touch tech demo in which you and another person would stand at a table and play with toys. The toys were intended to encourage interaction so there were building blocks, remote controlled airplanes, and more. That feeling of being a giant looking down at little toys on a table stuck with the developers.
Then along the way it became a tower defense game where you were picking up little
Toybox-size objects and putting them down as your defensive armaments,” said Mike Doran, Director of Production at Oculus Studios. “There’s a couple places where you still see the tower defense game, a couple of boss encounters where you’re firing these giant cannons down on massive armies in the distance. Also, not a lot of people realize that our entire inventory is a series of shelves with tiny little units or objects, and those shelves were originally the UI for selecting towers.”
Once the idea for flipping between God-mode and mortal-mode were introduced, it spiraled from there. They added more features and more concepts on top of everything else, letting you explore more of the world and take control of more types of mortals. Before long, it wasn’t a tower-defense game at all.
“With Asgard’s Wrath, we wanted to make a real-deal, big game,” said Mat Kraemer, Head of Design at Sanzaru. “I’m tired of playing the ten-minute demos and I’m tired of limited movement. I wanted to play a God of War style game. I wanted to play a Zelda style game in VR. I want to make the game that makes you buy an Oculus headset, so when people look at Oculus hardware, they say, ‘I want to play Sanzaru’s next big thing.’ That is what I want to make, and I think as a developer being given the opportunity to do that has been awesome.”
For games similar to what Sanzaru originally envisioned, check out Defense Grid 2 and Brass Tactics. And for more on Asgard’s Wrath, you can read or watch my full Asgard’s Wrath review, beginner tips, and my one-year retrospective from last October that looked back at why the game remains so great for me.
Let us know what you think down in the comments below!
Cosmodread (formerly known as Cosmophobia) is the latest game from Dreadhalls creator White Door Games. If you’re curious about whether or not this VR horror roguelike lives up to its potential, we’ve got you covered with our full Cosmodread review included down below.
White Door Games is a very small indie development studio with only seven people listed in the “credits” section of the Cosmodread site. It was founded by Sergio Hidalgo, who does all of the design and programming himself.
Cosmodread Review – The Facts
What is it?: VR survival horror roguelike about escaping a dying spaceship Platforms: Quest, Rift Store,andSteam Release Date: March 25th, 2021 Price: $14.99
Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, Cosmodread is essentially a game about the fear of the unknown. You’ll spend tons of time creeping around corners, poking your head out to see what lies beyond the next hallway, and slowly opening doors in fear of what’s on the other side. The vast majority of my time with this game was spent entirely shrouded in darkness, both literally and figuratively, and it’s the type of suffocating terror that often feels overwhelming.
You see, in Cosmodread, it’s pretty much always pitch black. You’ve got a little wrist-bound flashlight on your right hand, but other than that and the limited hall lighting, it’s very, very dark in this game.
The premise here is similar in concept to The Persistence in that you’re stranded aboard a decrepit spaceship that remixes its layout every time you respawn and you’re tasked with slowly exploring it all in an effort to escape. In practice though, Cosmodread is much more about slow, methodical stealth in an effort to avoid all of the various horrific creatures.
The lore is dolled out gradually over time by picking up audio logs, as is standard with these types of games by this point, and you’ll also collect blueprints for items as you explore. The structure is a bit like a Metroidvania in that you need to locate the appropriate keycard to unlock new sections of the ship, but the locations of items, doors, and ship regions are all procedurally placed so no two playthroughs are ever identical.
One mechanic I really appreciated is that you’ll find batteries in wall panels that are used to power rooms. This might just include lights and illuminated wall panels that light up an area, or it might include actual machines and levers that can be used. Each battery has a limited number of charges so you’ll need to stick them in your inventory and conserve them for the right moment. Monitoring your oxygen levels is key to survival as well, since you can die if you’re not careful.
Cosmodread Review – Comfort Settings
Cosmodread features the typical assortment of comfort options, ranging from teleport and “dash” movement to smooth, analog stick locomotion, You can tweak the speed of rotations, or switch to snap turning instead. I played with all options set to smooth and my turn speed maxed out, but personally chose to just physically turn my body since I was on Quest. There enough options here that I would imagine most people could find a workaround that is comfortable enough to play the game.
I spent around 10-hours with Cosmodread and, truth be told, still haven’t seen everything it has to offer. It’s one of those types of games that you can honestly play over and over and still feel like you’re getting something a bit new and unique each time. To its credit, this is exactly what fans of this genre love—however, it absolutely does get stale after a while. Cosmodread is definitely a game for fans of roguelikes first and foremost – don’t expect a campaign-like structure.
There is of course combat in Cosmodread, but it’s far from the focus. Stealth is absolutely the preferred method most of the time here if for no reason other than your options for fighting back are painfully limited for most of the time you’ll spend aboard this dying spacecraft. That, and the enemies are absolutely relentless and deadly. Setting a trap from a distance and luring them to death is usually more effective than facing them head on.
Since White Door Games is such a small indie studio, Cosmodread predictably reuses assets liberally. Virtually every hallways looks the same, the random junk items laying out on tables like canned food containers and empty boxes are copy-pasted across the whole ship, and, on Quest, all the textures have a sort of ‘muddy’ surface layer that lacks definition. You can get lost easily in Cosmodread not just because the layout changes every time you respawn, but because every room basically looks the same.
That wouldn’t be a huge issue if the quality of the visuals was higher, but as it stands it feels a bit undercooked. It’s a few steps up from Dreadhalls, for sure, but other things I’ve seen in VR recently—even on Quest natively—are leagues beyond Cosmodread. Especially when you consider how dark the game is, you’d have hoped that would have freed up resources to render higher detail environments.
Thankfully the sound design elevates things considerably. Each enemy makes unique and distinguishable sounds and you’ll often hear them on the other side of a wall or even sometimes coming from the vents above. The disgusting, tentacle-like growth that spreads throughout the ship makes a wet and pulsating sound as it extends, letting you almost feel the tendrils that coil around your feet and stretch up the walls.
Honestly, it’s some of the most effective 3D audio I’ve ever heard in a VR game and is a great reminder of just how important and impactful great sound design is for immersion.
Once you advance far enough into the ship, when you die, you’ll unlock different modifiers that can be used to alter your next run. For example, you could opt to start out with zero weapons (not even the basic crossbow) or choose to double your inventory space in exchange for lopping off a chunk of your health bar. There are tons of modifiers like this to help spice things up and keep it interesting beyond just a new map layout each time.
Cosmodread Review – Final Verdict
Cosmodread is a worthy successor to the cult-classic grandfather of VR horror games, Dreadhalls. Although it doesn’t do a whole lot to push the genre forward in many meaningful ways, it absolutely nails the suffocating terror, incredibly immersive atmosphere, and unnerving tension that makes VR horror so powerful. Visually it leaves a bit to be desired and can get repetitive due to its roguelike design, but it’s still a supremely effective and harrowing experience that all fans of spooky space adventures should absolutely check out.
For more on how we arrived at this score, read our review guidelines. This review was conducted using a digital pre-release version of the game on a Quest 2 headset.
[Update 3/31/21]:Hellgate VR is out now on PC VR via Steam with a 20% launch discount price of $28 until April 7, at which point it will be available at its normal price of $35. We haven’t tried it yet, but all six user reviews so far are negative. You can see some impression footage from Paradise Decay right here.
[Original 3/22/21]: Hellgate VR is back with a new listing on Steam and a new trailer showing actual gameplay footage. We still don’t have a date, but apparently it’s hitting PC VR this month with Rift and Vive support.
Back over four years ago we heard about Hellgate VR, a prequel game that was slated to release at the beginning of 2018 presumably for PSVR and PC VR. It missed that window by over three years, but seems to be back from hell once again with a new planned release of this month only on PC VR via SteamVR as far as we can tell.
The original Hellgate: London was an ambitious online action-RPG looter shooter hybrid from some of the minds behind the Diablo series. You can play a stripped down and gutted re-release single-player only version on Steam now. The premise for the game, originally, was similar to how Destiny works now, although it was far less polished, less ambitious, and much more demonic. One of the big features in Hellgate was that it was a semi-procedural world that got shuffled a bit each time you left a region—just like in the Diablo games.
I was actually a pretty big fan of Hellgate: London, particularly the intricate loot system that really made you feel like you were growing in power. It was also nice to see a fresh take on the “beat back the demons of hell” concept.
All that being said, Hellgate VR is nothing like the original game. From what I can tell looking at the trailer, GIFs, and screenshots, is that it appears to be a glorified wave shooter with a thin veil of a story. I’m not going to hold my breath that this can bring the Hellgate series back to life and push it forward into a new generation of gaming, but I’ve been wrong before.
We’ll have to just cross our fingers that this sees the light of day because beyond the Steam page there is next to no new information about this game across the last four years.
Hellgate VR does not have a specific release date yet, but according to the Steam page it’s apparently coming to PC VR with Rift and Vive support sometime before March 2021 is over.
Let us know if you plan on checking this one out down in the comments below!