Preview: Altair Breaker – Sword Fighting GDC 2022 Style

The show floor of the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2022 wasn’t exactly bursting with new virtual reality (VR) titles – as was the case in previous years – but there were one or two juicy videogames to be found. One of which was Thirdverse Inc.’s upcoming sword-fighting title Altair Breaker.


The Japanese studio has made a name for itself in the VR sword fighting genre thanks to its first project Swords of Gargantua. If you’ve played it then you’ll know the gameplay relies heavily on almost sim-like swordplay, where you have to be accurate with your attacks and quick on the defence. You can parry to gain an advantage over your enemy and even use a bit of magic to increase your damage.

While great for veterans or those simply willing to put the hours in, Sword of Gargantua can be brutal, so Thirdverse has decided to go down a more arcade-style route with Altair Breaker. This means greater accessibility, making those first less daunting because you don’t have to be as precise; having some fun in the process.

It’s easy to see the DNA in Altair Breaker though. The demo was built around arena-scale fights with a mixture of enemies a similar size to me as well as a giant mid-boss who wasn’t too much trouble to take down. The gameplay itself is light and fluid, with a single-handed sword available to slice and dice opponents.

GDC 2022 - Altair Breaker
GDC 2022 – Altair Breaker. Image credit: gmw3

Altair Breaker felt instantly accessible with each sword swing intuitive and accurate – which is always a good sign when demoing any videogame on a show floor. I was able to block and parry just as you’d expect but with the added help of a red indicator to tell me where the next enemy attack was coming from. Where the game starts to step away from its older sibling is with features like the distance slice, where you can unleash a bluish curved projectile at an opponent.

Stand and face an enemy for a few moments and a red crosshair will appear so you can focus all attacks on that singular foe. In the early stages of a battle when several opponents surround you it wasn’t as helpful due to it constantly relocking, becoming far handier in the latter stages of the fight. Plus, when I had a spare moment I could use my off-hand to run across the blade to empower it for a moment. Although this only worked about half the time!

Another notable addition was the ability to interact with the environment, more to the point, climbing it. Yes, that’s right, just like you can in videogames like Population: One, in Altair Breaker there’s the option to climb nearby walls or pillars for a better vantage point, jump off and then glide to a new point in the arena. This really has the ability to open up the strategy options, especially where some of the bigger bosses are concerned. Lastly, there’s a quick dash – helped by that lock on – so you can knock an opponent into the air and then dash in to deliver a final blow as they come crashing down. Always a satisfying end.


Oh, and Altair Breaker will offer co-op multiplayer so you can get four of you together. The demo only offered a look at playing solo, so gmw3 will have to get back to you on the multiplayer aspect. Even so, Altair Breaker was a blast, less hamstrung by accurate physics and pinpoint sword timing. That doesn’t mean to say veterans won’t find it challenging or varied, there seems to be enough to mix up your play style and the big dudes can certainly take a beating.

Altair Breaker is due out this summer for Meta Quest 2 and PC VR headsets, for further updates keep reading gmw3. And don’t forget to check out our other GDC 2022 coverage including our hands-on with the Skinetic Haptic Vest.

Swords of Gargantua Team Return With Altair Breaker This Spring

Last year gmw3 reported that Japanese virtual reality (VR) developer Thirdverse Inc. was working on a new sword fighting title, something a little more casual than its first project Swords of Gargantua. Today, the first details have been unveiled for Altair Breaker, due to arrive this Spring for Meta Qest 2 and PC VR headsets.


Thirdverse Inc. claims that Altair Breaker will bring a “new generation of VR sword-fighting action” whilst being more accessible to the casual player. From the sound of it, this means the gameplay mechanics rely less on realistic physics – so you’re not punished if you miss a parry – and more towards big visual flourishes.

For example, the team says that Altair Breaker will provide “high-speed sword-fighting action, blow-ups, aerial combos, and wide-range attacks with special moves.” Very different to Sword of Gargantua’s more laboured approach to sword fighting.

You won’t be alone either. Altair Breaker will support up to four players at once across Quest 2 and PC VR platforms, so it should be fairly easy to team up with friends or anyone else looking to battle a few monsters. Very little of the story has been revealed so far, simply that it is “set on an abandoned city floating in the void of the VR world Altair, where players can dive in to unravel the mysteries of this AI-controlled world.”


Another key aspect yet to be unveiled is the overall progression. The images and video released so far indicate arena-style fights rather than adventuring through an actual world of sorts. If you have to progress through various wave-based arenas then Altair Breaker will be taking a few more cues from Gargantua after all.

Thirdverse Inc. will be demoing Altair Breaker during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) next week, so keep an eye out as gmw3 will be bringing you hands-on coverage of that. With a spring launch window slated for Altair Breaker, there shouldn’t be too long to wait. When further details are available we’ll let you know.

The VR Job Hub: Thirdverse Inc., Cloudhead Games & Bit Space Development

Every weekend gmw3 gathers together vacancies from across the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) industries, in locations around the globe to help make finding that ideal job easier. Below is a selection of roles that are currently accepting applications across a number of disciplines, all within departments and companies that focus on immersive entertainment.

Location Company Role Link
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Assistant Producer Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Game Designer Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. QA (Quality Control) Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Line Director Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Director Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Art Director Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Modelling Artist Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Motion Artist Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Environment Artist Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Effect Artist Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead UX Designer Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Senior Software Engineer (Game Development) Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Senior Engineer (R&D) Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Senior Engineer (Cross-Business) Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. Lead Technical Artist Click Here to Apply
Tokyo, Japan Thirdverse Inc. General Affairs Click Here to Apply
Vancouver, Canada Cloudhead Games  Digital Marketing Coordinator Click Here to Apply
Vancouver, Canada Cloudhead Games Lead Game UI Designer Click Here to Apply
Remote/Winnipeg, Canada Bit Space Development UI/UX Designer Click Here to Apply
Remote/Winnipeg, Canada Bit Space Development Sales Team Member Click Here to Apply
Remote/Winnipeg, Canada Bit Space Development AI & Machine Learning Programmer Click Here to Apply

Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hub to check as well.

If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham (

We’ll see you next week on gmw3 at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.

Swords of Gargantua Dev Partners With Blockchain Project “Oasys”  

More and more developers are looking at the future prospects of Web3 and the technologies that underpin it, with the latest to announce its initial steps being Japanese team Thirdverse Inc. The studio behind Swords of Gargantua, Thirdverse Inc. has begun a partnership with gaming-focused blockchain project Oasys.

Oasys Thirdverse

The collaboration will see Thirdverse Inc. begin operating the Validator Node of the Oasys blockchain, a process that connects “to a blockchain network to verify that transactions are correct and to build consensus.” The point being both companies share a vision that combines virtual reality (VR), the metaverse and blockchain technology.

An EVM-compatible protocol that uses proprietary architecture, the Oasys system is based on PoS (Proof of Stake) which is viewed as more environmentally friendly than Proof-of-Work (PoW). The Oasys architecture aims to tackle issues developers face when building blockchain games on existing blockchains; such as transaction fees, speed, and scalability.

“Since its inception, our company has been fully committed to the full realization of VR and the Metaverse,” says Thirdverse CBO / Blockchain Division Masaru Ohnogi in a statement. “Integrating blockchain technology is critical to building this new economy that will be formed in VR, and we believe that our partnership with Oasys will greatly accelerate the realization of this. We are also looking forward to making great strides in the development of the Metaverse thanks to our partnerships with famous domestic and international companies.”

Swords of Gargantua

Thirdverse Inc. hasn’t mentioned how and when it might begin integrating blockchain technology into its videogames, all of which are completely in VR. The studio released Swords of Gargantua back in 2019, a sword-fighting title with co-op features where you have to descend layer upon layer of enemies to eventually fight the final boss; the Gargantua.

Whilst unlikely to be added to that game, the studio could be envisioning adding a blockchain component to one of its two other titles in development, another sword fighter and a multiplayer shooter. Apart from a few scant details very little is known about either one, other than one is being developed in Japan and the other by a US-based team.

As further details arise, gmw3 will keep you updated.

Swords of Gargantua Studio Working on a More Casual Sword Fighting Game

Swords of Gargantua

Thirdverse Inc’s virtual reality (VR) title Swords of Gargantua was built around the premise of recreating sword fighting with great accuracy, weapons that display weight and so on. Which makes for an engaging yet brutal gameplay experience. So next year the studio plans on releasing a new, more casual, sword fighting title a new interview reveals.

Swords of Gargantua

Speaking to Famitsuspotted by Siliconera – Thirdverse Inc. game producer Teryuki Toriyama confirmed that the team is working on a new VR action videogame with sword fighting as its central mechanic. “We plan to launch a new sword fighting VR action game in early 2022. Compared to Swords of Gargantua, it will be aimed more towards casual players,” he said.

It’s not clear whether this will be an entirely new IP or still be based within the Sword of Gargantua universe. One thing is clear, the studio wants the new title to be more accessible; allowing players to become that unstoppable hero without it feeling like a workout.

Whilst still early in development Thirdverse Inc. has mentioned another project, a multiplayer shooter. Revealing a single location image, showing what looks like a temple structure floating in the sky, the layout mixes both fantasy and sci-fi aesthetics for a visually dynamic environment. The Famitsu article also showcases a cybernetic character design that doesn’t quite fit with the location look but does suggest an overpowered, action element.

Thirdverse new game
Artwork from Thirdverse Inc’s new game. Image credit Thirdverse Inc.

While no platforms have yet been confirmed, Toriyama gave an interesting quote when discussing VR hardware hurdles, saying: “The Oculus Quest 2, which solved many problems, left an impact on me.” So it’s a safe bet that the popular standalone headset will get a look in with at least one of these games.

The Japanese studio has been expanding its presence in 2021 announcing a new funding round of $8.5 million USD last month, putting its total up to $20 million. Thirdverse Inc. continues to support Sword of Gargantua and as further updates and new project details are revealed, VRFocus will let you know.

Swords of Gargantua Dev Thirdverse Secures Further Investment Towards VR Growth

Swords of Gargantua

At the end of 2020 Japanese virtual reality (VR) developer and publisher Thirdverse Inc. revealed a successful Series A funding round, securing $8.5 million USD. Today, the company has revealed a Series B round has brought total funding up to $20 million alongside appointing a new CEO.

Swords of Gargantua

The two funding rounds were led by JAFCO with participation from Presence Capital, Sisu Ventures, Incubate Fund and Animoca Brands. Additionally, the founder of inXile Entertainment – now a Microsoft Xbox Game Studio – Brian Fargo has joined the Thirdverse advisory board.

Thirdverse Inc’s new CEO is Hironao Kunimitsu who helped found the company in 2020 with Kiyoshi Shin, Satoshi Ban and Masaru Ohnogi. Kunimitsu previously helped to establish gumi Inc. in 2007 as well as launching the Virtual Reality Fund, gumi Cryptos Capital and VR incubators in Tokyo, Seoul and Helsinki.

“Thirdverse is building a world-class tech development and publishing team that spans across gaming, VR and blockchain. With the additional funding from Animoca Brands, we also have the trust of key partners and the ability to accelerate the business,” said Kunimitsu in a statement. My goal moving forward is to bring Thirdverse properties to the global market and further drive our multi-year vision of the metaverse.”

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds

“This is an exciting time for Thirdverse with our best-in-class team growing and highly supportive investors. We are delighted Kunimitsu-san has joined as CEO to help us rapidly grow our global business and support our mission to create within the virtual metaverse. His expertise in global market expansion and building high-growth, high-scale teams along with his understanding of how to work closely with global companies makes him ideally suited to accelerate our business,” Masaru “Nogi” Ohnogi, Thirdverse co-founder adds.

Currently, Thirdverse Inc. is best known for Swords of Gargantua, a roguelike sword-fighting adventure where players have to descend through to floor 101 where the colossal end-boss, Gargantua awaits. Last week saw the release of Tesseract Abyss 2, expanding the adventure mode with three new enemies, new weapons and more challenging battles.

Whilst Swords of Gargantua has been successful, Thirdverse’s project with inXile Entertainment, Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds definitely wasn’t. The online-only 10v10 multiplayer launched at the end of 2020 to poor reviews and community feedback. So much so that the servers were closed in May, only five months after launch.

As and when Thirdverse Inc. reveals its future VR plans, VRFocus will let you know.

Swords of Gargantua Tesseract Abyss 2 Expansion Arrives in August

Swords of Gargantua

Solo and co-op sword-fighting title Swords of Gargantua has been available for a couple of years now, challenging players to complete floor after floor of ever more brutal enemies. Late 2019 then saw the arrival of an adventure mode called Tesseract Abyss. Today, Japanese developer Thirdverse Inc. has announced its sequel, Tesseract Abyss 2 will be coming to Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets next month.

Swords of Gargantua

The Tesseract Abyss 2 update is set to feature three new enemies to conquer, one which looks fast and nimble, one that’s more of a tank, and then there’s Galossus, a massive beast of an opponent. Players will also find the update contains newly designed, and far more challenging battles to really make them work for those coins. Just like the rest of Swords of Gargantua, Tesseract Abyss 2 will support both solo and co-op gameplay and the coins earned whilst playing can be used to improve your chances.

“We have a very active and deeply dedicated community, and through their direct feedback we created Tesseract Abyss 2, featuring more challenges and enemies than ever before. Additionally, we heard from players that one of the most attractive features of the game is our sword combat, so we really pushed ourselves to create the best sword combat system and overall gaming experience for our current players as well as newcomers to Swords of Gargantua, and we can’t wait to see how players respond when we launch in August,” said Masaru Ohnogi, Co-Founder and CBO of Thirdverse, in a statement.

Whether you’re playing alone or with others (a maximum of 4 can join forces), Swords of Gargantua is all about learning the variety of weapons and then trying to make it through to floor 101 where the colossal end-boss, Gargantua awaits. All the weapons, from the one and two-handed swords, axes, maces and boomerangs to the shields have all been designed with realistic attributes in mind. You can swing, stab, crush and parry but a big two-handed sword will be slow and heavy in comparison to a lighter rapier.

Swords of Gargantua

With a roguelite element, each run-through will provide different floor advancement choices. Choose the long safe route of each floor or try skipping ahead to a deeper floor, where you could encounter major disadvantages and definitely tougher enemies.

The Swords of Gargantua Tesseract Abyss 2 update will be released on 5th August for most currently supported headsets (Oculus Quest and Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index & Windows Mixed Reality). Thirdverse has yet to reveal if and when the update will come to PlayStation VR. For all the latest Swords of Gargantua updates, keep reading VRFocus.

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds Shutters May, ‘new VR projects’ Planned

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds

InXile Entertainment, the studio behind virtual reality (VR) title The Mage’s Tale and acquired by Microsoft several years ago launched its most recent project, team-based shooter Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds back in December. Now, only four months later the developer has announced it’ll be terminating the videogame next month.

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds

In what can only be seen as a rapid abandonment of the project, inXile Entertainment and its publisher Thirdverse Inc. issued a statement over the weekend saying: “On May 9, 2021, Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds servers will be deactivated. We greatly appreciate the support of our dedicated Frostpoint community, which has been invaluable in providing insights and feedback through the development over the past several months.”

Considering Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds was only announced in July 2020, that’s an incredibly short amount of time to see a videogame like this go belly up – even a VR one. Especially considering inXile’s pedigree. However, it was a project beset with problems and negative feedback – just look at its Steam page to see the comments – with players reporting bugs as well as difficulty finding matches.

So in less than four weeks, the servers are going to close and Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds will be no more. While it’s still on sale via Steam and Oculus store, Thirdverse Inc. has yet to mention if players will get a refund as Nostos implemented. Last month NetEase Games announced it was closing Nostos’ servers this June and that anyone who purchased the title after 30th November would get a full refund.

Frostpoint VR

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds was an ambitious multiplayer where two teams of 10 would fight across an abandoned military base in Antarctica in various game modes. Additionally, players would also encounter an alien race called ‘The Function’ who would attack both sides.

It might be the end for Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds but that’s not the end of inXile Entertainment and Thirdverse Inc’s. VR plans with the statement adding: “As we focus our resources on new VR projects over the next year, we look forward to bringing you along and connecting once again.” As further details come to light regarding what these new VR projects are VRFocus will let you know.

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds is a new PvP Shooter from Xbox Game Studio inXile Entertainment

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds

There are some exciting multiplayer virtual reality (VR) shooters on the way this year, with Onward arriving tomorrow for Oculus Quest and Solaris Offworld Combat launching in August. Today, there’s another to add to this growing genre, with inXile Entertainment revealing Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds will be released in 2020.

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds

inXile Entertainment’s last VR title was The Mage’s Tale before it was subsequently brought by Microsoft in 2018 and became an Xbox Game Studio. A hint at the studio’s plan was revealed last year when it was looking for a ‘Senior UE4 Multiplayer Engineer’.

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds is going to be a team-based first-person shooter (FPS), where up to 20 players in teams of 10 fight it out across an abandoned military base in Antarctica. Players will be able to gear up using a variety of realistic and some sci-fi weaponry as well as using grenades, health kits, armour upgrades, turrets, and tracking upgrades to aid combat.

Gameplay modes will mix encounters up across four maps, so players will have to capture or control specific locations. To make things a little more interesting it won’t just be human players wandering the frozen levels, both teams will also encounter hostile biomechanical creatures.

“I’ve been enamoured with VR since the early days, and have had some of my finest gaming memories with a VR headset on,” said Brian Fargo, founder and Studio Head of inXile entertainment, in a statement. “We’ve created an immersive new world with Frostpoint VR, and dialled up the intensity with 20+ player matches. It will be a thrill for us to watch people step into the world and battle it out.”

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds

“The world in Frostpoint VR: ProvingGrounds is vast, while the action is dense. We want players to be challenged to experiment and find the right combinations of gear and weapons to survive and level up their skills to be effective in this punishing yet highly enjoyable game,” said Kiyoshi Shin, Co-Founder of Thirdverse Inc. “We’re looking forward to seeing how audiences respond to Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds’ gameplay in the next several months.”

Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds is slated to launch later this year for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Valve Index headsets. inXile Entertainment will be launching an open beta soon, when those details are available VRFocus will let you know.