Survios Affirms ‘Alien’ VR Game is Still in Development

VR veteran studio Survios and 20th Century Games announced back in 2022 they were building a new game for VR, PC and console based on the well known sci-fi franchise Alien. Though we’ve heard very little about the project since, we have fresh confirmation the game is still in the works.

Update (March 19th, 2024): It’s been more than a year and a half since developer Suvrios announced development of an Alien game, but since then the studio has been very quiet; we still haven’t seen any gameplay footage, let alone screenshots. In this volatile time in the gaming industry—with studio closures and layoffs abound—it’s never a sure thing that a game will actually make it to market.

Fortunately we now have word that the game is still in active development.

This week at GDC 2024, Survios CTO Alexander Silkin gave a presentation covering some of the challenges and opportunities of building a VR game with Unreal Engine 5. In the session description the studio clearly affirms: “Survios is utilizing these techniques to develop an upcoming VR game based on the Alien franchise.”

Considering the game still hasn’t had a formal gameplay reveal, we’re not expecting the talk itself will reveal much beyond technical development details, but at least we know the game is still in the works.

The original article, detailing the game’s development announcement, continues below.

Original Article (July 15th, 2022): The single-player, action horror game is untitled for now, however it’s said to feature an original storyline, set between the Alien and Aliens films, where a “battle hardened veteran has a vendetta against the Xenomorphs.”

From that description it doesn’t sound like we’ll be hiding much in closets and skulking around corridors à la Alien: Isolationone of the earliest non-VR games to include a VR mode that actually worked really well—but you never know.

Besides the fact that it’s being developed in Unreal Engine 5, there’s still much to learn about Survios’ next title. We’re sure to hear more at the San Diego Comic-Con panel on July 21st though called “Alien: Expanding a Dark and Frightening Universe”, so stay tuned.

“When I joined Survios in 2020, it was to build bigger, more ambitious games, using the best entertainment franchises across console, PC, and VR platforms,” said TQ Jefferson, Chief Product Officer at Survios. “Aliens is a distinct and terrifying world that fans love to be entrenched in, and it is perfect for Survios’ proven expertise in creating immersive gaming experiences.”

“The vast universe of Alien is full of untold stories, and opportunities to create gripping original games,” said Luigi Priore, vice president, Disney, Pixar and 20th Century Games. “We’re thrilled to work with a team like Survios who shares our passion for Alien, and for immersing fans into new worlds and experiences.”

Survios, a veteran in VR gaming, is known a number of VR titles over the years. It’s developed titles based on its own IP, including Sprint Vector, Battlewake, Electonauts, and Raw Data, and has also partnered to develop VR games around third-party IP such as Creed: Rise to Glory, The Walking Dead Onslaught, and Puzzle Bobble VR.

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2 Years After Announcing, Meta Has ‘no update’ on ‘GTA: San Andreas VR’

If you’ve been waiting to hear about a release date for the long-promised Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Quest, you’ll just have to sit tight a little longer.

Meta announced at Connect 2021 that it was working with Rockstar Games to bring GTA: San Andreas to Quest 2, giving players a new perspective on the nearly 20 year-old game.

When asked during Connect 2023 in late September, a Meta spokesperson told Road to VR this: “We don’t have any updates to share on GTA: San Andreas.“

If there was a time for such an update, it seemingly would have been right around Connect and the launch of its next-gen standalone, Quest 3. Even without a major hardware announcement, the company’s annual XR developer conference typically provides a good roadmap to its pre-holiday ramp-up ambitions; the company is touting a few major game releases for that time, including Asgard’s Wrath 2 and Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR.

Considering it skipped that big announcement opportunity, it’s a pretty conservative bet that GTA: San Andreas VR won’t launch in 2023. Whatever the case, Meta is staying tight-lipped, so we’ll just have to continue waiting to see just how Rockstar hopes to inject us head-first into Los Santos, San Fierro and Las Venturas.

Anticipated VR Adventure ‘Behemoth’ Delayed Until Late 2024

Skydance Interactive, the studio behind The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, revealed their next VR game Behemoth is being delayed by a year, now slated to arrive on all major headsets in late 2024.

The studio confirmed the delay with UploadVR, also noting that the game now has a new name: Skydance’s Behemoth.

First revealed at Meta Connect 2022 this time last year, the upcoming VR adventure puts you in what the studio calls a “plague-ravished wasteland of a once glorious empire, where its inhabitants are driven mad and cities have fallen to ruin.” In the story-driven campaign, you combat towering giants called Behemoths.

Image courtesy Skydance Interactive

The studio also released a single work-in-progress image of the game (above), which more clearly shows one of the titular behemoths.

Behemoth is coming to Quest (presumably 2/3/Pro), PSVR 2, and PC VR sometime in late 2024. Meanwhile, we’re curious to see just how gameplay stacks up to the studio’s other skull-splitting adventure, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.

Check out the cinematic trailer below, released in late 2022.

Top VR Melee Fighting Game ‘Blade & Sorcery’ in “final stretch” to Huge 1.0 Update

Blade & Sorcery, the hit physics-based combat sandbox, is in its “final stretch” towards releasing its 1.0 update, which is coming with its ‘Crystal Hunt’ story-based mode.

Update (May 8th, 2024): The studio says in a Steam news update that its in “full polish and bugfix mode,” calling it “the final stretch” to releasing what amounts to a huge update to the game.

“After this, the next time you hear from me should be with a trailer drop and release date,” says ‘The Baron’, the game’s Community Lead.

Furthermore, the studio says 1.0 won’t be the last update, but it will be the last major content drop for the game:

“I should also state, I have read some comments of anxiety from players thinking 1.0 marks the final time we would touch the game. Be assured that 1.0 only marks our final major content update and the end of Early Access. There will be further patches for bugfixing, stabilization and QOL things. I certainly wish the 1.0 release was so perfect that it would need no improvements haha, but that is never the reality of things.”

To learn more about Crystal Hunt, check out the news update, which take you through things like factions, the Dalgarian dungeons, and Crystal Cores, which are used to unlock specific powers on the skill tree.

The original article announcing the 1.0 update follows below:

Original Article (October 5th, 2023): In development by indie studio WarpFrog for almost five years now, Blade & Sorcery has basically been the go-to fantasy combat simulator for PC VR headset users, letting you live out all of the sword and sorcery dreams with suitably malleable enemies at the ready.

WarpFrog is nearly ready to bring the game out of Early Access too, detailing on Steam the game’s massive 1.0 update, known as “Crystal Hunt”, which will feature a host of new content, including a bona fide storyline, a new dungeon biome, and new game mode. It’s also said to be the game’s final update.

Revolving around an ancient and mysterious race called the Dalgarians, the game’s storyline will be presented through environmental storytelling, written text, and ciphers—something that the studio says will offer players “deep lore” exploration for the first time.

The Crystal Hunt also involves character progression, loot gathering, and a unique skill tree—no small feats. Loot gathered in dungeons can be sold to purchase weapons and armor from a physical shop in the game. Then there are the much sought after Crystals Core themselves.

The titular crystals are “the very rare resource found in the Dalgarian ruins and what you and everyone else is chasing,” the studio explains. “Crystal Cores can be siphoned of their magical power to make a sorcerer more powerful. In game terms, this is the currency you will use to unlock new skills branches, which you can then invest your shards.”

The update also introduces new armors and weapons, including tiered weapons with functional benefits.

The release date for the update is estimated to be in Q1 2024, Warpfrog says, but it’s subject to change due to development challenges, and also the team’s anti-crunch culture—now counting 21 full-time and six part-time members.

Exactly when 1.0 arrives, we aren’t sure. The final release date will be confirmed when the 1.0 trailer drops, so stay tuned to The Baron’s YouTube channel, who is producer and community lead for the game—and of course, check back here for all of the latest news.

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Valve Hires Creator Behind Popular ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Mod

Like many of Valve’s best titles, Half-Life: Alyx (2020) is a lot more moddable than your average game, which for PC VR headset owners means hundreds of new modes, missions, and mini-games. Now one of the HLA’s most talented modders announced they’ve been snapped up by Valve.

Nate Grove was responsible for two of the best HLA campaign-style mods, Incursion and Re-Education—both of which are uncannily Valve-like in pacing, setting… everything.

Grove says in a tweet that “a HUGE contributing factor to my hire was my work on my Workshop items Re-Education and Incursion. It was a dream for me (and many others) to work at Valve and I think this highlights the importance of supporting integration of community work into any game. It only makes the product (and the industry) stronger.”

While clearly a capable modder of one of the best VR games to date, Grove is no gaming industry neophyte. Now a level designer and artist at Valve, Grove comes to the company from Annapurna Interactive, which is known for publishing award-winning titles such as Outer Wilds, Stray, and What Remains of Edith Finch. Grove also created custom assets for both HLA mods, which is probably par for the course for someone who’s already spent nearly a decade as a professional digital artist and environmental designer.

What does this mean for Valve, VR and everything? It’s too early to speculate, since the company is by nature a black box that only occasionally sneaks possible hints about upcoming headsets in SteamVR updates. In fact, Grove says the announcement above was their “last post here” on X, formerly Twitter.

If it makes you feel better though, you can always comment “Half-Life 3 confirmed” in the comments.

‘Laser Dance’ Coming to Quest 3 in 2024, From Creator Behind One of Quest’s Best-rated Puzzle Games

Thomas Van Bouwel, the developer behind popular VR puzzle game Cubism (2020), is nearing launch of the long-teased mixed reality game for Quest that turns your living room into a moving grid of lasers straight out of Mission Impossible.

Update (October 3rd, 2023): Van Bouwel announced Laser Dance is coming to Quest 3 and Quest Pro sometime next year. There’s no release window yet, however users looking to get early access can become best testers. Check out the new teaser below:

Original Article (October 24th, 2022): Called Laser Dance, the Quest game aims to turn any room of your house into a laser obstacle course—basically recreating the old laser hallway trope you may recognize from a ton of films, TV shows and video games over the years.

There’s no word on release dates yet, although progress is looking good. Check out a work-in-progress level of Laser Dance in action:

Van Bouwel came up with the idea over the two-day Global Game Jam 2022 earlier this year, and has since fleshed out the game to include parametrically-generated laser patterns based on room size and layout, meaning the action should dynamically fit to your space and serve up a challenge no matter how big (or cluttered) your space.

Although the game has been shown working with Quest 2’s monochrome passthrough, the indie dev is no doubt positioning Laser Dance for release on Meta Quest Pro, which is capable of more realistic passthrough AR thanks to its five external sensors, offering a higher resolution color view with improved depth-detection.

We’re looking forward to learning more about Laser Dance, as Van Bouwel is excellent at creating deceptively simple gameplay that really makes you think—look no further than Cubism, which has also kept lock-step with passthrough and hand-tracking updates on Quest since its initial launch in 2020. If you want to follow along with progress on Laser Dance, check out the game’s official Twitter.

Sony Drops a Slew of PSVR 2 Game Announcements and Updates

Meta wasn’t the only company churning out VR news this week with the unveiling of its long-awaited Quest 3 mixed reality headset, as Sony tossed out a slew of PSVR 2 game announcements and updates for its surprise ‘VR Day’ on Thursday.

Here’s a look at everything Sony announced:

Brand New Games

Journey to Foundation

Adapted from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, in Archiact’s upcoming roleplaying game Journey to Foundation you play as Agent Ward, a spy with the Commission of Public Safety. The immersive adventure challenges you to disguise, hack, and blast your way through Asimov’s groundbreaking sci-fi universe using the most advanced tools the Galactic Empire has to offer. Coming to PSVR 2 on October 26th, 2023. Wishlist here.

Heroes of Forever

Heroes of Forever from Lucky Mountain Games is a multi-dimensional arcade cover-shooter for PSVR 2. Prepare to travel across time and space to purge a corruption that is creeping across dimensions: go solo or team up in four-player co-op mode as you shoot your way through an infinitely expandable range of levels, unravelling the mysteries of the multiverse. Coming to PSVR 2 in 2024.

Tiger Blade

Initially announced in June, Tiger Blade bills itself as a high-octane VR action experience that combines fast-paced sword combat and punchy gunplay. Set in an alternate Korea, you play the role of a deadly assassin working for the Horangi chapter of the Tiger Clans. Ordered to steal a mysterious package from a rival chapter, you are shocked to find the object of the heist is a tiger cub. Coming to PSVR 2 on November 17th, 2023.

The Foglands

The Foglands is an atmospheric 3D roguelike shooter from Well Told Entertainment tasking you with discovering new paths, and uncovering old secrets. Run into the unknown, fight monsters, scavenge loot, and try to make it back before you are swallowed by the Fog. Coming to PSVR 2 and PS5 on October 31st, 2023. Pre-orders now live.

BLINNK and the Vacuum of Space

Developed by indie studio Changingday, BLINNK and the Vacuum of Space is billed as an autism-friendly VR adventure. Step aboard the space station Norpopolis where you’re tasked with collecting a cast of space creatures with your handy Vacuumizer 5000. The emphasis is on “fun, stress-free interactions without any fear of discouragement,” the studio says. Coming to PSVR 2 October 10th, 2023. Wishlist here.

PSVR 2 Ports & Updates

Among Us VR

Initially brought to VR by Schell Games, Innersloth, and Robot Teddy for Quest and PC VR, Among Us VR is bringing the immersive VR version of the hit multiplayer game to PSVR 2 sometime soon. Play with up to 10 players to sus out the Impostor and eject them from the airlock. No release date yet. Wishlist here.

Tin Hearts

Created by Rogue Sun, a studio founded by members of the team that created legendary adventure game Fable, Tin Hearts is a narrative puzzle adventure that centers on a tale of love and compromise. It’s already available on the original PSVR, however a free PSVR 2 update is coming this holiday season. A playable PSVR 2 demo is coming October 17th.

Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs

Resolution Games has done a lot to make Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs feel like the early Angry Birds games—no microtransactions and all of the fun of smacking over elaborately-constructed wooden forts holding evil green piggies within. Challenge yourself to bash through each three-dimensional puzzle to defeat Dr. Frankenswine, and create and share content with the online level builder. Owners of the original PSVR version can upgrade for $10. Coming to PSVR 2 October 10th, 2023. Wishlist here.

Ruinsmagus: Complete

Ruinsmagus: Complete was actually released on PSVR 2 by Japan-based studio CharacterBank a little over a week ago, bringing the JRPG’s mysterious ruins, ancient artifacts, and fierce battles to Sony’s latest VR headset for the first time. Previously launched on Quest and PC VR headsets last year, Ruinsmagus: Complete puts you in the common boots of new guild member, setting you out on a mission to strengthen the guild with your magic, resources, and wisdom across 25 story-driven quests. Buy it on PSVR 2 for $30.

Paper Beast Enhanced Edition

Paper Beast Enhanced Edition launched on PSVR 2 and PS5 on September 27th, bringing the extraordinary origami-inspired adventure to Sony’s latest VR headset for the first time. Launched on the original PSVR in 2020 by Pixel Reef, Paper Beast was widely praised for its innovative gameplay, unique aesthetics, and surreal universe. Owners of the game on PS4 can upgrade to the new version for $5. Buy it on PSVR 2 for $25.

Schell Games is Creating a ‘Kurzgesagt’ Educational Game for Quest, Trailer Here

Popular YouTube edutainment channel Kurzgesagt is teaming up with VR developers Schell Games (I Expect You To Die, Among Us VR) to make an exploration adventure game for Quest.

Called Out of Scale: A Kurzgesagt Adventure, the fully immersive educational game is said to transform “the iconic look and feel of [Kurzgesagt’s] 2D videos for users to explore and learn about the concept of scale.”

Schell Games says players use drones, scanner rays, and a multitude of other lab tools to wind their way through several missions, while teleporting between five levels of scale to see how the different properties work in each unique dimension.

Beyond the main single-player game, Out of Scale: A Kurzgesagt Adventure will also come with what the studios are calling a ‘multiplayer theater’ which allows you to meet up with friends and other players to watch Kurzgesagt videos together.

There’s also slated to be a mixed reality mode where you can unlock the game’s core life forms and objects creatures so they can interact with in your real-world environment.

The game’s Quest Store listing maintains it’s launching on October 26th, supporting Quest, Quest 2, Quest Pro, and Quest 3. It’s not available for pre-order, priced at $15.

Hands-on: ‘Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR’ Has an Interesting Take on VR Parkour Mechanics

Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR has been in the works seemingly for ages, but one major question has gone unanswered until now: just how does the game’s parkour work?

If you’ve played pretty much any existing Assassin’s Creed game, you’ll know that doing parkour is largely a matter of holding down a button, then pointing in the direction you want to go. If there’s a wall in front of you, your character will find hand-holds and start climbing. If you’re running across the rooftops and reach a ledge, your character will leap to a building across the street and find a hold. If there’s a series of pilings in front of you, you’ll hop up onto the first one and leap from one to the next.

I recently got a chance to check out a build of Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR for the first time on Quest 3, and I was really curious how parkour would work… and, well, it’s pretty much the same deal as the non-VR games, but there’s an interesting twist.

Basically anything that can be done with your legs—like leaping across rooftops or from platform to platform—is done with the kind of ‘automatic’ parkour approach found in the non-VR games. Hold a button and point in the direction you want to go.

But most things done with your hands—like grabbing ledges or climbing up walls—require you to reach out and actually grab the world like you’d expect from a VR climbing game.

I initially didn’t know how I’d feel about parkour being so automatic in a VR rendition of the game, but as I played Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR more I began to see promise.

The game is very clearly built upon the parkour systems and structures that are core to the franchise. And that means you can expect a pretty dense set of possible routes, comprised of many different things to climb, clamber, or bound across. The system that determines where you intend to go is pretty impressive and unrestrictive.

Coming to see the world as more than just the ground around you, and then moving fluidly through newly identified routes, is central to the fantasy that Assassin’s Creed games aim to deliver. Doing all of that locomotion in a VR-native way could easily lead to cognitive overload for the player, or require slowing down the game’s sense of momentum.

Striking a balance between ‘automatic’ moves, and those you have to do with your hands, could really be a good solution to keep the game interesting in VR without losing that signature sense of fluidity.

And you might be wondering… why haven’t I said anything about comfort? Well, in the short period that I got to actually do parkour in the game, I didn’t notice any overt comfort issues, which honestly kind of surprised me, especially as I was bobbing up and down while leaping from one piling to the next, or from one rooftop to another. The game wasn’t even using blinders in my demo.

But I’ll need a lot more time with the game to truly feel out how Assassin’s Creed parkour pans out in the VR context, both in gameplay and longer term comfort. But for now I’m certainly intrigued.

– – — – –

We’ll know more—like how the game’s combat and other major systems work—soon enough; Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR launches November 16th on Quest 2, 3, and Pro.

LEGO Mixed Reality Game Coming to Quest 3 December 7th

Meta announced at its Connect developer conference today that LEGO is releasing a mixed reality game for Quest 3, named LEGO Bricktales.

The blocky puzzle game essentially puts you in front of a number of diorama biomes, which were crafted brick by brick.

“Your journey will take you to the deepest jungle, sun-drenched deserts, a bustling city corner, a towering medieval castle, and tropical Caribbean islands,” Meta says in an announcement.

The objective is to help the minifigures of these worlds by solving puzzles and unlocking new skills throughout the story to further explore these worlds and uncover the many secrets and mysteries they contain.

LEGO Bricktales isn’t just puzzles and skills, Meta says on the game’s Quest Store page.

“From purely aesthetic creations, such as a market stand or music box, up to functional physics-based puzzles like building a crane or gyrocopter – each diorama offers a variety of construction spots with the freedom of intuitive brick-by-brick building. In each spot you are given a set of bricks and it’s up to you to figure out a unique build that will work. On top of specific puzzles and quests, there are additional builds in the amusement park so you can customize the rides to make them your own,” the description reads.

In addition to Quest 3, LEGO Bricktales will also support Quest 2 and Quest Pro when it launches, which is coming December 7th, 2023. The game is currently available for pre-order, priced at $30, which comes with an exclusive in-game outfit.