Unfortunately, the free open beta weekend for From Other Suns has come to a close, so if you forgot to download that and try it out, you're out of luck. The good news is, you won't have to wait all that long for the full Monty. It was announced today on the Oculus Blog that From Other Suns is officially arriving on November 14th for $39.99. You can preorder the game right now and save yourself a cool 5 bones.
Gunfire Games big November release is one of the more interesting titles coming during this holiday period. It's a clever mixture of Star Trek Bridge Crew, FTL and Gunheart. It's a melding of several genres, but the combined overall feel seems to work quite well. This game was built from the ground up for use with the Oculus Touch controllers, but Co-Op play was also a major focus. You can solo the game if you like, but it's the interactions with your crewmates that can take this game to new levels. If you've played Star Trek Bridge Crew on any of the 3 major platforms, you know how enjoyable it is to share a common goal with several other VR gamers. As long as you don't end up with a "griefer" in your party, you're good to go. Luckily, the vast majority of people I've encountered in various VR games have been very friendly and easy going. A game like From Other Suns can take on a completely different dimension when you add that camaraderie and cooperation element.
The game does use procedurally generated graphics for the environments that you'll be exploring. Whenever you hear the term "procedurally", the worry is that you'll end up with "generic".
I spent a decent amount of time playing this game during the free Beta weekend that just ended, and I'm happy to report that I don't think the procedurally generated environments will be a major problem. There should be enough variety and variance, that this won't be a huge concern. Having said that, this is a $39.99 game, and you have to hope that as you get further into the adventure, you don't start feeling that sense of déjà vu. More demanding players, that get deeper into a game faster than a more casual player, could end up finding more repeating textures and designs. This is just one of those things that we won't know for sure until we have plenty of hands on time with the finished product. Still, we do know that graphically the game is using a colorful art style, that gives it a slightly comic-book flavor, that comes together nicely and looks quite striking.
I was particularly impressed with what Gunfire Games has done from the in-game user interface standpoint. Seems they were paying close attention to what Ready at Dawn was doing with Lone Echo. On each wrist, you'll have menus and readouts that you can access with a simple, real-life button press. You feel rumble sensations when your virtual forefinger is in the perfect spot to hit the button. It's extremely similar to what Ready at Dawn did with Lone Echo. At this point, I think this is going to turn into the standard way to check your health, access upgrades, etc, etc. All games from this point forward, need to take a long hard look at what Ready at Dawn and Gunfire Games have done here.
I'll tell you what, this holiday season is shaping up to be a real game changer for the VR market. We're getting absolutely deluged with high quality VR games this entire 4th quarter. October is absolute madness, and now November is shaping up to be a real doozy as well. Remember, Rockstar's L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files releases the same day as From Other Suns. It's funny, because very few VR games have encountered major competition on the same day. It's a tell-tale sign that we are getting bigger and better VR games all the time. All of us here at VR Game Rankings are absolutely looking forward to the full version of From Other Suns, and we hope to have much more coverage around launch.