Late last year, Psytec Games had announced that a sequel to Windlands would be coming in the not too distant future. They released screenshots and gameplay videos. However, they didn't provide a release date, or even a release window for the followup to the HTC Vive launch game. For many months, we wondered when Windlands 2 could possibly arrive. Well, that day is finally upon us. Windlands 2 hits the scene next week, on September 12th, for the Oculus Rift. The game will retail for $29.99, and at least initially is an exclusive release for the Oculus Rift. The game is expected to arrive on Steam and PlayStation VR early in 2019.
HTC Vive gamers are more than a little miffed by this timed exclusivity announcement. Certainly, this isn't the first time a game has arrived on the Oculus Rift first, with an extended delay before landing on Steam or other VR platforms. We've seen this happen regularly, but in this case, we're talking about an HTC Vive launch game. The original Windlands release was practically designed from the ground up for the HTC Vive motion controllers. Sure, you could still play the game on both the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR via a gamepad, but it was a slightly watered down experience because of it. In Windlands you swing through a colorful, enchanting world, almost like Spiderman, and having legit motion controls played a huge role in the game developing a fervent following of fans and admirers. These same fans will either be forced to watch the release from afar, or buy the Oculus version and hope that the game doesn't suffer too much in the Revive translation. (Revive is special software designed to allow non Oculus Rift owners to enjoy Oculus Rift software on their own HMD's)
It's certainly somewhat unfortunate that the controversy surrounding the timed exclusivity would mar the announcement of Windland 2's release date, because we're talking about a sequel to one of the most beloved VR releases currently available. You can look at the newest rankings for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and you'll see that Windlands ranks very well among the best VR games released thus far. Windlands ranked 39th on the latest HTC Vive rankings, and 69th overall on the most recent Oculus Rift rankings. This is clearly one of the better early VR releases on any platform.
The other exciting announcement is that a PlayStation VR version has now been confirmed. Previously, Psytec Games made no specific mention of a PlayStation VR version, which had many of us scratching our heads. The first game was on PSVR, and seemingly sold well. Why wouldn't the sequel hit the platform as well? Well, no need to worry, because in early 2019, the game will make it's debut on Sony's VR platform as well.
I can personally attest to the fact, that playing the original Windlands is one of my fondest VR memories from 2016. To say I'm looking forward to the followup game would be a massive understatement. I'm absolutely jazzed by the new art style, as well as all the multiplayer additions that are coming along for the ride. The $29.99 price tag might not be super easy on the wallet, but if the game is anything like the first one, I don't think too many fans will walk away disappointed. Stay tuned, because we'll certainly have more coverage of this highly anticipated sequel going forward.