Hands-On time with The Assembly from nDreams. How'd it do?
My last appointment of day one for E3 2015 was with nDreams and their virtual reality game, The Assembly. I was really excited to give this virtual reality game a test drive and let me just say, it didn’t disappoint!
The game follows a story pertaining to a hidden organization, shut off from the rest of the world but that’s all the story you’re getting from me. You’ll have to play the game when it eventually comes out in the future.
When you finally put that headset on, you’re transported from the small meeting room to the mountainous area outside the facility that has been dubbed the Assembly. The developers acknowledge that this might be the first virtual reality experience for some players so they take it nice and slow in the beginning. Each chapter is about 20 minutes so if you need to take a brake if you aren’t feeling too well, you can.
The first chapter is, like most first levels of games, a minor tutorial, that runs on rails. That way you can get introduced into the VR and see how your body will react to the motion. It takes a little getting used to at the start, especially, if you’re not used to virtual reality. One of my favorite parts of the demo happened right at the start where your character is strapped onto a cart and you look down and you can actually see you feet.
You can actually see your feet just sitting there while the game wheels you along into the location of the first level. The Environments look like a lot of time went into them as well. While I was strapped to the cart at the start of the first level, I was looking around, taking in the sights, and saw all the mountains and cacti in the desert!
The first chapter is designed to show you the ropes of the game and the second chapter throws you in a little deeper. What I mean by that is there was more moving back and forth. That was something that was making me feel a little motion sickness and that’s to be expected when you rarely play virtual reality games. At times it reminded me of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in terms of the innovation for motion controls. There was a part where you had to study cells under a microscope and that reminded me of the game at the fishing hole in Twilight Princess, turning and twisting.
The third chapter, which was the last chapter of the demo, combines everything together into a puzzle-solving adventure. Like I mentioned before, details on everything look great in this game, such as paintings as well as mannequin faces. You can lean right up to them and turn your head to look at their head to see how real they look!
It was a little tough at the start to get use to how fast to move without giving myself that “I left my stomach at the top of the roller coaster hill” feeling but you get past that pretty quickly. It’s still an early build so there are going to be minor issues like fading to black when you turn your head at times.
I have to say I didn’t know what to expect from The Assembly going in but I left very impressed with what I saw. The virtual reality was amazing and the details in the game were very impressive. There are minor issues here and there but all games have their issues in the early builds. I wasn’t sold on virtual reality but The Assembly might just be the stepping stone I need to break into the genre!