Battle X – An Amazing VR TDM Shooter!
Whilst I was at Insomnia 63, I got to try a game called BattleX. BattleX is a team deathmatch VR shooter, of which’s main goal is to seemingly make you look stupid to people who can’t see your screen and who don’t understand what the magical box you are wearing is. I obviously can’t do a comprehensive review of the game, because I played it for about 10 minutes as a demo in the convention, but I am going to give my first thoughts on it, just from what I could gather as a taster.
1 – The Combat
Combat is actually really nice in the game. The player starts with one or two guns that they can choose from by lifting their left arm to their right shoulder. There are two ways to hold the weapon in hand. You can go one handed, or you can lift one of the HTC Viive controllers to an outline of a hand at the end of the gun, and hold it two-handed for more accuracy when shooting. Actual combat is pretty hard when you have to move, but crouching behind cover and having a battle that way is actually very fun. Despite this, having a battle this way in a space like Insomnia makes you look like an idiot because you have to actually crouch down and pretend you are in the military.
If you run out of bullets, you can reload, but not in a conventional way for a non-VR shooter like CS:GO. To reload, the player must crouch and look at their belt. They then select a magazine for use. Once this is in your hand, you have to click the magazine into a highlighted slot under your weapon. This is less convenient when you are in a fight and your gun runs out, but it is actually more fluid then you may first assume if you are doing one of the battles with cover, like previously mentioned.
Sniper rifles are in the game, and they can be found around the map. I managed to obtain one, but it was really hard to use. The scope was operated as a real scope, you simply hold it to your eye, but it was very shaky, and considering you couldn’t rest the weapon on the map, it was hard to actually aim with it. There was an opposition member literally standing still in front of me, and I had them in my line of fire, but I wasn’t able to hit them because of the awful aiming system.
2 – The Movement
I will say, the movement isn’t initially the best. I felt very motion sick when I began moving, and it is very confusing to use the Vive controller d-pad, which is super, super sensitive. Sometimes I was trying to take aim, and I would just move because I had my hand resting on the D-Pad. This was beyond an annoyance, but it isn’t an issue with the game, more the Vive itself. Despite this, you soon get used to the controls and it works pretty well, it is just quite confusing when you reach out to rest on something and there is nothing in front of you, which is just the nature of VR. Your brain is tricked into thinking there is actually an object in front of you, and it is very confusing when you realise there actually isn’t.
3 – The graphics
The graphics of the game weren’t the best. Don’t get me wrong, they were passable, they just looked a bit dated for a game of this caliber. At a far, the graphics are stunning, but when you crouch down, like to heal (this is achieved by physically crouching and then looking at your left hand), the grass textures become very blurry, look poor and are low-quality. Despite this, I can’t really complain as the overall gameplay was very fun and engaging, and the graphics were only a slight stain on an overall solid shooter experience.
4 – The Menus
When you start the game, you are taken to a lobby room. In this room, you can’t move around, but you can look around and sort of test out the controls. Directly in front of your spawn point is a large computer screen, where you can select from a couple of options, namely singleplayer and multiplayer. To explain further, I need to explain how the booth was set up. The booth was set up into two sections, separated by a wall, that was decorated in camouflage. Diagonally from the dividing wall was a rock wall, but the rock wall isn’t important to this particular analysis. On each side of the wall, two stations were set up, as each game had two teams, each with two members. This is where my issue with the menus comes in.
Because my teammate was the person setting up the room, I was sort of stuck in a confusing character selection menu. Frequently would I get taken out of the character selection menu and move to a peculiar other menu, of which I can’t remember its function. Once I finally got into the room, I was able to play, but the menu experience was far from intuitive.
As I write this, I am on holiday, and I haven’t actually had the chance to read further on the game, but I believe it is not out yet. If I find something that contradicts this, I will insert it as an editor’s note – here. The game clearly needs a bit of work, but the people at the booth were really nice, and they have a product that is an all-round solid experience, despite its flaws. I can forgive the flaws, mostly – as the game is VR. Other than VR, the game is a pretty generic shooter but is a bunch of fun nonetheless. If I find that this game is out, I will be sure to link it below, but regardless – I am going to link the developer’s website and related social media, just so you can follow development, much like I am going to. Also, if you like my events rambling, you can check out my EGX 2018 coverage here. Thanks for reading!
Indie Game Developer also a writer for Sip Read Repeat. Aviation and space enthusiast, has a bit of a thing for coffee.