Outta Hand: The Evolution of VR Platformers
Virtual reality games are constantly pushing the boundaries of immersive experiences, and amidst the big corporate showcases at Gamescom 2023, it was a small indie game called Outta Hand that stole the spotlight. In a humble hallway demo, I was captivated by the unique gameplay and mechanics that set this VR action platformer apart from the rest.
A Rite of Passage
The hallway demo has become a tradition for both VR enthusiasts and developers. It’s a chance to showcase their creations in a more intimate setting. Outta Hand, featured in the recent Upload VR Summer Showcase, is a prime example of the hidden gems that can be found in these demos. Set to release on the Oculus Quest later this month, it takes the movement system popularized by Gorilla Tag and evolves it with new mechanics.
The Two Strains of VR Platformers
VR platformers have been gaining popularity recently, and they can be categorized into two strains. The first is the Astro Bot-style first/third person hybrid, where you control a character from an overhead perspective. The second is the first-person version popularized by Gorilla Tag, where you fully immerse yourself in the character and use your arms to navigate the environment. Outta Hand falls into the latter category, but it brings its own unique spin to the genre.
Flinging Freedom and Precision
In Outta Hand, you assume the role of a round creature reminiscent of Mike Wazowski. What sets it apart from other platformers is its precise yet springy movement system. While maintaining the required precision for specific movements, the game allows you to jump much further distances, creating a sense of freedom and exhilaration. You’ll find yourself flinging between platforms, navigating deadly obstacles, and experiencing a thrilling platforming adventure.
A Gradual Layered Adventure
Outta Hand takes a cue from Mario by gradually introducing new challenges and mechanics. One such mechanic is the ability to flap your hands like wings for mid-air boosts. This adds a layer of strategy, allowing you to course-correct or give a final push to reach your target. Additionally, the game introduces punching mechanics, offering both combat and platforming maneuvers. Punching down on landing spots or mid-air enemies provides a huge boost, while engaging in combat with Dr Vendelboom’s employees adds refreshing combat sections.
A World of Charm and Joy
As much as Outta Hand excels in its platforming and combat mechanics, it also delights players with its charming world. The visuals strike a balance between detailed and optimized for standalone headsets, providing an immersive and aesthetically pleasing experience. There’s a sense of satisfaction when throwing out the final blow on an enemy, triggering a stylish slow-motion effect that showcases the game’s wider charm in both visuals and narrative.
The Future of VR Platformers
Outta Hand represents the next natural progression of the Gorilla Tag movement system. It takes the mechanics and gameplay to new heights, offering a fresh experience with a sense of flinging freedom and satisfying combat moments. As the full game releases later this month on the Oculus Quest, anticipation grows for what Outta Hand will bring to the table in the evolving world of VR platformers.
Stay tuned for more Outta Hand news and get ready to embark on an exhilarating VR platforming adventure!