Fated: A Story-Driven VR RPG Experience
I recently got the opportunity to see Fated: The Silent Oath, being produced by Frima, for Occulus, Playstation VR, and HTC Veve, slated for release at the end of April. I went into this with no idea what Fated was, or what to expect, and I must say I was blown away. Fated is a story-driven RPG, with a great deal of emphasis on the wide array of vibrant and interesting characters for you to interact with. Your character is mute, forcing you to interact using nods and headshakes, rather than via conversation, and it showcases the technology nicely, as the game senses your nods and headshakes, and responds appropriately.
I have always felt that there are some genres that VR will completely suit, while other genres will struggle to find ways to use the fledgling technology to its fullest extent, and “find the fun” in the game. I have to say that if Fated is to be one of the first attempts, I have to admit that I may have been mistaken. The ten-minute piece I played was an absolute blast, and really showcased how immersive VR can be.
The presentation is a short chunk of the game where you pilot a horse and cart through a winding mountain road, but let’s start with the basics. In Fated you play an everyman Viking. Not a mighty hero, but rather the head of a small family, travelling with others from his clan, to escape Ragnarok. The graphics are gorgeous, colorful and vibrant, with an art style that is sort of a cross between Wildstar and a Don Bluth game. Once you put the headset on and don your headphones, you become the family head, your wife chatting happily with you about current goings on amongst the clan. You are part of a wagon train of sorts, following the rest of the tribe, your daughter joining you on the big front seat of the cart, when trouble stirs. The horses are panicked by a Giant attack, and they break into a terrified run along the now-treacherous trail.
With boulders and trees crashing all around you it is your job to keep the careening wagon on the road, and keep your family safe. Tempo changes, sharp turns, and unruly-though-friendly wagons are your enemies here, each one threatening to force you and your precious cargo over the edge into the abyss. After several harrowing minutes, and following some timely intervention, you emerge from the mists into safety of sorts, and the demonstration comes to an end. A short taste of the adventures to follow, but very exciting all the same.
The VR and the immediacy of the threat was really very immersive, and a few times during the escape I found myself leaning way over in my chair to try and help the wagon stay upright. I was really caught up in the chase, and although it was only a ten minute slice of the game, it left quite an impact on me, and left me impatiently awaiting the game’s release, so I can see how the story turns out. The upcoming release is the first episode, and represents about sixty to ninety minutes of gameplay, with further episodes to follow.