Jesse Woo
Oculus Rift Gets Release Date, Slew of Games Including New RPG Chronos
An "atmospheric action-RPG" from the makers of Darksiders.
06.12.15 - 3:39 AM

Oculus Rift held an "E3" press conference on Thursday in San Francisco to announce several new milestones for the virtual reality platform. Chief among them was the system's release date of Q1 2016. The event held several other surprises as well however.

With all of the slick polish of a Silicon Valley press event, the company described how the form-factor and design would create the first truly immersive gaming experience. The Oculus Rift will use a motion sensor and a "constellation tracking" system on the headset to create one-to-one tracking of the player's view in the game. The company also announced that the Oculus Rift will be able to connect to the Xbox One and stream games from the home console. The streamed games wouldn't be VR themselves, but rather would place you in a VR theater where you could play them on a "big screen." In addition, every headset is set to ship with an Xbox One controller and adapter.

Oculus Rift System

Speaking of controllers, the company is currently prototyping an "Oculus Touch" control system, dubbed the "Half Moon." The dual controllers are said to have one-to-one motion tracking and haptic feedback. They will also have traditional joysticks and buttons in addition to sensors in the controllers that can track basic hand gestures, for example a thumbs-up.

Oculus Touch Half Moon

Several companies announced games for Oculus Rift, but one in particular will be of interest to RPG fans. Gunfire Games, the people behind Darksiders II, announced an "atmospheric action-RPG" called Chronos, with a setting and style reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus and Ico. In it, players will follow a young man as he explores a mysterious labyrinth to save his village. The game follows him over the course of his lifetime, as he ages by a year each time he enters the labyrinth, and this age progression will effect his play-style. For instance, as a young man he is quick and nimble, but in middle age he slows down and gains more proficiency with magic. According to the lead developer, the idea is to experience an adventure over the course of a lifetime.

The game uses a third-person view as opposed to first-person, and the player's view is controlled by their position using the constellation tracking system mentioned earlier. Though perhaps not as immersive as a first-person action game, Chronos' director assured me that the headset created a sense of scale and presence in the world that is simply impossible on a traditional screen. Chronos will be demoed at E3, so perhaps I will see for myself next week. Until then, check out the announcement trailer below.