Virtual reality (VR) empowers developers to bring history to life like never before, allowing players to slip on an Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus VR headset and step back in time. We’re yet to see many videogames tackle this concept, however. That makes Life of Rome, an ambitious new massively mutliplayer role-playing (MMORPG) title from UK-based Breakout Studio, one of the first of its kind, trying to accurately portray ancient Rome with the help of the Oculus Rift headset.
Life of Rome allows players to choose between either Roman or Barbarian factions and live out life in ancient Rome across a 50km2 area, covering the city itself and surrounding villages and forts. It is both a first and third person title in which players can select heritage, race and ethnicity regardless of faction and ally themselves where they see fit. It might be that a Barbarian pledges allegiance to Rome, or a Roman lives free of the empire’s rule.
The developer hopes this approach will spark inter-faction conflicts alongside the main Roman vs Barbarian conflict. Players will be able to establish positions of power, setting faction agendas and achieving goals by issuing orders throughout hierarchies of their own organisation. Major story line missions will also be created by the developers themselves, though it has stressed that these will be purely optional experiences.
Life of Rome sounds hugely ambitious, then, drawing comparisons to what CCP Games has built with its EVE Online sci-fi MMO. If Breakout Studio can achieve something of a similar caliber remains to be seen. The title will be releasing on PC, though there’s currently no word on when it might arrive, with development still in its early stages. VRFocus will continue to follow Life of Rome, reporting back with any more updates on the title’s progress.