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Preview: Dead & Buried on Oculus Touch

A brand new reveal at Oculus Connect 2, Hollywood, this morning, Dead & Buried is a new title created by Oculus VR’s own internal development studio. A wild west themed shooting gallery, Dead & Buried is a familiar and obvious use for Oculus Touch, but despite this is still suffers from a number of unfortunate problems.

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The player stands on a balcony with three interactive objects beside them: a switch, a button and a lever. Although all of these items are marked as interactive, none will do anything until the player is told to use them by their in-game companion. This takes the form of a dead cowboy who instructs you throughout the short demo available at Oculus Connect 2, beginning pulling the switch and grabbing your gun.

A six-shooter that suddenly appears on your hip, the action on the gun is fantastic. Point and shoot, of course, but also flick left to empty spent shells and right to reload. Releasing the middle-finger trigger on the Oculus Touch controller and you can spin the gun around your remaining trigger finger. If there’s one thing Dead & Buried does right, it’s making you feel cool.

The gameplay revolves around shooting increasingly difficult targets. These begin as large stationary objects directly ahead, progress to high-mounted targets and eventually begin moving. There’s a number of other items that can be shot to increase your score – bottles randomly lying around the area, for example – but this is essentially the long-and-short of what Dead & Buried offers.

A second six-shooter becomes available about half-way through the demo, and towards the latter end a catapult that can be activated by hitting the button. Having two guns is fun, of course, but the lack of an auto-aim feature similar to that of Epic Games’ Bullet Train will make you realise just how bad your aim is with your weaker hand. The cool factor of the weaponry is dampened somewhat when the second six-shooter is essentially useless, though practice will surely improve this.

The visual design of Dead & Buried is very high quality. A now typical chunky cartoon style makes the experience approachable for both adults and younger players, while the animation on the guns is perfectly solid. Sadly, on his technical level, Dead & Buried is far from being at the level of quality we’re used to from Oculus VR’s demonstrations. At many times throughout VRFocus‘ hands-on time with Dead & Buried the right hand would disconnect, move far off to the right out of view and even at one point turned around to face the player without any remotely related hand gesture. This, it should go without saying, is a significant issue.

The Oculus Touch demos are played using an Oculus Rift consumer head-mounted display (HMD), aka CV1, for the first time, and VRFocus will be bringing you many more hands-on evaluations throughout both today and tomorrow. Dead & Buried may be far from the ‘must have’ videogame experience we know is possible on Oculus Rift, but there’s many more titles that could just be.