There are quite a number of retro-styled shoot-em-ups out there, so it takes quite a bit to stand out in the crowd. SphereFACE takes the basic concept behind the old-school space shooter Asteroids and turns it into a space-bending experience for virtual reality (VR).
SphereFACE is basically a vector-graphics shoot-em-up where the player uses various types of upgradable weaponry to destroy asteroids, get a high score and move on to the next level. The twist is that not only is the gameplay in 3D, adding a literal extra dimension, but the virtual world is set on the inside of a sphere, thus bringing non-euclidian physics into play.
The title is compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift and can be played with motion controllers, gamepad or mouse and keyboard. Upgrades to weapons, shields and thrusters can be found from shooting down asteroids and enemy ships, with unusual weapons such as the singularity cannon and gauss rifle available to pick up. The levels are procedurally generated, so each play through is different. Destroying the asteroids within a sphere will reveal a portal leading to the next sphere. Players need to be cautious, however, as the save system of SphereFACE allows for permadeath.
The experience is designed to encourage exploration, with a story that the developers describe as ‘a dark and twisted sci-fi storyline’. The full details of the story have not yet been revealed, but what is known is that the player is searching for an anomaly that woke them from suspended animation and that mysterious enemy ships lurk in the depths of the hyperspace portal network that links the different spheres.
SphereFACE is due to be released on Steam on the 19th May 2017. A video trailer is available to watch below. Further information can be found on the official Steam page.
VRFocus will bring you further information on SphereFACE and other Steam VR titles as it becomes available.