Finnish developer 3rd Eye Studios released its first foray into virtual reality (VR) last year with Downward Spiral: Prologue, the first instalment of a bigger anthology series. Today, the team has announced the second installment to its zero-gravity space adventure, Downward Spiral: Horus Station, due for release on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR this Spring.
The Downward Spiral series lures players through a lost vessel abandoned by its crew. Continuing the story, Downward Spiral: Horus Station further deepens the mystery of the space station tasking players to use their wits and ingenuity to wither fight or avoid dangers unknown.
With no dialogue or cinematics, Downward Spiral: Horus Station relies on environmental storytelling, with players having to piece together the plot through observation as they explore the derelict space station. On hand will be the ship’s maintenance hardware – like bolt throwers, rail guns, and arc welders to take out threats, solve puzzles and find the truth of why Horus Station has been left drifting in space.
Zero-gravity movement in VR has always been fraught with difficulty, causing some players to suffer nausea due to control systems or lack of horizon line. 3rd Eye Studios uses a movement system similar to that of Lone Echo, where players have to use the environment and push off to propel themselves forward, or use tools if they happen to be nearby. Whilst floating around players will be accompanied by the electronic ambient soundtrack composed by platinum selling HIM frontman Ville Valo.
“Last year’s Downward Spiral: Prologue was our proof of concept. Now we’re almost ready to let players embark on a full-length adventure to discover the atmospheric Horus Station,” said Kari Koivistoinen, CEO of 3rd Eye Studios in a statement. “For those that wish to experience the game in VR, we’ve continued to develop our proprietary tech that mitigates VR motion sickness while allowing for a full range of movement. Movement is seamless, allowing players to engage in both thoughtful exploration and pulse-quickening combat.”
Downward Spiral: Horus Station isn’t just a single-player adventure, the videogame is also playable in two player co-op plus there’s eight-player PvP and PvE multiplayer modes including Deathmatch, Horde and Survivor challenges. For further updates on the sequel, keep reading VRFocus.