Preview: They Suspect Nothing – Apart From Another Quirky British Experience
The masters of mobile, Coatsink bring some northern charm to Oculus Go.
If you own a Samsung Gear VR then you should own a Coatsink videogame, it’s almost mandatory. With polished titles like Augmented Empire, Esper, Esper 2 and A Night Sky for the platform, the UK-based team have certainly fine tuned their skills for mobile virtual reality (VR), so its no surprise Oculus wanted the studio to build something for its next headset, Oculus Go. That’s come in the form of They Suspect Nothing a collection of mini-games.
Now Oculus wasn’t exactly giving lengthy demos at its Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018 booth, allowing what seemed like enough time to learn the controls, figure out what the hell was going on before being booted out. They Suspect Nothing is a collection of 12 mini-games that definitely seemed like a showcase for Oculus Go and its diminutive controller.
These mini-games are split between hubs, four levels in each, with VRFocus managing time for just one, a sort of weird robot surgery game that tested speed and knowledge. The task looked simple enough, a digital board brought up the name of a tool and a particular robot part that it needed to be used on. Yet this is Coatsink, so there was no grab the hammer and hit the broken pipe, nothing so mundane. No, the tools had abstract names to make them more difficult to remember and so did the organs. So the challenge was to match the two correct items up to score points, win the game and prove you’re not a human.
That’s because you play the last human on Earth, a world now controlled by the mechanical menace so many films warned about. These ‘games’ are in fact a human detection test, all of which need to be passed in a methodical, robot-like fashion to stop you being killed.
While that sounds quite dark and grim, They Suspect Nothing is actually very comedic and light-hearted, with a bright cartoon style that’s very much Coatsink’s style, a kind of mix between A Night Sky and Esper.
The control scheme was a drag and drop style mechanic, ideal for Oculus Go’s 3DoF controller. Without seeing any of the other mini-games its hard to judge how innovative They Suspect Nothing will actually be as it feels like a very safe bet for the standalone headset, a long way from the rather brilliant Augmented Empire.
There’s no question that They Suspect Nothing will have high production values – the voice cast includes award-winning actor Jim Broadbent – and VRFocus has learnt further hubs are planned upon, continuing the 4 games per section. But mini-game collections can be a tricky business, offering great pockets of gameplay with an overall throwaway feeling. Whether this is the case remains to be seen – you’ll have to wait for Oculus Go – with VRFocus looking forward to seeing more of the videogame.