Violence in videogames is a tricky subject, how much is too much? Does a little bit of light-hearted humour help to quell some titles ferocity, or adding a cartoon designed mean things can be ramped up to silly gore levels. It’s a difficult one to gauge as there are plenty of first-person shooters (FPS) out there but what about the videogames taking a different route, like Misfit Village and Delta Reality’s new Early Access title Tainted Fate, which seems to be just about pure dismemberment.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of leg and arm pulling, Epic Games’ Robo Recall uses the mechanic to great effect, being able to rip a robots arm off and smash another to pieces with it. In Tainted Fate however pulling the head off of an enemy is your first go to attack – feeling as easy as popping open a can of Pringles. This soon wears somewhat thin even before you’ve really got into the core of Tainted Heart and learnt some of the other things you can do.
Much like the Overlord franchise you play a demon who’s out to have some fun. In Hell all you do every day is decapitate those unlucky enough to be sent to you, and you’re bored. Lucky a couple of demon worshippers manage to summon you from the dark realm, and now you’re stuck on a mortal earth with nothing to do. So naturally it’s time to kill a few people.
While the premise is good enough – it’s always nice when you don’t have to play a hero/heroine – Tainted Fate does feel the bare bones Early Access title that it is. Environments seem quite plain and lack substance but what is good is the lack of a HUD, doing away with trivial information that can break that sense of presence.
What does require work is movement, or more specifically teleportation. Teleport is no by default – like many VR titles – yet its consistently twitchy and suffers from the odd glitch here and there. Prior to teleporting you can change the angle you appear at, yet from time to time that angle can be completely random – making for some awkward fights. What does seem to work just fine is the direct locomotion with snap rotation. VRFocus didn’t find any issues with this, so long as you find it comfortable.
Aside from running around pulling people’s heads off like wings on a fly, you also have several other abilities. There’s a teleporting insta kill which will acquire you a victims organ to eat and regain health, or how about summoning a little demon minion of your own to do some killing for you – although they do tend to die quite quickly and you can only have one at a time.
Currently Tainted Fate looks like its set to be a run-of-the-mill VR experience, with its core gameplay loop only entertaining for short increments. Having events like boss battles certainly help to up the stakes in this single-player experience. It would be great if there was co-op two player (being able to summon a buddy as a minion) or more ways to dispose of enemies (grabbing items to use as weapons doesn’t work particularly well). The team have got plenty of time to work out some of the kinks, and so hopefully Tainted Fate will become a nice demonic surprise.