VROGU3 Review: The Rogue-like that may never be
VROGU3 is a rogue-like VR game that looks like the start of something that could be great. It has features that many gamers would go wild for and yet we may never get a finished version. Let me show you why I am sad that this early access game from a small studio may never have a full release.
What has been done so far
The full name of the game is “VROGU3™: Unapologetic Hardcore VR Edition” and that refers to the fact that they have chose to use the touchpad walking style of movement. This control scheme is used in VR games and is known for causing simulator sickness to some people. That is why most game studios usually give players a choice of at least two movement styles in their games.
Apart from the interesting full name of the game it had some good ideas. You have infiltrated some space station and you have 15 minutes to escape while gathering intel along the way. The space station has 5 levels and on the fifth one you can steal some sort of ship with which to escape. The space stations interior consists of white rooms and white corridors which gets old really fast. There are also enemies you have to kill along the way. Some shoot ear shatteringly loud bullets at you and others crawl on the ground to attack you in melee range.
And here comes the rogue-like elements of VROGU3. Every time you die you go all the way back to the start. No checkpoint, no mercy. Also all the enemy spawn locations change. That means that every new playthrough will be different. As you go through the game you get XP and level up which makes your small selection of weapons become stronger. Bullets are something you need to keep in mind as you play because they are limited. That’s why you have a lightsaber as a melee weapon. Your runs through the space station are narrated by a quirky robot voice that kind of reminds me of GLaDOS from Portal.
The bad stuff
There are quite a few things wrong with the game and that’s something that’s okay for an early access game. Unless the game stays in early access forever. The visuals are pretty horrible. Everything form the setting, with its boring and repetitive white corridors, to the enemies and guns, which look like plastic kids toys. It all makes my head hurt a bit. The sounds are another issue. The sound of the bullets hurts my soul. The enemy AI also needs lots of attention. Oh and the game supports only HTC Vive.
Despite that last paragraph, I still think VROGU3 can become an amazing game. It is still in early access and the developers have said that the visual and audio problems are things that they are working on. Here are some things they said on their Steam page.
“We’re adding the next set of environment art assets (models and textures) and building a new set of levels based on these new assets.”
“We’re starting to replace the placeholder audio files with Final audio assets. There are no Final audio assets in the current build, so there’s a lot of work to be done.”
If work on this game continues it could truly be something great, but here is what worries me.
What worries me
The game has been in early access since 9 January, 2017. On 17 May, 2017 the developers said this:
“Sadly, a bit over a month ago saw the departure of our long-time collaborator on the coding side of things. It’s taken us until now to find a suitable replacement.”
And finally on 20 December, 2017 they made a post in the steam forums, saying that they had some problems but they are finally “back on track” with the development of VROGU3. Now I don’t know how long this track is but either they got off it again or it’s way longer than expected. That was the last update they have given online. They have also stopped being active on their website www.bigdumbfungames.com and on facebook. It’s always sad to see such potential seemingly go off the grid and leave us hanging. What I recommend you do is, if you like the idea of the game, you should try to contact the developers and tell them that you would like to see more. You can find the early access version of the game on Steam.