Archangel - VR Oculus Rift + Touch E3 Demo Review

Drop into the cockpit of a six-story-high war machine

  • System: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, Steam
  • Publisher: Skydance
  • Developer: Skydance
  • Release Date: July 2017
  • Rating: Pending
  • Player: 1
  • Genre: Action, First Person Shooter
  • Official Website: https://archangelgame.com/

Who it Caters to

Honey's was invited by Skydance Interactive to demo their first game, Archangel, in splendid VR! Archangel is “an action-packed, story-driven first person shooter” meant to bring the experience of piloting a giant mech to life and put your right in the middle of the action. You must fight in a post-apocalyptic America against an evil corporation trying to take over the war-torn country. FPS gamers wanting to up their experience will love this game, as well as those wanting a full VR experience.

What to Expect

Using the Oculus Rift, you are immediately sat in the cockpit of a gigantic mech in the middle of a war zone. As with most VR titles, the first instinct is to look around and see how deep inside you really are. And boy were we inside! Even when you look behind you, you can see all the inner workings of the mech you're piloting. Of course, through the windshield you can see a vast half-destroyed desert city crawling with tanks, troopers and aerial fighters.

Training for this demo happened as you went, so you have enemies shooting at you from the very start. However, your trainer is very good at letting you know what to do and when, and because the enemies don't stop to wait for you to learn, you can try your new skills over and over till you get them down.

Archangel makes use of everything at your disposal, and having the Touch controllers really amplified the VR experience already delivered by the headset.

Archangel - PlayStation VR Trailer | E3 2017


Gameplay

In the demo, you don't really control the movement of the mech, just the weapons and shield. The first weapon you acquire is a gun controlled by the right trigger. Tanks need more than one hit to defeat, while foot soldiers can easily be taken care of in one shot. The next skill is shielding, which is easily achieved by pressing a button on the left controller. Once you get used to it, you can easily cover yourself and shoot at the same time.

Soon after learning how to protect yourself and use your gun, you are given the next item in your arsenal, a freaking rocket launcher!!! “Enemy on your right!” says your teammate over the coms. When you look over, there are 3+ tanks shooting in your direction. No problem, your awesome new rocket launcher does quick work of them. Airstrike coming your way? Boom! Rocket launcher + shield = I win.

The gun and rocket launcher in the demo both had auto-reload capabilities, it’s not clear whether that will be the case in the full game as well or if there will be something else you need to do to reload them. The rocket launcher gives you a few rounds before running out and you have to give it time to reload, so you need to break out the shield and gun while you wait.

There is also a lot of talking in Archangel. Your character is constantly making smart-ass remarks á la Iron Man, and your support team has a few one-liners as well. We can only imagine this will be expanded on in the full game, making for a pretty fun walk through a warzone.


Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

As someone who has always been notoriously bad at FPS games, it is very exciting to know that there is now a platform in which I can put my real-life aiming skills to good use. The training session was quick, easy and exciting, the graphics and animation are clearly well thought out and well designed. It will be interesting to see if you'll be able to move around on your own in the final release of the game or if it will always be a ‘The House of the Dead’ type thing where you shoot from your spot as you are moved through the world. Though the way Archangel has been set up, based on the demo at least, the way it’s done works really well.

The humorous banter between the MC and his comrades is great and pulls the game together, as many times you find yourself thinking exactly what he says, like “Where's my rocket launcher!?”.

After walking through the war zone and defeating all that came my way, I felt invigorated and like I needed more! Unfortunately, the demo was over, but not without adding Archangel to my must-buy-when-it-comes-out list!

Honey's Pros:

  • Very realistic graphics and rendering really put you in the cockpit of a giant mech!
  • A perfect melding of VR and Touch controllers makes the experience real
  • Easy to learn controls

Honey's Cons:

  • You’re directed through the game which makes it feel like you don’t have much freedom. (Though that was just the demo, that may change in the full game).

Honey's Final Verdict:

Archangel is likely to gain a huge following, not only because of the very cool setup, but because of the ease with which gamers both new to VR and seasoned ones can get the hang of the controls. Besides that, like I mentioned before, it will allow those gamers who have trouble in regular FPS games to finally enjoy the experience of blowing stuff up.

Another group that will probably get hooked on Archangel are people like Honey’s Anime readers! As Archangel is all about being inside a giant mech like the ones we are so used to seeing in anime, it will be like a dream come true for tons of anime fans who may or may not have been into FPS games to begin with. Yours truly most definitely included!

How badly do you want to play Archangel?? Give us your comments below and let us know how you really feel!

Nya~!

Lizzy Nyanko

Translator/Writer

Author: Lizzy Nyanko

I’m a Mexican-American gypsy cat-girl living in Tokyo. I love all kinds of anime, all things Japanese, photography, cats, food and I live for new experiences! When I’m not writing or watching anime, you’ll find me in thrift shops, roaming around Tokyo, hiking, festivals or at an izakaya. I’m always busy doing something, but I answer comments as soon as I see them, so let me hear what you have to say! Nya~!

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