If Oculus was looking for a killer app for the Touch, Robo Recall may well be it. Smooth, intuitive gameplay with fantastic presentation and sound design makes for a excellent experience whether you’re new to VR or a veteran player.
Story is on the light side in this futuristic wave shooter, with a previously friendly robot population turning against humans. The answer? A recall, which basically means… it’s blowing up robots time. The introductory sequence provides enough explanation to drive the game forward without dropping loads of useless dialog on the player and the afterwards dumps you right into the action.
And the action is wonderful – blowing up the robots is incredibly fun and you are given an arsenal of different weapons to do it with, starting with two pistols holstered at your hips. Reloading is easy by reaching to your hips to draw a new gun or by throwing your gun at robot, which is my personal favorite.
The game goes into slow motion when you’re being attacked so you can deflect bullets, catch rockets and juggle enemies in the air as well as heaps of other crazy shit that you could only experience in VR.
The levels are divided up into areas which are accessible from an office environment, which allows the player to select their encounter, with unlockable achievements and leaderboards for each stage. After completing the entire game – which took me about around 2 hours – there’s plenty of replayability as you build your arsenal and attempt to crack the global leaderboards.
Each area ends with a boss fight which generally includes some funny if not cringy voice acting, particularly the final boss who appears to be a robot embodiment of 4chan. These sections are entertaining and although a little short, definitely are a nice touch.
Gunshots feel punchy, slow-mo effects and bullet hits all feel believable and add a
real atmosphere to the experience which when combined really makes you feel like a badass catching rockets and dodging bullets.
Enemy types are varied, with a differing robot armor and weapons. There are also annoying flying enemies, crawlers and heavy robots to blast. It’s a good mix and may be familiar to those that have played the Gears of War series which feature a similar assortment.
The soundtrack is outstanding with a retro 80’s vibe, appropriately pumping differently paced tracks at the right times to increase the intensity of the game as more and more enemies surround you. Gunshots feel punchy, slow-mo effects and bullet hits all feel believable and serve to add a real atmosphere to the experience which when combined really makes you feel like a badass catching rockets and dodging bullets.
Unreal Engine 4 powers the experience and delivers arguably the best graphical quality in a VR game to date. Performance was solid across the board using a GTX 1070 on Ultra settings, with no frame drops or stuttering. Lighting and particle effects are stunning and the visceral feeling of ripping off a robots head is well represented by the game engine.
The sense of presence in the game is excellent and provides one of the best room scale experiences to date. I didn’t experience any simulator sickness and the overall feeling is really cohesive. The game loads fast, the UI is easy to understand and gets you into the action quickly.
Modding support is also available with a ton of documentation, a very nice addition which could lead to some interesting new game modes.
Overall, Robo Recall is a standout example of the kind of polished experience that is lacking in many first generation VR titles. It sets the standard for user interface, graphical fidelity, sound design and gameplay and the inclusion of out of the box modding support is a great addition to an already awesome game.