Adding to its chunky 2016 release schedule, Ratchet and Clank developer Insomniac Games unveiled two new games during a recent media event, both of which will be exclusive to the Oculus Rift (via. Polygon).
The first of the two, Feral Rites, is described by the developer as an “exploration brawler” that incorporates recognisable elements of Zelda: Ocarina of Time with the fast-paced action of God of War.
Players are propelled into a strange, paleolithic jungle, with the ability to transform into anthropomorphic beasts to tear opponents apart. Drawing inspiration from such modern classics as H.G Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, Feral Rites’ very own Stone Fang Island composes twists, turns and cavities that make exploring its alcoves essential to the game. Although the Ratchet and Clank dev is reputed for its expansive armouries chock-full with ludicrous weapons, the only weapons you’ll have here are your curiosity – and your beastly nature.
“So for the core idea of this exploration brawler, we started thinking about what would that world be like. And I’ve been reading a lot of those books lately, going back to the source,” Insomniac creative director Marcus Smith told Polygon. “And you know, some of them are pretty dry — they’re 100-year-old novels or something — but some of them are really just visceral and brutal. And I figure they come out of that time period that was pretty Victorian, everything was getting more buttoned up in terms of progress. So hearing about the unexplored Congo and everything was probably pretty awesome for someone who worked in a sweatshop or something all day. Those books really did embody that idea of adventure and exploration, and they were really brutal and way over-the-top. There’s no irony in any of what’s done. And so, just reading some of those, it just came about that that style would be perfect for an adventure brawler.”
Virtual Reality is still in its early days, and although Insomniac are no stranger to open-world titles (with Sunset Overdrive firmly tucked under their belt), players’ ability to look around a full, 3D world has presented the developer with some rather new problems. After integrating a ‘camera-cut system’ to prevent the discomfort that’d likely accompany the traditional third-person camera spin when changing direction, Insomniac found that players too often became lost in the game’s dense jungle after the camera cut-off at certain points.
Feral Rites is planned to launch exclusively on the Oculus Store later this year. A demo of the game will also be available to play at this year’s E3. You can read Polygon’s full article on Insomniac’s development of Feral Rites here.