PAX West 2018: Swords of Gargantua
By: Kate Sanchez
I’ve avoided most virtual reality (VR) games at conventions, mainly because I’m at a point in my life where I enjoy co-op gaming more than single player. When I first heard of Swords of Gargantua, from Yomuneco, a VR game development company based out of Japan, I was intrigued by its multiplayer aspect. Not to mention, the art style used in promotions and the in the game itself is colossal in scale yet simple and eye-catching. With the Gargantua decked in gold.
This PAX West served as Swords of Gargantua’s first showing at a public gaming convention in the United States. I was one of the lucky convention goers that had the chance to step into a world of giants and become a sword-fighter in VR working with a team to beat two bosses.
In the world of Swords of Gargantua, you play as a human, fighting against giants. One of the breathtaking moments of the demo was walking up to a doorway and looking toward the sky. The golden doorway was gigantic, even though it was VR, it made me feel small. This was heightened by the immersion the combat mechanics offers. This isn’t just a hack and slash, you can’t swing aimlessly and hope defeat your opponents. Instead, you must utilize everything to defend yourself.
This means that every parry or block must be performed by you, with the shield you pick up. This also means every hit you land has a satisfying feedback which is compliments of their unique collision system which the company developed from scratch. One of the standouts of this game is that it no longer feels like you’re swinging through your opponent, instead, you feel every connected blow.
There are a variety of weapons to choose from and each requires you to wield them a little differently, in line with their combat styles. On my demo playthrough, I chose a rapier and a shield but ultimately abandoned the more skillful sword for a mace. As someone just learning the mechanics of the game using a shield allowed me time to learn how to attack. You can also throw your weapons, utilizing this mechanic to knock down enemies from far away. As you lose health you walk up to orbs to replenish it.
Given the world’s size, it’s ideal to play with three other people, and its focus on online co-op is something I didn’t really imagine being available in VR. But with enemies larger than you coordination with a team is necessary to take them down. We defeated one boss but when it came to the end of the demo boss, it was a rough but extremely fun fight. With the ability to jump in and out of the VR world seamlessly it made playing easy for someone like me who doesn’ t do the best with things known to induce motion sickness.
As a fan of Sword Art Online to see a company focussing on community-play in VR has me excited. Yomuneco, the company behind the game is dedicated to the creation of high-quality multiplayer experiences in VR. After speaking with Anthony Nicholson, the company’s marketing manager, it was clear that their goal is to maintain that connected experience we get through co-op into the next frontier. With some companies still ignoring the possibilities of VR experiences, Yomuneco is running towards them and with Swords of Gargantua, not only did I find a VR game that I loved, but also found a new sense of enthusiasm for the platform.
Swords of Gargantua is a must play for people who love VR and those just getting into alike. With a release window set for this winter, you’ll be able to pick up on VIVE, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality. Check out their Steam page for more information on the game’s release.