VRLA Preview-WANDS for GearVR
Set in the late 19th-century London, Wands presents an alternate history and drops gamers into a virtual reality steampunk world where they can join a secret society of spell wielders who seek to prove their power and unlock hidden magical talents. I had recently heard about Wands and it was something I was looking forward to seeing during my time at VRLA. The NUX Studios team showcased the game at a super secret off site location and was on hand to answer my questions.
There was some buzz about Wands going into the demo as several publications wrote that the trailer looked to good to be a GearVR game. Multiple users posted the trailer in the Gear VR sub reddit the day the trailer was released. Color me impressed; the demo was better than I expected. Not that I doubted the team but A GearVR PVP Wizard battling game could go either direction; pretty shitty or Harry Potter VRified.
The game starts you of by allowing you to load your Wand for battle with whimsical sounding spells such as Devil's Spit. The game really does look fantastic and shows that Mobile VR is very capable of delivering high quality VR content. Though the game is launching for GearVR the possibility of seeing this on Google Daydream has me daydreaming.
I was offered a gamepad to use during the demo but refused because I like to see how games operate within the absolute confines of GearVR. I am glad I did, the Wands UI was perhaps one of the smoothest times I ever had with the touchpad. The quick changing from spells to teleporting was seamless and down right exciting. Wands offered me very fast paced twitch reaction gameplay as I battled one of the developers.
One of the things that people use to put down mobile VR is that it does not offer a room scale experience like the HTC Vive. The level design of Wands has created an artificial room scale experience as nothing feels claustrophobic and I really felt like I was moving through a very large battle environment. Most Mobile VR games currently have a on rails feel to them and though my playing position was mostly static i did feel fully immersed in the Wands level design.
By including a spectator mode, global leaderboards, and seamless fast paced WiFi PVP combat, Wands could potentially be VR first true entry into the world of Esports.