Having seen success with its award-winning stealth title République on platforms like iOS and Android, developer Camouflaj then turned its attention to virtual reality (VR), rebuilding the title from the ground up for the technology. Now called République VR, this story-driven, sneaky experience has come to Oculus’ latest headset Oculus Go, providing one of the most engrossing and extensive videogames for the device.
République VR is episodic, thankfully though Camouflaj has included all five episodes which can be played back to back like you’re average binge watching session of Netflix. This isn’t an action-adventure title where you can rush headlong into whatever danger maybe lurking around the corner, République VR is about calm, precision planning and execution, solving puzzles and being immediately aware of your surroundings.
The story revolves around a dangerous totalitarian state and a girl called Hope that you need to save. Very much in a similar vein to Force Field VR’s Term1nal, all the action is seen from the viewpoint of CCTV cameras. Where it differs is that you can switch between these cameras, not only to move Hope but also to scope out what may lay ahead. This is relatively easy with the Oculus Go’s 3DoF controller – just like a point and click adventure – although depending on the cameras location some spots can be very fiddly to select.
The same goes for controlling Hope at points. Most of the time it’s simple to direct her to a safe spot without being seen by the guards. Issues occur when moving across a room or hallway with multiple cameras as the videogame will automatically switch to the nearest one. Meaning you’re not always facing the right direction and as such completely lose your bearings, especially if it happens several times.
Oculus Go’s controller functions are very well laid out, with the touchpad giving you direct access to most options and the trigger selecting everything. There is the option to switch to a gamepad – as République VR does support Gear VR – yet after using the 3DoF controller a gamepad feels somewhat clunky. The main benefit is direct control over Hope, running her around with the directional stick. Yet having all the other controls mapped over the rest of the buttons just felt slower and much less intuitive.
As mentioned République VR includes all five episodes so there’s a massive amount of content available. Even lightly picking up secrets along the way one run through will take a least eight hours. And the storyline and gameplay are that engaging you’ll be disappointed having to stop and recharge the headset – unless you have a nice long charging cable. So alongside sneaking around you’ll be able to upgrade your skills, and pickpocket guards for novel little extras – you can pick up disks which feature nods to other VR titles.
République VR is a well-designed VR experience that sits well on Oculus Go, and certainly showcases how good the lenses are on the headset. The puzzles may not be the most difficult with the main challenge purely resting on evasion, yet there’s enough to keep you engaged for many hours. Up against similar mobile titles like Augmented Empire and Term1nal, République VR should definitely be on your library list.