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The Assembly E3 Hands-On Preview – A True VR Experience (PS4)

June 26, 2014 Written by Dan Oravasaari

The Assembly logo

Virtual Reality has been widely considered the Holy Grail of technology for the games industry, and as companies like Sony and Oculus VR are looking to bring just that to the market, developers are already starting to take advantage of the upcoming shift. While at E3 this year, we got to sit down and check out The Assembly, a VR title currently in development by nDreams for both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus.

The Assembly is a first-person puzzle-based thriller, that will use the VR headset to place the player in a two-character adventure written by Tom Jubert, the writer behind Driver: San Francisco, The Swapper and FTL. While the demo was limited to two parts that were only a few minutes in length, the concept behind the title looks to be an interesting take on immersion that focuses more on the act of being present than playing with gimmicks. The first part of the demo took place in an underground bunker, where you wake up strapped to a gurney, unable to move, but able to see through the windows in the hall as you pass them by. Unsure of what is going on around you, the sights of strange people in lab coats behind closed doors gives you the feeling that whatever is about to occur, probably isn’t in your best interest.

The Assembly

This short, but significant, moment was an example of the elegance of VR and its ability to push the player into realizing their own fragility. The tension felt by simply being wheeled to an uncertain fate was something that was only made possible by having the Oculus Rift headset on, as the level of immersion was significantly higher than simply staring at a screen mimicking a first-person view.

From here, the second half of the demo placed the character into a locked room with no obvious way out. Much like the popular escape games we have seen on the mobile scene over the last few years, it is up to you to pick up the correct items and use them together to break out. But, once freed from the locked room (or if time just ran out) the demo ended and that was all that was available. Thankfully, there are plans for a great deal more content that will take advantage of the virtual reality experience, especially in regards to puzzles as you will be able to interact with objects such as phones and microscopes and the ability to make difficult moral choices as you figure out the truth behind the bunker your characters have been placed in.

No release date was given for The Assembly, but it is currently planned to be a launch title for both the retail version of the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus. For more information regarding this title, make sure to stay tuned to PlayStation LifeStyle as we will be bringing you more info about this title and many others, as it becomes available.