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PlayStation Experience – Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes Preview – Digital Bomb Defusal

December 17, 2014 Written by Chandler Wood

Keep Talking Explodes

Virtual reality is set to change gaming as we know it, offering new perspectives on games that may not be available in traditional gameplay. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is one such game that takes advantage of the medium in a unique way, testing communication skills between two people and offering a game that immerses you fully in the experience. At the PlayStation Experience, I had the chance to get hands-on with Sony’s own VR headset, Project Morpheus, to have my time to shine as one part of a bomb defusal squad.

Cut the Red Wire!

You’ve watched this scene in the movies. The hero is sitting in front of a bomb that has mere minutes until it detonates. He’s or she has a radio or cell phone, connecting them with the only person who knows anything about defusing bombs. The problem? The hero has no idea what they need to do to defuse it, but the person with the bomb knowledge has no idea what the bomb looks like. In Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, you and another player step into these two roles and it works amazingly. 

As another journalist donned the Morpheus headset, I was handed a binder labeled “Bomb Defusal Manual.” It had information in it for a variety of nodes on the bomb, giving a series of if-then scenarios or other situational solutions to successfully deactivate each node on the bomb. For example, “if there are four wires and exactly two of them are yellow, cut the third wire”. The problem is that I am relying on the person handling the bomb giving me correct information as I cannot see the bomb, as well as my asking the right questions, to direct them on how to defuse it. This test of communication between two people, in addition to the aspect of having a physical “bomb manual” gives this game a very unique edge that I just couldn’t get enough of.

A Unique Take on VR

We played on the easiest setting, and I got my chance to have a hand in both roles, which each offered their own challenges and entertainment. The different nodes require a variety of questions and critical problem solving skills. For example, if the button is blue, and says ‘abort’, there are three batteries on the bomb, and the serial number ends in an odd number, you need to hold the button and release it when the counter has the number two in any position. The way in which these solutions are written in the manual is not as cut and dry as my previous sentence makes it seem though, and there is a lot of questioning and communication that must take place to come to that consensus.

This unique take on VR is the kind of creativity that could help drive this medium as a must have technology. Even onlookers had a ton of fun watching and everyone couldn’t wait to get their turn. There are a vast number of possibilities for each node to take, and with varying difficulties, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is the kind of game that could be played perpetually without repetition or memorization taking away from the fun. Those heroes in the movies? That’s going to be you and me, and if we keep talking, maybe, just maybe, nobody will explode.