Ubisoft, one of the most beloved and cherished gaming companies of the modern age, has announced they're joining together to make the most mind bending creation of all time. Ubisoft, the force behind masterfully crafted and polished titles like The Divison and Assassin's Creed Unity, said that in the wake of the virtual reality boom, they would be delving in with an Oculus title of their own.
The Virus will be a state-of-the-art simulator released exclusively for the Oculus Rift, which Ubisoft developers say will "completely alter the way you understand playing games." The main mechanic in the VR title will be navigating an ever crumbling world, where you frequently clip through walls, characters deconstruct in front of you, and your save file can be suddenly erased—even while you're in the middle of playing it.
Early screenshots have drawn criticism for appearing "buggy," but Ubisoft executives have clarified that this is all intentional. "What appears to be bugs are actually done intentionally, we've been testing this new technology for a long time—as far back as Pools of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor—but we've finally perfected it. In order to win, you have to literally beat the game—be better than the code."
Developers from Ubisoft said they took inspiration from games that break the fourth wall and decided to take it to another level of immersion-breaking storytelling. "When I played Undertale and that part where the game makes you think you've lost your progress—that's incredible. But what if you actually did? That's the kind of experience we wanted to build here."
Beyond the simple design of using bugs to actually build the game world, the game will also interact with your system to a degree. "The game is called Virus, right—we decided it would be clever to make that literal. So it is literally a virus. It doesn't do a lot of harm yet, though. We're still working on that part."
It goes beyond effecting your electronics though. Ubisoft says their game can change your actual biology. The company explained their choice for VR, stating that it was the only thing powerful enough to run some of the more experimental technology in the title. "We recruited some of the best from Japanese animation studios to help with particular sections. Our hope is to find a way to make it where, after playing certain parts for an extended period, you start to see the effects in real life. We figured the closest thing thus far are those old animes that used to give kids seizures."
The game is currently in alpha, but Ubisoft has already recruited their interns to test the game for them. They say the results are beyond what they expected. "They're saying after playing for a while they actually stopped being able to see people's faces in real life. Also, some of them seemed to have formed a bit of memory loss, but only one has developed total amnesia. So far anyway."
The technology is not yet perfected though, as Ubisoft is still trying to find a solution for player retention. "We're finding most interns simply refuse to play the game after a short while. We're not sure why, because most of them quit on the spot. We're working on a new rewards system in the game to keep players more invested. That portion of the game will be worked on by Konami, who have offered to let us use some of their intellectual property as long as they can use our technology for their future endeavors. We're already working on a port to slot machines."