Virtual Reality

The most immersive RPG to date lands on Oculus Rift this month

The most immersive RPG to date...
The Mage's Tale takes the "role playing" in RPGs to as-yet-unseen levels
The Mage's Tale takes the "role playing" in RPGs to as-yet-unseen levels
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You'll notice the visuals and environmental details pushing much farther than what we saw in 2016 VR games
1/3
You'll notice the visuals and environmental details pushing much farther than what we saw in 2016 VR games
The Mage's Tale takes the "role playing" in RPGs to as-yet-unseen levels
2/3
The Mage's Tale takes the "role playing" in RPGs to as-yet-unseen levels
Crafting your own spells in The Mage's Tale
3/3
Crafting your own spells in The Mage's Tale
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Among the Oculus demos we tried at GDC this past February was Mage's Tale, a role-playing game that uses Oculus Touch controls and full-body tracking to take the "role playing" part of RPG more literally than you're accustomed to. Today developer inXile Entertainment announced that the highly-immersive Rift exclusive launches June 20.

The common theme I observed in this year's Oculus GDC demos was deep, first-person journeys: combining Oculus Touch controls with fully-realized gaming worlds. If 2016 VR games were about introducing the world to virtual reality, these upcoming 2017 Rift titles are more about pushing barriers of immersion and deep gameplay, showing us what it's like to "live inside" a full-fledged video game from a first-person perspective.

Mage's Tale fits that description to a tee. In my demo, I traversed through a fantasy world (set in the same universe as The Bard's Tale series, which children of the 80s will remember from their youth), using VR's familiar teleporting mechanic. I could reach out and grab objects, use my own hands to cast spells and use my own feet to walk around and look in different directions. It has a much higher degree of polish and advanced visuals than any VR-based RPG we've seen to date.

You'll notice the visuals and environmental details pushing much farther than what we saw in 2016 VR games
You'll notice the visuals and environmental details pushing much farther than what we saw in 2016 VR games

One unique perk is the ability to craft your own spells, using a variety of variables to splice together anything ranging from the ultra-powerful to the absurdly wacky (or both, in the case of my rainbow-streaming spell with party-favor sound effects that could knock a goblin hundreds of feet in the air).

Oculus Rift/Touch owners can download The Mage's Tale from the Oculus Store starting June 20. It will retail for US$40 when it launches, but pre-orders (which start today) will knock 10 percent off of that.

Product page: Oculus

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1 comment
Racqia Dvorak
The problem with VR right now is that they went for the half measure of teleporting. They tried to do the quick fix instead of developing for omni treadmills and pressing forward with continued innovation in that industry.
Now, you have something that's basically a really fantastic screen and body tracking that feels completely realistic until you start trying to walk more than a step and a half. You know, what people do every day. In two steps, you break all that hard work towards building immersion, and teleporting breaks it the first time you use the clunky mechanism.