The days of VR being some sort of a niche in the gaming industry were long gone, as more and more developers undertake the task to create games based on the concept. While most of them prefer to do it for PC and consoles, there are a few ambitious companies that prefer to provide the entire experience straight to the customer themselves, and EXA Global is one of them with the launch of Exa Outpost at SetiaWalk.
Dubbed as the first entertainment center in Southeast Asia to provide a free-roaming multiplayer hyper-reality experience, my expectations were high when the founding partner of parent company Havson Group, Kee Saik Meng introduced what the game is all about. The words ‘sci-fi’, ‘FPS’, and ‘mind-blowing’ were constantly used to describe the entire experience, which was simple enough for gamers like us to grasp its concept, until I truly understood the magnitude of it once I suit up for the game.
The entire experience kicks off in a mission briefing room, where you’ll watch a very simple cutscene detailing the generic storyline. Instructions will then be relayed by the officer in charge while you equip yourself for the game, namely a VR headset, headphones, and a laptop-filled bag pack. Once you are decked in gear, you’ll be directed to a playing room of around 500 square feet in size, before being “transported to a whole new dimension”, just to fit into the immersive narrative EXA presented.
The game itself is simple enough to learn, as it only requires you to pick up a gun, point, and shoot, which was purposely done by the developers to have an easier breakthrough for newcomers to VR and games. You won’t even have the need to reload as they employ an overheating system, and the gun feels solid enough to generate the illusion that you are firing something real instead of just playing it out on a screen. And oh, consider yourself warned when I say the game revolves heavily around the rifle, so blow up the creatures that jump to your helmet instead of swatting them away.
The fun of the VR experience was generated by the intensity and the immersion of it, which slowly rise with the kind of enemies you face in subsequent stages, ending with a typical boss fight. There’s also some sort of a variety in the power-ups available for pickup and movement was kept to a bare minimum, just enough to utilize the small space while giving players a sense of exploration. By the time the game ended, I felt it was a bit too quick (I finished in 12 minutes), but with that said, it can take up to 20 - 30 minutes per session, depending on how good is your team. You can even have some sort of a competitive edge as the points and accuracy percentage will be tallied and presented for public viewing.
Needless to say, I was left hoping to experience more after it ended, but Exa Outpost only has Dimension 12 as of now (the levels are broken up into different dimensions; Dimension 12 is just one of them). But luckily, EXA is planning several content updates over the upcoming months, namely new dimensions, and a very popular feature in this sort of game, PvP. I would highly recommend for everyone to try this hyper-reality experience for themselves, as it far outperforms all the generic virtual reality demos and signifies the immense breakthrough in modern VR entertainment.