Above: The announcement trailer for Twisted Pixel's new game, Defector.
It's VR, but thankfully you'll not physically be shaken or stirred.
Virtual reality makes certain gaming actions more exciting. Like, say, jumping out of an airplane. When I leaped out of a free-falling passenger jet towards another free-falling aircraft, I knew that Defector had potential to be an exhilarating experience. And that’s exactly what Defector, the second VR game from Twisted Pixel, the veteran studio known most recently for the Hitchcockian Wilson’s Heart but most famously for the ‘Splosion Man series, is aiming for.
Defector, due out later this year, makes you feel like a spy right away. You open in front of a mirror as a male or female spy, opening a special case to reveal an earpiece that you lif t up to your temple and a high-tech contact lens that gives the game an excuse to give you a pretty cool heads-up display. What I really like, though, is that Defector doesn’t just rely on action set pieces to make you feel like a Bond-caliber badass: it’s got a whole conversation system, too, that lets you talk your way out of -- or into -- trouble. You’ll need to read each person’s dossier to figure out what their likes, dislikes, and tendencies are, and then speak to them accordingly.
Of course, there are most certainly big action moments too. In an old-school coin-op arcade twist, each level has a moment where you’ll reach a metaphorical fork in the road: do you, for instance, jump out of the plane and try to grab onto the other one flying nearby, or do you battle your way to the bowels of the bird and into a convertible supercar, where you’ll drive out of the back of the passenger jet. You can also go toe-to-toe in a good old-fashioned fistfight, which naturally feels a bit more physical when you’re actually throwing the punches in VR.
I’m eager to see what sort of spy hijinks Defector allows me to get into over the course of the rest of the game. What the demo I played offers is a great start -- outside of the very good I Expect You to Die, spyjinks is an underserved segment in the VR space. That Defector left me neither shaken nor stirred -- that is, no hint of motion sickness despite the crazy movements I was pulling off -- only reaffirms my enthusiasm.