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Impressions: Augmented Empire
Gaming's Roshni Patel gives her first impression on Augmented Empire, the new Samsung mobile VR game from Coatsink
From the creators of artistic speed runner Shu and the immersive VR series, Esper, comes Coatsink’s latest foray into VR, Augmented Empire. As one Coatsink's first games to be made for the Samsung Gear VR, this isolated neo-noir RPG puts a brand new spin on what we call mobile games.
Dive into the mystery set on the island of New Savannah and wade through the futuristic metropolis and their 3 tiered ‘Citizen Grade System’, interacting with the government's most valuable people in luxury to the outcasts and criminals in the squalor they’ve been damned to, as you investigate new developments, take on new missions and develop the skills of your rag tag team. Play as ‘Augmented Misfits’, like one of the protagonist Ashley, a futuristic operative who's armed with more than her wits to take in the futuristic dystopia. Guided by your trusty handler in your ear, you’ll be immediately immersed in the story and traversing the terrain in no time at all.
Presented in a 3rd person view, with the world rendered expertly before your eyes like a ‘augmented reality’ diorama, players must employ a ‘look and click’ technique to move, interact and give actions to characters through an XCom-like style of play. With the game running within the Samsung Gear VR, this meant holding one finger to the side of your headset to operate the small touch-pad hidden on the surface, which got tiring fast, but is thankfully due to be replaced by a comfy handheld remote.
After the brilliant artistic characters and settings of Shu, and the realistic futuristic facilities in the Esper collection, it was no surprised to see the same attention to detail and art employed in Augmented Empire, which is made all the more impressive when you remember the game runs on a Samsung Galaxy S7 and not a beefy home computer. The developers have worked tirelessly to reduce the poly, pixel and gigabyte count, and we can’t even tell as we look around a flawless futuristic city. While the game tends to kill batteries and push the processing power of the S7, developers are optimistic that the additional 20% of the Samsung Galaxy S8 will allow the game to run with even greater ease.
With a short 3 stage Gear VR demo at EGX Rezzed currently making its way around conventions and exhibitions around the world, Augmented Empire is due for release on June 30th. Players will be able to battle the law-makers and law-breakers alike to mastermind the revolution.