Budget Cuts

Budget Cuts is an amazing room-scale first-person stealth game for HTC Vive. You play as a trainee spy, with a mission to infiltrate highly secured facility guarded by robots. The game has unique infiltration mechanics of teleportation, where you can preview your landing zone and choose whether to teleport to that area or not. According to the devs, the game has various difficulty levels and encourages speedrunning progression. So you not just to do things well, but also fast!

Budget Cuts First Impressions

Budget Cuts game screenshot

Budget Cuts is an a first-person stealth game. You play as a trainee spy, with a mission to infiltrate highly secured facility guarded by robots.  The game borrowed some of the unique infiltration mechanics from the game 'Portal' with the use of teleportation mechanics.  You can use your teleportation device to preview the landing zone and choose whether to teleport to that area or not.   This is actually how you move in the game. You aim your teleportation device to the area you want to move, shoot, and you are being teleported that that exact location.

The game takes use of the HTC Vive set of motion controllers. You hold each one in each hand and you use them to interact with the environment. It might be a bit odd at first, but after a few rooms, you should get used to that mechanics. Any interaction is done using the controller, including pressing the elevator button, opening drawers, opening a safe with a key, aiming and shooting,  picking up a dead robot and throw it in the garbage, throw knives, etc.

At its core, Budget Cuts is a stealth game. This means that you need to make sure that whatever you do, you do it silently and cover your tracks. There'll be robots guarding the area and they'll pay attention to any trace of infiltration.  The teleportation can be done even through very small holes. You don't need to physically fit the area of the teleportation in order to be teleported to that area. So if you see a small hole through the wall, just aim to the other side and go there.

On your way, you can collect various weapons and gadgets to help you out in your mission like a bow, throw knives (it can be used both for attacking and distraction),   You have limited amount of knives, so when you do throw him to kill a robot, make sure you also pick them up so you can use them again.  I've seen a gameplay video of a guy who missed like three shots, so you should certainly practice your aiming. This is one of the great things I love about VR gameplay with motion controls, is that it uses the accurate physical movement of your body for aiming. In my opinion, this makes a game like Budget Cuts much more immersive and skill-based.

The game also supports vertical gameplay, so you can get to a situation where you are on the second floor, looking down below at the guards and trying to find the best way to move forward.

The game takes place in a tight space, so you really need to pay attention and be aware of what happens around you. A guard can be just right beside the corner. If you kill a robot, you need to make sure to hide it in a hidden place so the other robots can't find it and initialize a search for intruders. 

As I mentioned, according to an interview that I've  with the devs, the game should have various difficulty levels and encourages speedrunning progression. So you not just to do things well, but very fast.  If that's indeed the case, it should add a great replay value to the game. There are manny gamers who love speedrunning games, and it looks like this game is a great fit for this.

For me, Budget Cuts looks like a great example how stealth games should be made for Virtual Reality. I'm sure it's going to be a great game to play on HTC Vive, I'm surely going to put it at the top of my list in 2016.

Budget Cuts Videos