Guardian Arena is a VR shooter that playes in god-like third-person perspective The developer wanted to give players a new perspective to play a shooter game, although still try to be loyal to the FPS roots and was inspired by some of the best classics like Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament.
Because the game is played in third-person perspective, the player can actually scale the entire arena up or down to either get a bird's-eye view of the entire arena or zoom up to get closer to the action. This unique gameplay mechanics is what makes Guardian Arena unique among other shooters. This third-person top-down perspective is more comfortable to view, so you don't need to worry about any discomfort that usually happens with fast-paced VR games played in the first-person perspective.
I personally played a lot of FPS games in VR, and indeed, many of them did cause me motion sickness. Each player might experience it differently, but it's great to see developers tackling this issue and trying to come up with experiences that match the medium disadvantages, at least as for the current hardware. This perspective is great for real-time strategy game, and I'm happy to see it being used for shooters as well.
The game can be played in seated or standing position and with or without the HTC Vive motion controllers, but you'll have to use a gamepad instead. As of the time of writing, Guardian Arena is developed for the HTC Vive, but the developer mentioned that he intends to add support for Oculus Rift and OSVR as well. So I hope that by the time the game is released in early 2017, it will be compatible with all those headsets.
Guardian Arena was developed using Unreal Engine 4. The looks really nice judging by the gameplay trailer and the accompanying screenshots on Steam. There are various arenas to play, each one looks almost completely different than the other and each one poses different tactics that players need to adapt to. Players will need to keep on moving in order to not get hit and try to shoot down their opponent while doing so. It looks like a very dynamic action shooter.
On the Steam page, we can see that Guardian Arena can be played in single-player or multiplayer mode, and it also supports cross-platform multiplayer, which is great. having a cross-platform multiplayer is very important to be able to have more players under the same matchmaking pool so matchmaking will be faster. This also prolongs the life of the game because even if one platform has few players, you can still find players to play with from other platforms.
The game's page doesn't state out how many players can play in a single match in multiplayer. From the screenshots, it looks like three people can match up against each other, but I am not 100% sure. Hopefully, I can have the developer answer some of my questions in the forum, so we can get more detailed information about the game before it is released.
Overall, I really liked what I've seen so far and really impressed with the developer's decision of making a shooter with god-like perspective and I like the overall design of the arena and the cross-platform MP support. I am a big fan of shooter games, and Guardian Arena really looks like a really fun multiplayer shooter.
Image credit: Purple Squid Games