There are tons of first-person shooters out there, and quite a few for VR. Define Human Studios is another company who wants to make a different type of shooter, that brings a fresh air and refreshes over the boredom of playing the same FPS games just in different skins.
On May 10, 2016, Define Human Studios started a KickStarter crowd-funding campaign to raise money for their current project. There are only asking for $40K, and with $30 funded by May 19th, I have no doubt in my mind that this project will be funded successfully. OK, money stuff aside, you probably want to know what makes the Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale (Why such a long name?) so different from other first-person shooters?
Islands of Nyne is inspired by Battle Royale and The Hunger Games movies and focuses on the last-man-standing gameplay. The game features 30-minute times matched with up to 100 players fighting at the same time. Players are dropped into a very large arena (currently featuring 3 large-scale maps), each arena features its own landscape and rewards tactical decision making. The game has several game modes: play as a lone wolf against all the other players, team up with a friend in Doubles mode (play against 49 other teams of two players each) or play in a team of 5 people (20 teams of five players each). There is also the casual mode that is designed to be more of a practice mode, but you still fight against 99 players. In this mode, players can't lose or advance in ranking (like the casual mode in Hearthstone).
Players will need to gear up and use the environment to their advantage in order to survive the longest. The matchmaking system will make sure you are matched against players at your skill level. Speaking of which, the game features a competitive ranking system, each tier is split into 5 divisions. The matchmaking system will make sure players will compete against other players within the same tier. You climb up the tiers by winning ranked matches, but if you lose matches, you ranking will drop and you'll find yourself in a lower tier. As you progress along the divisions, you'll be able to unlock an armor piece which shows off your achievements. The tiers were also given names: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond, with Diamond, signified the highest and most prestigious tier.
As you progress throughout the game your player will earn in-game credits. Players can use these credits to purchase Skin and Armor cases. It the same as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 more or less. There are four different skin cases: Common (the cheapest), Uncommon, Rare and Elite, and there are five different Armor cases: same as before, just with the rarest case dubbed "Champion of the Nyne". Unlocking an armor case will provide you with a single piece of armor, which belongs to a 5-piece armor set (Helmet, Hands, Chest, Legs and Feet). You can earn even more credits by finishing various assignments or showing some great skill in the match. Players who perform admirably in the event can even unlock weapon skins and additional armor sets. For example, if you finish first in the match, you get 3000 credits and four different cases, including one Elite Armor case and One Champion of the Nyne armor case (this case only give for those who finish first). All players in the Top 10 will be awarded various cases, but they are dropped in quality depends on of your position in the top 10 list.
Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale was developed with Unreal Engine 4, and oh boy it looks so beautiful judging by the game's screenshots and trailer video on islandofnyne.com website (the game's official website). So we can certainly expect some triple-A quality graphics. I really liked the rich grassy environment, which indeed reminded me the Huner Games movie. I don't think that there are many shooters that use that theme, most of the shooters use urban environment, but in latest years we can see that more shooters are are adding this type of environments. That being said, Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale has more than just lush environments. In the trailer, some of the arenas mentioned there are Rome, Italy 500 BC, London England 13th Century, Alien Desert and Surreal Nightmare "Coruscant"-like City. I don't know which will be a part of the final game, but one of the maps that were demonstrated in the trailer Some, or at least part of the maps are urban environments and one map looks like it was taken from a futuristic movie but with weapons from earth middle ages (Crossbow, Longbow, Sword, Warhammer, etc).
Islands of Nyne: Battle Royale KickStarter page also mentioned vehicles. I have a good feeling that we are going to some really crazy arenas and the back story of the game really allows the developers to come up with some really unique and bizarre arena designed and weapons. I think that this one thing that will contribute to a high replay value and huge interest when new maps are introduced (hopefully faster than DLCs are released). They didn't mention whether they aim the game to be and eSport one, but a 30-minutes time limited FPS matches are a perfect fit for eSport matches.
I am really excited about this new VR project. The developers also leave me with great impressions when they talked about all the things that FPS fans care about, like shooting mechanics, match pace, server performance, graphics performance optimizations, weapon spawn balancing, an anti-cheating system and listening to the community in order to deliver the best possible competitive online FPS experience possible.
There is also a betting system that I didn't mention, in which players can use the in-game currency (credits) to place bets on players and if they guessed their after-match final position, they can earn extra credits, which of course you can then use to buy more armor and skin cases.
I don't know about you, but this game just got me really hyped to go back and play first-person shooters again. Not that I stopped playing it completely, but I really have an urge to play a different type of shooter, and I think that Define Human Studios' shooter is just a perfect example of an innovative first-person shooter that can really be super fun and immersive to play, especially in VR.
Define Human Studios, the developer of the game, plans to bring this title also for Xbox One and PS4 as well. At the start, the game will be developed for PC with support for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift VR headsets.
If you love what you read about the game, I highly recommend supporting their project on KickStarter. Don't just cross your fingers and hope that the project will be funded, help to fund and support it as well. Depends on your pledge, you can even earn some exclusive in-game items. I'll be posting more information about this project in the News & Updates section below.