Day two of PAX has been exhausting, not in the least because of the sheer number of people here. Max and I spent about 20-30 minutes waiting to play a game called Knights of the Drowned Table by RillyBoss studios on the Oculus Rift. Billy Ross of RillyBoss himself was there, and we got to meet him. The game starts in a medieval-style bar, and after you pick up a large beer stein and place it on another table, you’re tossed into an adventure. It’s meant to be co-op with up to 5 players, but there were only two headsets set up, so Max and I played together.
In-universe, you’re listening to someone’s story, a tale of adventures past, and the players play through the story together. There is voice chat within the headset, and the motion controls felt really well done. It felt like there was a much more direct connection between the virtual and the real world, as reaching out to pick things up required that you actually reach all the way out until your hand was directly touching it, in-game. It felt startlingly more one-to-one than other VR games, and it felt really cool picking up weapons and various other things. I also threw my beer stein at Max and it bounced right off of his head and I was able to catch it in my hand, so that was fun.
What was even more fun was the combat. There were several monsters inside of the “dungeon”, and we had to fight one large final boss along with several smaller ones. I took to drawing the small ones away from Max and taking them out while he focused on the large one. Eventually, once we both had been fighting for a while (which was really intuitive, just swinging the weapons you picked up, which felt so satisfying to do), we joined back up and defeated the main enemy. It was incredible, and is already released on Steam Early Access. It costs 15 dollars, and if you have the headset for it, is well worth the purchase. Here’s Max’s take:
You know how in Skyward Sword you could (supposedly) swing the Wii remote around and the sword would follow the same motion? Now imagine that in VR. Like Keith said, it was really cool how you had to reach out to pick up the weapons instead of just facing them and watching them appear in our hands. If you drop your weapon, you have to actually bend down to pick it up, which is a nice touch.
The controls are simple, you hold down the bumpers to pick up and carry stuff, use the left control stick to move, and swing the controllers to swing the weapon. As stupid as it probably looked, it was a lot of fun flanking around the boss and rapidly swinging flailing the controller around to strike the boss in rapid succession. If you have a headset, I’d recommend picking it up, especially if you’ve got a group of five to play with.
Keith O’Donnell is an Aerospace Engineering student at Rutgers University. He’s an avid gamer and photographer, violinist, and a professional IT Specialist. His pronouns are He/Him. And yes, that picture is me in a Sonic cosplay immediately before going to the the Sonic movie in theaters.