Front Defense

My first time using the HTC Vive was with Front Defense at Computex 2016. It was a nice way to get into things, since the old WW2 shooter trope was pretty familiar ground. Fundamentally, you're hunkering down behind some sandbags to take care of waves of Nazis that come pouring through ruined European buildings. To one side is a trusty MG-42 (mind the overheating), a classic Thompson submachine gun, and in the back is a rocket launcher for when those pesky tanks come rolling around.

Though the shooting itself is plenty thrilling, I found the most engaging part was needing to actually go through the motions of reloading - pulling out your empty SMG clip, dropping it, pulling one out of your belt, and slapping it in. Similarly, you need to awkwardly swing the bazooka around so you can load a rocket in the rear. Having to bring the grenade to your teeth to pull the pin is a fun touch. That's a lot of steps that are typically folded into pressing the "R" key, but getting really good at loading weapons becomes a fun game in and of itself.

I'm a little dubious about the potential for replay value, but with a sufficient variety of weapons and stages, I could see this as being a great way for shooter fans to slide into the VR experience. What's maybe more interesting here is how closely the developer, Fantahorn, has been working with HTC. Content may very well be a bottleneck for VR in the early stages as developers warm up to it, so it behooves hardware manufacturers to provide as much direct support as possible. Such support may also be necessary to lock down coveted platform exclusives.