Let’s face it, modern video games are stale. All of them feel the same after a while. The reason for this is that all modern games are made for human hands and human brains. They’re designed to be played on flat screens with controllers, not tracked in 3D space with sensors strapped to your forehead. They don’t take advantage of the natural advantages humans have in a 3D world.
Enter Holopoint, a unique and entertaining motion-controlled archery game for the Oculus Rift!
In Holopoint you play as an ersatz Spartan living out your ancient Greek fantasies in a forest overrun by birdlike Pagans. The Pagans are trying to kill you, of course. But you have a bow! It’s up to you to use the bow and your skills of marksmanship to kill them all before they kill you.
You can’t move around in Holopoint – it’s an archery game after all. Instead, the Oculus sensor tracks where your head is pointed at always points towards wherever your bow’s tip is. To move, you just shift the direction of your head and turn around. The entire play area fits inside a 12 foot by 12-foot space, so it’s easy to walk around and line up shots.
Even better, all your targets are locked to points in space – three wooden posts with glowing blue orbs on them. If you line up your shot correctly, all you have to do is aim and let ‘er fly!
The first time I played Holopoint I was blown away by the simple act of aiming. A lot of shooters make your reticle snap to targets for you, which takes all the fun out of lining up a shot at a long distance. But Holopoint requires you to actually aim – turning your head to line up your shot and then letting it rip. It’s so simple and elegant, yet satisfying in a way that modern games just don’t match.
HoloPoint isn’t without its problems, however. The biggest flaw with the game is the tedium of recharging your arrows. Every time you let loose an arrow, it’s gone for good. So your limited quiver is constantly running out, forcing you to hunt down more arrows every few minutes. It sucks the fun out of playing the game because it forces you to walk around like a hobo gathering ghostly little sticks off the ground (that also happens to kill Pagans).
The second, less serious problem is the lack of content. Holopoint only has one level, which isn’t much to go on. The developers promise more levels and possibly multiplayer in future updates, but for now, it’s just a single wave-based shooter that never changes: an archery version of Space Invaders. Despite these problems, the game is still lots of fun. It’s a fresh take on first-person gameplay that feels like something out of Star Trek or Mass Effect instead of yet another WWII shooter. The simplicity adds to the appeal because it makes it easy for casual gamers to pick up and enjoy. Plus, it takes full advantage of the strengths we humans have as 3D creatures, which is something we don’t see much of these days.
If you’ve got an Oculus and feel like shooting some stick-wielding pagans in the face and stretch out your VR legs at the same time, give Holopoint: The Oculus Edition a download. It’s free to try after all, so what have you got to lose besides the arrows of your enemies?
I would rate this game a 4/5 because it’s really fun but some parts are kind of slow. I’m also giving it a 4/5 instead of 5 because some things aren’t very creative, like recharging arrows