Students,Faculty, and Friends of the Visual Arts Dept. of Lakehead University
Title: Kingdom City Drowning Episode 1 - The Champion
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Release Date: 30 Aug, 2017
Everybody that likes movies should try this experience. It gives you a taste of what will be possilble in VR movies in the future. For example, it never felt so real to sneak around a corner together with somebody else and almost look over his shoulder.... Sorry, it's dark, super grainy, and full of gratuitous violence with no explanation and no story. Violence per se doesn't bother me (I love Arizona Sunshine), but this "game" is total crap. I've requested a refund.
I mean, if you just like watching "prisoners" kill guards and each other for no discernible reason and with very little dialogue to explain, and with no interaction (you're just basically watching a 20 minute "movie"), this would be ideal.. First off, I want to support and like VR movies. I see it as a new, growing platform that needs an enthusiastic audience so it can develop as a medium for entertainment. The few good ones I have experienced have been amazing, immersive experiences. For example, Miyubi, Allumette, Old Friend reminded me of the first time watching Avatar in 3D at the movie theatre (experiencing something new and magical).
However, this VR episode is a muddled mess. As much as I want to support it, I cannot recommend it. There's just too many things that make it difficult to enjoy. First of all, the story is not well written or structured. There's actually very few spoken lines in the entire 24 minute runtime. Most of the time the camera is too busy moving around at very weird angles and also scales to even notice what's supposed to be happening. There's just very poor direction in this episode. There's a few "violent" scenes, but I have no idea why they happened. The dialogue did not help at all in deciphering what's going on. The scenes are too dependent on the visual surroundings that are supposed to carry the story forward (I suppose is what the director was going for).
Secondly, the game world visuals are not pretty to look at. The world look very grimy, with an almost 70s style grainy movie filter. There's very few colors in the world, mostly green and browns. It's a very poor game engine to use, ps3 era type of game engine and the textures are very low. There's nothing visually appealing to look at and enjoy. And the camera just keeps moving around, high, low, around, now everything is big, now everything is small.
Lastly, the voice acting is okay. There's just very few lines. I'm sure the actors did their best job, but how can you convey anything with such short dialogue? There's really not much there for the actors to have worked with. The music is also fine. In fact, it's probably the best thing about the episode, but still nothing too memorable either.
Overall, I was bored watching this and was waiting for the 24 minutes to be over. And at the end you're just riding on the longest elevator ride with a view of what might as well be a parking lot. And the animations of the guy there (behind you) are just being repeated of him smoking. I won't ask for a refund, but I don't think this episode is worth anything.
Rate 3\/10 only buy if you want to support VR movies so hopefully we get better content, i.e. you have money to burn
And i feel like i am half blind.... Even if this were free, I would not recommend it.
The story is not clear at all and half of it is a camera just very, very slowly creeping down hallways with no action or narrative in sight. It has some interesting camera mechanics, but they bring nothing useful to the experience. The entire thing felt painfully empty.
The goal of a VR narrative expierence that this seemed to be trying to create was much better achieved by Quanero, which is a vastly more interestig and engaging experience.
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