AUSTIN, TX — The undead army was gaining on me, and even though I wasn’t a good shot with my bow and arrows, I smiled a giant grin. Gauntlet, a game for the HTC Vive, inspired by the upcoming film Ready Player One, had the coolest bow and arrow gameplay I’d ever felt.
Holding the front of the bow with the controller in my left hand — pulling back on its virtual string and arrow with the controller in my right, I felt a tactile feedback that reminded me of the actual tension of using a bow and arrow. Yes, I tried archery at summer camp as a kid.
Gauntlet is one of the three games I played at the Ready Player One VR Arcade at SXSW, and even though I played it on a non-wireless Vive Pro, it still felt incredibly immersive. It, along with seven other games, will be coming to Viveport and SteamVR later this month.
Rise of The Gunters, a Ready Player One game I played on an untethered wireless Vive Pro, felt the smoothest and most lively. That adventure placed me and two other gamers in the role of Gunters, shooting Sixers (the baddies from the book-turned-movie), and was the sole multiplayer game I tried.
Going into this demo, I wasn’t exactly excited, because Ready Player One doesn’t exactly look like a great movie, but instead one that trades on nostalgia and turns childhood icons — such as The Iron Giant — into soldiers in some bizarre war for the future.
Leaving the demo, though, I’m actually slightly interested in the film. If only for whatever scenes in the movie inspire the Gauntlet game, a dungeon crawler that has you scavenging for food to survive between bow and arrow sessions.