Chinese developer Winking Entertainment will be debuting their Playstation VR title in the form of an sci-fi adventure game, “Unearthing Mars” when March 7 arrives in the West. The game will be releasing digitally on the PSN store.
Unearthing Mars comprising of 10 different stages (over an average playthrough length of 2 hours), each holding their own unique gameplay mechanics. The player takes on the role of a co-pilot of a space expedition team, tasked to unravel the secret of this mysterious red planet by investigating and recovering the fragments of the mysterious Phobos satellite that may hold clues to the possibility of an ancient civilization that once roam the planet.
The player gets to experience operating a Mars landing craft vehicle on the planet surface, as well as exploring on foot and rover vehicle in the first half of the title. In the second half, there are more gameplay elements, which includes puzzle solving and first person shootout.
The game was developed by 4 smaller teams, rather than the traditional of 1 team. This is necessary according to Winking Entertainment, in order to tackle the challenge of making a new VR product like this. Each team is responsible for each aspect of the gameplay: One may work on the landing craft cockpit simulation, another for the rover vehicle driving mechanic, the third team works on the underground exploration part, Mars surface and puzzles, while the fourth team works on the shooting part.
According to the developer, they also invested in facial and body motion capture equipment to enhancement the fluid movement quality, before they were fine tune by hand.
To ensure a full immersion experience, the game was designed with as little on-screen UI as possible, and instead relies on voiceovers to guide the player and for narrative purpose. The team even flew to various countries to seek out native voice actors and actresses for the most authentic and convincing voiceovers.
This title was first released in the Asia market in 19th Jan. There’s no word regarding a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift version. The game is currently being showcased at GDC, #2415 South Hall.