When Sony announced Megalith from developer Disruptive Games during its Paris Games Week (PGW) presentation on Monday, it resulted in more questions than answers. The short teaser video (embedded below) was just a cinematic with little context and other than the hosts stating that the title is a “hero shooter” after the trailer, we didn’t really have much to go on. That is, until now.
Yesterday we had the chance to interview Eric Ellis, Co-Founder and CTO of Disruptive Games, as well as Jake Biegel, Co-Founder and CCO, about the game’s development, how it plays, and what to expect. From what we can tell, they’re angling for this to be much more than just another VR shooter.
Both Ellis and Biegel have a strong background in AAA-quality game development, having worked at Insomniac on the Ratchet & Clank and Resistance franchises, in addition to credits at studios like LucasArts, Pandemic, Cyan Worlds, and Neversoft. They know a few things about making games.
At its core Megalith is a competitive multiplayer action game. Players will take control of large titans that tower over the rest of the levels and give players extreme powers. Each of the titans will play very differently, such as some being ranged, some being melee, some a hybrid, and so on. In this way, it’s like a “hero shooter” such as Overwatch, Quake Champions, or other similar games, but it has many more nuanced elements as well.
“We started early on playing around with a lot of ideas and something that stuck that was fun is the sense of scale,” explained Ellis. “The game originated around the idea of being larger than tiny the humans around you and we had a lot of fun prototyping and experimenting…we also continue to do research in what we call ‘training wheels’ for VR. With many people it seems like you can build up your tolerance to these things [like motion sickness] over time. We have settings that will make it feel more comfortable like snap turning.”
The focus on full smooth locomotion is a big break from the norm with VR right now, but it’s a welcomed approach that a lot of people seem to be embracing in lieu of the slower-paced, immersion-breaking teleportation system that many games opt for by default.
“Megalith really involves multiple different multiplayer game genres,” said Biegel. “The hero shooter labeling does come back to VR though. We have full body presence with smooth locomotion and that’s something only some experiences offer with your actual presence right now, so that lends to the hero shooter element because you feel like you’re really becoming the thing rather than just playing it with a controller.”
At its core, Megalith sounds like a hybrid hero shooter meets small-scale MOBA, meets competitive action game. The MOBA elements come into play because each titan will have access to “disciples” on the ground that follow and obey your orders, so your objective for the game is to usher disciples towards a designated portal location via a “symbiotic” relationship. When you add in the need to fight off other players’ titans, things can get hectic. As of now, matches are arranged in a 2v2 (two player titans plus disciples vs. two player titans plus disciples) setup, but a good amount of gameplay variety is planned.
We’re still waiting to find out more about the game, see it in action, and try it out for ourselves, but so far it sounds intriguing. Fast-paced, intense, competitive VR games are becoming more popular as the market continues to grow. Does this sound like the type of game you’d want to play on PSVR? Let us know down in the comments below!