Respawn Entertainment is known for making fast, fluid shooters that feel good to play, whether in story-driven campaigns or frenetic multiplayer battles. So it says something that Peter Hirschmann, the game director of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond at Respawn, has a very high opinion of Oculus Rift - and the greater VR medium - and its potential as a permanent home for shooter games.
"What we've discovered is that, by our calculation, the Rift is the greatest platform for FPS that humanity has come up with," Hirschmann says during a press Q&A session for the new Medal of Honor. "It's not just the headset, it's the motion controls. I've spent a big part of my career trying to map natural human movement to Xs [Editor's note: I think he meant crosses] and Squares and Shift buttons, and leaning and ducking and trying to make that feel natural."
"You know how you lean in VR? You lean. You duck in VR? You duck. And the fact that you're actually aiming your hand and aiming the weapon, and not the crosshair, makes it a much more authentic experience."
Granted, Oculus is funding the development of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, so it does Hirschmann well to talk up the medium. And it's not like Above and Beyond is the first virtual reality shooter. But still, he wasn't just saying it for literal Facebook Likes. I got a chance to play a few missions of Above and Beyond at a recent preview event, and I comfortably detected that fluidity and polish we've come to expect from Respawn.
Granted, I also felt some of what my parents must feel when they attempt to play a modern shooter on a gamepad - flailing as I tried to remember which actions I should perform with my actual body and which ones can be achieved through the Oculus Touch controllers. That all seemed like the kind of early uncertainty that would fade with more time in the game, though, and I'm excited to see how the full version feels when it arrives next year, exclusively for Oculus Rift on PC.
Find more to play until then in our list of upcoming games for this year.