Mervils: A VR Adventure — Direwolves, Deserts and Dragons
So, you have gotten your hands on an Oculus Rift. You happen to be an RPG fan and you also have a soft spot for the platformer genre. At this current point in time there’s plenty of choices for you to sate that appetite of yours!
You can have a look at some of this last year’s acclaimed titles such as Chronos or Lucky’s Tale. However — if you want to try something new, you can have a look at Mervils: A VR Adventure. It’s probably a great fit for you!
The RPG-inspired platformer built by VitruviusVR appeared on the Oculus Store earlier today, and is currently in it’s Early Access Game state. The game supports room-scale and is available for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PSVR. Let’s have a look!
Mervils: A VR Adventure
The sounds of medieval Celtic music greets you as you fire up the game on your device of choice. What you will then be met by is a platformer game that’s gorgeously atmospheric and inspired by MMO’s and RPG’s in it’s visual expression and art form. It’s heavily cartoonish, so don’t expect this to feel like the next Baldur’s Gate though. That being said — the cartoony feel is part of it’s charm and there’s great things in store for you.
In the game, you take on a perilous quest as you venture through an ancient kingdom with the help of your loyal sidekick — a powerful wizard by the name of Merlyn. Together, you hunt down the infamous demon Balazar as well as chase down the great Mervil book. Here’s a few features of the game:
- Upgrade your armor! Your adventurer begins the journey with a simple sword, no armor, and merely a few coins, but the Mervil Armory is filled with helmets, bracers, pauldrons, axes, and swords to help defeat your enemies!
- Learn the stories of old. The Mervil Kingdom has been in existence for thousands of years and the local villagers know the lay of land better than any other. Their stories and quests will light the way through the darkest corners of the Mervil worlds.
- Catapults, Ballistas, and Cannons! Your sword is not the only weapon in the lands, find hidden catapults and ballistas to destroy Balazar’s enemies and seek out cannons to fly high through the Mervil skies!
- Travel by Rail, Ice, and Sea! Balazar’s attack is imminent and you’ll need to find quicker ways to travel across the lands. Along the way you will find a Mine Cart, a Sleigh at the top of an icy tundra, and a Pirate Ship in Crystal Bay. Be wary though, travelling at great speed comes with great consequences!
A note on RPG’s
If you are looking to include the RPG tag in your brand there are a few key elements that needs to be kept in mind. The RPG genre as a whole is an old-school favorite, and a close personal treasure to many gamers out there.
If we take a step back from Virtual Reality for a moment and think back and look at the core of role-playing even before the screen was it’s medium, we’ll notice a few characteristics to the genre:
- There is an ongoing, compelling story that is constantly reshaped based on your input and there’s a twist and turn to your character every now and then.
- Every individual you meet has a background story, an agenda and a character progression.
- There is a vast number of items, relics and treasures to be uncovered, identified and eventually sold as you progress.
- A large open-world environment is ready for you to explore while on the road for your main storyline.
- No two playthroughs are ever the same
These characteristics has been key measures of RPG success ever since the pen and paper versions of Dungeons & Dragons began to circulate in the late 1900’s. Since then, they have gone on to inspire a vast number of digital RPG’s. If you want to have a look at some of the top-tier experiences, we recommend Pillars of Eternity, Baldur’s Gate, Planescape: Torment and Dragon Age: Origins.
So — How is Mervils picking these things up?
Before we begin ticking off on this list, it’s important to state that Mervils: A VR Adventure does not aspire to, nor does it claim to be a pure RPG. The RPG part is secondary, so every box ticked in the RPG box is an added bonus to the core experience:
- Mervils packs a large number of quests
- There is an open world to explore.
- The equipment-system is very similar to high-end titles in the MMORPG genre.
The Combat System
On the Oculus — as you fight your way through the ancient world, you will quickly realize that that you need to be careful. If you’re not paying attention when planning out the flow of your fight, you can quickly find yourself struck with a bad case of Adventuer’s Demise. Minsc & Boo will not approve (reference).
Careful coordination is needed, and if you find yourself equipped with an HTC Vive, you will be the master of magic as you get equipped with the Wand of Teleportation and the Wand of Power. These two relics will help you on your way to end Balazar’s evil reign once and for all. For a quick demonstration, see the video below:
According to the team themselves, then they are listening heavily to the voices of their community. This is great, and will be a critical part of the continuing development of the project which does seem to be heading in the right direction. Here’s a quote from the developers on the subject:
“Along the way we listened to your amazing feedback, and that has shaped the game into what it is today, an open-world RPG with a little-less platforming and a lot more quests. “
If you would like to get started on the Early Access version of the game, this is what you’ll need to get an optimal experience. The more the better, but for now, this is what you can get away with:
- OS: Windows 8 (64-bit)
- Processor: Intel Core i5–4590
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: Geforce GTX 770 OR AMD Radeon R9 280X
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 4 GB available space
What’s next for Mervil’s: A VR Adventure?
Given that the game is still in it’s Early Access stage, there’s much that remains to be seen.
If you would like to stay tuned on all the latest updates from VitruviusVR, there’s a lot of ways to go. You can check in on their website, follow them on Twitter, keep an eye out on their Facebook page or see how they fare on their YouTube channel.
Head over to their product page to claim a copy of the game right away!