Battle through the streets of Tokyo in your own tank with Tokyo Warfare.
Need to let off a little steam? Tokyo Warfare might be the best way to do it. It’s a multiplayer tank warfare shoot-em-up, deep in development for both desktop and VR release, enabling players to choose a team, jump into a tank and then battle to the death through the streets of Tokyo; with a little Manga fun thrown into the mix.
Start a new match and you’ll find yourself floating over a fictional version of Tokyo, some hundred feet in the air. This acts as the games lobby, letting you choose a player name before jumping into the action. Once the game begins you’ll find yourself in a third-person view, with the tank sitting in front of you ready for battle. While this view mode works well in virtual reality, it’s worth jumping into first-person mode to really enjoy the experience. Navigating small streets is easier, while enemy tanks also appear slightly closer, making it easy to aim and fire over long distances.
Battling tanks in virtual reality is just as fun as we imagined. The virtual crosshair hovers mid-air, making it easy to distinguish from the background, while stereoscopic rendering helps you to judge the distance between your canon and the enemy tank. Battles soon descend into mad machine-gun fire interspersed with the odd canon fire, with tanks zig-zagging from one street to another. Explosions marking the death of a player could be more dramatic, however; leaving us often unsure as to whether we’d actually destroyed an enemy tank.
Controlling the game is best done with the keyboard and mouse at the time of writing. The WASD keys control movement, changes the camera view with E cycles through ammo types. You can also self-destruct your tank by hitting K at any time. The city of Tokyo is fun to explore, with a mixture of wide open streets, narrow alleyways and small bridges to cross, but you’ll soon encounter checkered walls that prevent you from venturing further. While this does limit exploration, it makes finding an enemy tank easier.
Graphically the game has a nice clean look that makes enemy tanks easy to spot. There’s still some work to do, with a handful of repetitive areas and some low-res texturing, but this is a game that’s easily recognisable, and it looks vivid and clear in the Oculus Rift headset. Interestingly, by default the VR build defaults to a simple rendering mode that disables real-time reflections, SSAO, HDR and more. This actually works to the games benefit when played on the Rift, making for a sharper image while also adding depth to the stereoscopic rendering. Sure, you can opt to render the game with all its bells and whistles, but you’ll only find yourself in a murky, blurry version of the game.
It’s still early days for Tokyo Warfare. The development team are fixing new bugs on a daily basis while improving the game with new features including a better damage model and graphical effects, but the game shows promise, and we’re looking forward to seeing more. You can follow it’s development progress by heading over to the Oculus Forums, but we’ll bring you more news as it happens over the next weeks and months.