Reality Fighters Preview -- The Preferred Way to Fight in Public and Avoid ArrestBy Sinan Kubba - Posted Sep 12, 2011
With Sony’s push behind Vita at Germany’s Gamescom 2011, it still feels like the push is behind the technology rather than the software, understandably of course. Very few of the games on show didn’t entirely revolve around the touch controls or the online capabilities, so it was almost predictable when my Reality Fighters demonstrator kept me firmly away from the fighting and focused completely on how it uses the console’s augmented reality tech.
He took a photo of me using the Vita’s camera – no broken lenses, thank God – before quickly customizing my scanned form into an utterly depraved hybrid. He claimed the camera could scan me (or someone a smidge more famous) in from a photo, but we stuck with my photographed visage.
We could’ve also played around with my body size, skin colors, and so on, but instead we moved on to clothing. Above the neck, this consisted of a hairstyle that resembled a mix between an Elvis quiff and a wedding cake, complete with thick sideburns. Below the neck, I sported a hippie-style golden flared shirt, pink dungarees, black leather boots, all complimented with a stringy pink necktie. I looked like I’d stumbled out the clothes racks of every costume shop you've ever visited. All of which would totally explain my weapon of choice: a huge champagne bottle.
The hundreds of pieces of clothing and weapons certainly allow for some wacky combinations, and similarly, certainly no one can doubt the game’s technology. Seeing my crazy fighter transplanted into the demo floor in front of me was very impressive, and it was with great precision that the demonstrator managed to make the hall’s doors in the background sync up with a train occasionally appearing out of the doors of a tunnel. It looked wacky, it looked fun, and the tech looked great. The shadowing the fighters created upon the real-time reality on screen was fantastic.
But great tech and wacky customization will only get you so far, and with Reality Fighters, no matter how much the developers stress, it feels like there’s a reason we’re not seeing much of the actual fighting just yet. With so many different fighting styles to choose from–again from the regular like kickboxing to the wacky like ballet–one wonders just how much depth the fighting can have to it without becoming horribly unbalanced.
From what we’ve seen live and in trailers, the fighting is quick enough but looks basic and limited in terms of combinations and fluidity. It’s hard to tell without getting our hands on it, of course, but the question remains: who is this game really trying to appeal to? Fighting fans, or a less traditional audience? Surely not both?
Like most of what Sony was showing in Germany, Reality Fighters is expected to be released in the Vita launch window. We get the tech and we like it, but we’d like to get our hands dirty with it soon.