A popular VR game that I really like is POPULATION: ONE. POPULATION: ONE is a squad-based virtual reality (VR) Battle Royal game. Players team up as a squad and try to take down other teams using weapons and items found in the virtual world. At the same time, the play area for the game will progressively decrease, encouraging players to battle it out while killing players who are outside of the play area. The following screenshot shows the gameplay and its layout from the lens of the player.
There are a few reasons why this game is popular among gamers:
- This open-world survival game allows for players to explore freely and interact with the virtual game items however they wish, catering to the different playstyles people might have. It essentially gives players the ability and power to do things that they want, making the game flow less restrictive and less predictable. This different experience entices players to continue playing and effectively prevents a looping cycle of repetitive gameplay.
- Compared to other mobile or PlayStation games, players are no longer staring at a screen and pressing buttons to shoot your gun. Rather, players themselves are physically doing the actions of aiming or firing their guns, as well as reloading their guns. This elemental engages more than just the eyes and ears of the players but include physical movement too. Motions such as climbing and flying would provide an entirely new experience for players as they are unable to experience this on handheld Battle Royal games. These interactions and experiences cannot be easily captured without the use of VR.
POV of player while climbing
POV of player while flying
- Another interesting feature supported by POPULATION:ONE is its Vertical Combat System (VCS). This VCS offers vertical mobility and freedom for users to fly and glide as they wish. Climbing physically is vastly different from using a touchpad to maneuver their character. The VR-headset allows players to climb and look over their shoulders to fire at enemies. Such motion and action are generally not possible in the handheld version of Battle Royal games.
- Lastly, this game allows for crossplay using with different VR headsets. As more VR headsets enter the market, crossplay support ensures that players can use a VR most suited to their style. POPULATION:ONE currently supports Oculus Quest and Rift Platforms, HTC Vive, Windows MR, and Valve Index.
However, despite its popularity, there are also some features that need to be improved in POPULATION:ONE:
- The art style and graphics of the game needs to
be improved. Most of the buildings and guns in the game as simply designed which
makes some of the gameplay bland. Most of the buildings do not have textures
and surfaces to them which makes it unappealing to visual players who enter the
VR world. This shortcoming could be one of the reasons why POPULATION:ONE might
be losing its player base. Poor design of the characters in the same caused
many of the characters to look like each other. This provides little to no
customization for players to dress up their characters which is a highly sought-after
feature in many games today.
A possible way to improve this is to do a design revamp of all the characters in the game and introduce items such as accessories or different types of clothing so that more customizations can be done to the characters.
- Jagneaux, D. (2021, August 6). Last man standing: How bigbox’s ‘population: One’ successfully dropped Battle Royale into VR. Facebook Technology. Retrieved January 14, 2022, from https://tech.fb.com/last-man-standing-big-box-population-one-battle-royale-vr/
- One – battle royale in VR. POPULATION. (n.d.). Retrieved January 14, 2022, from http://www.populationonevr.com/