Every once in a while, something comes along that changes the way that we look at a form of media. For video, it was sound, then technicolor, then the advent of YouTube. For music, it was the cassette, then the CD, then iTunes. And for video games, it was the switch to 3D, then multiplayer, and now virtual reality. However, it always seems like VR is just inaccessible to most gamers. Or at least, it doesn’t seem practical. But a little game called Budget Cuts could change that.
Budget Cuts is what people in technology call a killer app. That is to say, it’s the one thing that pushes a technological innovation into the mainstream, so that it cannot be ignored. But what’s so special about the VR title from Neat Corporation? Let’s take a proper look, and see just why gamers should really be looking forward to this one.
Games To Watch For: Budget Cuts
Essentially, Budget Cuts is that James Bond video game that you always wanted, but really never got. The only thing is, it’s without the titular character. This title is a stealth game coming exclusively to VR. We don’t know a ton about the game just yet, but we do know that it takes inspiration from Valve‘s Portal series. As a virtual reality exclusive title, it is inherently intriguing. What’s even more interesting than the game itself, is the control scheme that Neat Corporation uses for this one. Here’s a picture of what you might look like while playing Budget Cuts.
Sarah playing Budget Cuts. Closely inspecting the floor (or peering through a vent at robots in her reality) pic.twitter.com/L71TUmcfhs
— ColinNorthway (@ColinNorthway) January 30, 2016
Quirky, yeah, but also undeniably interesting. The HTC Vive is the main VR port that this game will be coming to, just as a note. The controls are extremely motion-based, and from what we can tell, they’re extremely accurate. Ben Kuchera of Polygon.com noted that the controls give “a rush that I might never have experienced in a game before.” That’s high praise for any control scheme, especially motion controls.
Well, we know it’s a spy game. You sneak around, pick off robots with throwing knives, all your classic spy stuff. However, everything is done in a goofily stylized, even cheerful aesthetic. Outside of that, there is really no known story to this game. Throughout the game, you’ll be throwing around a little ball that opens up portals for you to get around the room. More on that later.
So what’s the point of this whole thing? Trying to find your job application in this giant office building, of course. Like I said, this title takes something so brooding and makes it goofy and lighthearted. So sure, it doesn’t have the most in-depth story ever, but neither did Tetris or Super Mario Bros. Hopefully, Budget Cuts can avoid the need to have a dark, gritty story; a trap that many stealth games fall into.
That Special Something: The Art of Movement
Every great game, or nearly every great game, has a great gimmick. Furthermore, every great game has a great gimmick that doesn’t come off like a gimmick. (See here: FLUDD from Super Mario Sunshine). Rather, it integrates itself so well into the game that you barely even notice it. Budget Cuts has possibly one of the best control gimmicks in video game history. You see, it’s a lot like Portal. Only better.
As stated earlier, you’ll be using a Portal-style system to get around a lot of the time. Simply, you throw the ball wherever you want to teleport to, and you end up there. It’s simple, yeah, but it also is incredibly effective. Nearly everyone who has played this game’s beta has noted that the controls feel incredibly fluid and intuitive. Additionally, the instantaneous nature of the portal allows the VR to stay easy on the eyes as you move around. As far as control schemes go, this one is absolutely foolproof.
Why You Should Be Looking Forward To It
Budget Cuts is a novel concept, and a great spin on an established genre. This game, again, could be the killer app that forces virtual reality into the mainstream. With its innovate control scheme, it could be the first game to work with VR, and not for VR. If you don’t own an HTC Vive virtual reality system, you might want to put in an order now. Finally, and this might seem a little childish, it just feels good to feel like a spy. Come 2018, we’ll all be getting our Bond on with Budget Cuts.
Main image credit: