With just about everyone jumping on the VR hype train, it seems we’re only a few years away from never ever leaving our houses again. Just this week Microsoft released a video unveiling a game based around their Hololens technology, Young Conker, which will feature the titular squirrel in a platforming game made entirely out of the room you’re playing in.
While I don’t know the technical specs, it seems the device maps out the room and can identify what objects will become platforms for Conker to jump around on, like tables, chairs, and even if the object is bouncy like a sofa cushion. This would appear to give the user the ability to create a fully customizable level made out of their room, allowing them to arrange furniture in such a way to make it either harder or easier for you to play, change up the layout, or to test Conker’s reactions to the various objects he’ll be interacting with.
The idea of a VR platformer is incredibly interesting, and you can imagine the possibilities of little characters running around your living space (Pikmin anyone!?). My only real gripe would be the choice of character here.
Really, Microsoft? You thought this was a good idea? Conker? All the access to Rare’s cute and cuddly mascots, and we went with Conker? We then not only went with Conker, we completely redesigned him to look like….oh geez, Conker what’d they do to you buddy? The general idea is that it’s supposed to be a younger iteration of the character (hence the title) but honestly it just looks like an attempt at a bad “updated” reboot. They say they’re working closely with Rare in the video, even showing us the concept art, but I have a hard time believing anyone from the original team had anything to do with this.
Also, anyone familiar with Conker knows he is not family friendly. I would assume that a company’s first real foray into this kind of VR would feature an inoffensive little mascot that anyone could play as without issue. Conker is most certainly not this kind of mascot. Another statement from the video talks about how Conker has a dedicated following, and he does; because his game was raunchy, stupid fun that was aimed at adult audiences. I can’t say for sure what they’re going to do, but I see him being “young” used as a way get around having to be the lovably offensive mess that he is. Something along the lines of “He wasn’t always so selfish, violent, and short on morals!” and I mean, technically he wasn’t, but thats not the drunken squirrel we fell in love with.
But hey, maybe his personality won’t change at all! He does appear to snap an enemy’s neck in the trailer. I just don’t see why they couldn’t have used a different Rare IP, or created their own charact- oh right Conker has a huge following and is easily recognizable.
It’s still quite early, mind you, and I’ve seen quite a bit of outcry since the video went up. It may also never be completely released to the public either! As of now its only part of the HoloLens development kit. Maybe they’ll change some things. Maybe it’ll get even worse! Or maybe it’ll turn out better than we all imagined, and curmudgeonly old Rare fans like me are just stuck in the low-poly past.
The Verdict So Far
Cute little VR animals jumping all over my living room? Yes.
Conker being that cute little VR animal? NO!
Seen the video? What do you think? Leave a comment!