I am the law!
Shown at Comic-Con 2016, one of the more humorous VR games in development is Giant Cop: Justice Above All by Other Ocean Entertainment. This novel game combines the concepts of a towering Japanese monster movie (like Godzilla) with upholding the law, and tosses in a plethora of cheesy 1970s cop movie style. The result is a game that encourages me to experiment and had me laughing the entire time.
It's my first day on the job as a rookie cop in Micro City, and my captain tasks me with making arrests in the hub of the city. In this demo, movement is limited to four spots in a square around the city, and instead of walking, I can teleport to any one of them any time I choose. The Oculus Rift controllers moves two large hands used to pick up objects, and each hand can pick up anything that's too far away. Since I'm several stories tall, one button on each controller lets me extend each arm. Talk about exploiting the long arm of the law!
My demo starts out in a linear fashion, as I was told to arrest five perpetrators of different crimes like being drunk and disorderly or streaking. It's really funny to look down on characters roaming the streets and moving around on top of buildings, especially when they start to fight each other. What's even funnier is the arrest procedure, which consists of literally grabbing a perpetrator and then tossing him or her into a giant hole (like a square tube) on top of the police station. Apparently, they slide right down the hole into a holding cell, and that's that.
At first I just tossed them into the hole as if I was playing ring toss, but then I decided to mix it up and throw in some basketball moves. First I flicked lawbreakers in an overhand fashion, then I attempted a few hook shots, and eventually tried some around-the-back shots. What's cool is that the game reads the strength of the throws, so I actually had to use some skill to get the perpetrators in the arrest tube. Otherwise, the hapless humans go flying over the police building or crash into it and explode because… well… everything is filled with gasoline. (So missing isn't that bad either.)
Eventually I was told to arrest people driving polluted vehicles, which is as easy as grabbing smoking cars and tossing them into the arrest tube. Then the local bank was robbed, and the criminals took off in a flying car. Saweet! I had to move to the right spot and snatch it out of the air and then, you guessed it, throw it into the arrest tube. The linearity soon went by the wayside as I was free to arrest any kind of lawbreakers I choose. It's even possible to arrest law-abiding civilians (good thing no one was filming me), and that plays into the good cop/bad cop mechanic.
As players complete tasks and keep arresting people, the vibe and the visuals of Micro City change from bright and sunny to dark and dismal. The giant cop starts off with good intentions, but eventually he gets drunk with power. Civilians begin to wonder if they're better off with him on the beat, and the giant cop wonders the same thing. Soon he's arresting anyone he wants whether they break the law or not.
Since it's a sandbox experience, the giant cop is free to go on whatever rampage he wants, and the developers encourage that. For example, a giant tennis racket sits on top of one building for no reason other than to let players use it if they want. I picked it up and started swatting civilians and objects off the top of buildings and watched them smash into the sides of other buildings. Then I started using civilians as tennis balls and sent them flying off into the distance. I also grabbed the police helicopter out of the sky and smashed into into the ground and tossed civilians into another helicopter to see it explode and fall to the ground.
Since what I played was a tech demo, the gameplay was rather limited. However, I was told that the final game will incorporate additional mechanics and will have around two hours of story if players barrel through it. Of course, it can last a lot longer if players choose to ignore the rules and forge their own path, just like a typical movie cop. Look for Giant Cop: Justice Above All to be released on the Oculus Rift for PC later in 2016.