The Assembly: New Press Previews Round-Up
That’s right – the wait is almost over! Yesterday we announced that The Assembly is coming to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on July 19th, and will release on PlayStation VR later this year. We released an official preview trailer, a game overview video featuring two members of our daring development team, as well as some preview screenshots that highlight The Assembly’s intriguing characters and mysterious storyline.
But that's not all. Fabulous members of the games press have also shared their impressions of the game following their recent hands-on play sessions. We travelled far and wide (the USA, Germany and … well, our own office) to treat some news-hungry journalists to a two-hour preview of our first-person interactive story in VR. We’ve pulled together the highlights, so read on for a whirlwind tour of the soon-to-be-revealed world of The Assembly.
Playstation.blog: Explore The Assembly, launching on PlayStation VR later this year
We penned a guest post for the PlayStation Blog, covering The Assembly’s launch for PlayStation VR later this year. We chat about what the Assembly is, who the characters are, and how we have crafted this interactive story for virtual reality.
Bit-Gamer: The Assembly: VR Preview
"The Assembly is a promising sight: a virtual reality game that unfolds in a smart way and treats its players maturely, presenting a lot of information and letting them draw their own conclusions. …If the rest of the game maintains this level of quality for its entire run, this could be one of the first killer apps for the big budget headsets."
Digital Trends: The Assembly stands out as one of the most complete VR experiences yet.
"The Assembly is an engaging and well produced game, made with genuine enthusiasm for sharing what VR has to offer. It stands out as one of the most comprehensive games we’ve yet seen, and as such will fill a necessary role for many of VR’s early adopters, eager for games into which they can really sink their teeth."
"Puzzles cap off a gradual and elegant tutorial designed to get people used to the core concepts of the game and virtual reality itself. You start with non-interactive moments that only allow you to look around, then locomotion is added, and finally you’re given the means to manipulate the environment."
"I get the sense that this could be the breakthrough game for VR storytelling. The Assembly's atmosphere and atypical setting evoke memories of BioShock, Half-Life, and Dishonored, with the way they all delve into mysterious, alluring slices of what feel like fully-realized worlds. The difference here is that you won't have to fight for your life, leaving you free free to explore and evaluate your immersive surroundings at your leisure."
Game Reactor: The Assembly Hands-On
"The Assembly's moody cold palette and ambient sounds work to create an atmosphere that feels frightfully tense, especially when you're trespassing in your co-workers offices and prying for information. When entering a new room there's the unsettling sense that somebody may be soon to return as computers remain active, speakers boom with music, and experiments are ongoing."
GameSpot: If Clue was a VR game.
“The Assembly is shaping up to be a promising narrative experience, and the time I spent with it gave me just enough of a glimpse at its story to want to know more about Madeleine, Cal, and the world nDreams is building.”
Geek & Sundry: How The Assembly Solves VR Gaming’s Biggest Problem
“The Assembly refines the teleport mechanic. When you see the ghost of where you will go, it sticks at hot spots, such as where to operate a computer or open a door. This gives you confidence that you’ll be in the right place, thus exploring a room is less frustrating.”
"If there’s anything The Assembly left me with after my 2 hours of playing, though, it’s questions, and I think that means the developers - nDreams - have done exactly what they intended to. There are several layers of conspiracy running through the organisation that is outcasting one character and testing another, but in either case, I don’t know why, and am absolutely enthused by the idea of delving deeper into this sci-fi world to find out."
“It's the first VR game I've played that feels like something I can sit down with for an hour or more at a time, thanks in equal parts to an intriguing story, lovely world detail, and gamepad controls that ingeniously solve many of the long-standing problems with medium.”
“So story-wise, The Assembly seems well worth your time. I don’t know how it’ll wrap up, but I do know the demo ended on a cliffhanger in Chapter Six and I wished I could keep playing—a good sign.”
PlayStation Universe: The Assembly preview: VR gaming done right?
“I like the direction that The Assembly is heading in. There is much in the way of intriguing mystery and conspiracy in the early chapters I played with novel ways of implementing the puzzles Madeleine faces into the design of the facility.”
“The Assembly was heavily inspired by point-and-click adventure games; it's an interactive story with puzzles. In that respect, The Assembly doesn't feel like a game that could only be done in VR, but it does make terrific use of the format in ways that enhance nDreams' storytelling aims in a meditation on bioethics.”
That Videogame Blog: PREVIEW / The Assembly (VR)
"One of the most amazing features of The Assembly… is the interactivity of the world within which you are placed. Every single cupboard, closet, draw, locker, and refrigerator could be opened and peered into, every sliding door hissed open to reveal a new area, and every PC could be used to read through the kind of hilarious emails that you might expect employees of such an organization to send one another. It’s attention to detail at its finest."
"The Assembly is an important first step for nDreams to take as they embrace VR technology. Getting the movement systems right was absolutely vital, and something that other studios could potentially learn from, but it goes beyond that, with minor touches to the interface that brings computer screens towards you to read, mastering 3D positional sounds, so you can pinpoint where something is without looking, and so on."
"nDreams have crafted a richly detailed universe full of memorable people and moments. Over a week removed from actually playing the preview build, I can still recall specific scenes and phone calls as if they happened in real life. Part of that is due to the believable setting and wonderful writing, but part of that is also due to how intimate VR is as a medium for storytelling."
VR Focus: Preview: The Assembly
"Overall, the narrative that has been worked on primarily by the developers is unnerving yet enticing, the characters are easy to understand and get behind. The finish to the chapters that are currently completed gives the title a more premium look compared to many other videogames with more basic detail, and the surrounding audio gives it a whole new dimension."
VR Source: The Assembly hands on
"Although the game is done from a first person perspective, we’re happy to report that we didn’t experience any kind of sickness during our game time – clocking in close to an hour in fact! That’s pretty impressive if you ask us, especially when many first person games we’ve checked out for VR can quickly be a test of how long before motion sickness begins to settle in."
So, there we go! We’d like to say a huge thank you to all press who took the time out to play The Assembly, and we can’t wait for gamers to finally get their hands on more than two years’ worth of our work. Make sure you keep an eye on our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more reviews and latest info about the game.