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Wolfdog Interactive, a studio you might know from VR Dungeon Knight and Skyworld, launched a Kickstarter campaign for their next game: Panther VR. We went hands-on with an early pre-alpha build of this stealth-action game.
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In Panther VR you’ll become a Panther Agent after being recruited by an international secret organization of master thieves who work for the highest bidder. The developers promise a sandbox where you can choose how you play. Go silent and stealthy or go gun blazing, it is up to you. The missions you take on are randomly generated and unlimited in multiple pre-build locations. The game is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
We had the chance to try out a pre-alpha demo of the game, so in this article and video, I will share my first impressions.
In the demo, I was able to play through one 15-minute mission. I already had two weapons at my disposal: a two-handed rifle, and a handgun with a silencer. I also had access to two gadgets, a grappling hook and a remote-controlled vehicle. You open your inventory by holding a button, and if you let the button go after hovering your arm on the item you want, you’ll equip the item. This spatial interface allows for fast-paced action.
The first part of the demo showed what the stealth mode is like. In one area, I had to find a way to move from one door to another. In between, there were cameras and guards. I could either take them out using my gun or try to sneak in stealthily. I chose the latter.
There were multiple choices to take down guards. I could stab them with a screwdriver that could kill them or hit them in the back of the head with a wrench and then drag their bodies out of sight to avoid raising suspicion. I also had the option to distract them by throwing items that I found around me. If a guard detected me, the detection level raises. I could then choose to hide behind a counter or in a locker to wait until the detection level was normal again.
Different objectives needed various gadgets too. I had to deploy my drone on wheels for one of them. I gained control over the drone by holding a tablet with two hands and then using the controller’s thumbsticks to drive it around. On the tablet’s screen, I was able to see what the drone’s camera saw. Using it to drive through a small vent into a locked room I could hack a router to open the door to complete the objective.
The second part of the demo was more action-packed. After opening a vault, I had to defend the area from waves of armed security forces until I was able to escape. While I ran to the extraction point, I encountered more security forces and the combat activated bullet-time at specific locations, making me feel pretty cool as I shot the guards in slow motion.
Even in its pre-alpha state, the game already shows a high level of polish. So it looks promising to me, and I’m excited to see more. At the time of this writing, the campaign has raised nearly 80% of its funding goal on Kickstarter with two weeks remaining.
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