Robo Recall in the test - for a handful of Robos

Author: Manuel Fritsch
Date: 2017-12-24 00:01:00
In the sweaty test of the virtual reality shooter Robo Recall, we save humanity from machines that have gone wild - and at the same time do our daily fitness program.

It all started so harmlessly: lip-sync emojis and self-driving cars were presented to us as future-oriented technologies in a happy morning . Now I stand between the canyons of a deserted metropolis and prepare for the next wave of wild service robots. The machines have emancipated themselves and want to wipe out all life on our planet. In an unprecedentedly large recall, it is now my job to stop the invasion of the infected robots - whatever the cost!

From the left I hear the shrill whine of a laser that is supposed to cremate me. I turn to the laser-armored combat drone, grab it bravely and throw it with impetus at the charging androids. When the robot swayed from the impact, I teleported into its back, hurled it up and juggled it with my shots like a beach ball in the air. Just in time notice the missile from the corner of your eye. I drop my gun and robot and reach for it. After sending the missile back towards its sender , I pull a second pistol out of its holster in a split second and unload the entire magazine onto the opponent's electrical protective barrier. The shield generator gives way at the last second and the explosion of the rocket tears the misguided tin can into a thousand pieces. Impressed by my efficiency, the rest of the robots pull away in panic. The operations management congratulates me over the air on my success. I am the best robo recaller ever !

A good (virtual) hand

Phew! I take off the Oculus Rift and need a break . The extreme tension is a fundamental part of the experience. Robo recall is not only nerve-racking, but also requires full, sweaty physical exertion. Opponents are constantly pouring in on me. These are usually loose cannon fodder , but only if I keep moving. If you bum at one point for a long time, you will inevitably see the game over screen.

Graphically impressive, little variety

In three graphically impressive urban areas based on New York City, hundreds of robots have to be artfully broken down into their individual parts. The cityscape captivates with its credible architecture and with graphics that are outstanding for VR conditions. Cars are reflected in puddles of water, glass fronts reflect the incident light, and the particle and explosion effects are among the prettiest things we've encountered in VR so far. The spatial feeling of the body and the illusion are also great when you look directly into the eyes of a huge, meter-high machine being. People with fear of heights should adjust mentally to the dizzying third area on the roofs of the skyscrapers .

Robo Recall is in the tradition of classic arcade shooters . Headshots, creative chain reactions and "holding in the air" with shots give extra points. Everything that looks cool and does a lot of damage keeps the score multiplier up longer and is commented on by two funny speakers from the operations center.

In addition to the primary, rather unimaginative mission objectives such as "destroy 25 robots in two minutes" or "throw 15 robots in the tractor beam", there are also a whole range of optional additional tasks. These should motivate to play the only nine levels over and over again. The more difficult »All Star« mode will only be unlocked when all additional goals in a level have been reached - which turns out to be difficult. Among other things, it is sometimes required to master a section completely without firearms or to stay under a certain, extremely tight time limit. With the heroic deeds, you earn stars with which you unlock new modules for the arsenal. With laser aiming aids, larger magazines and recoil dampers it is even more effective to hunt for points.

Stomach-friendly locomotion

The phenomenon of nausea during fast movements, which often occurs in VR games, was mastered very well by Epic Games with a very restricted mode of transportation . Only the upper body of the character can be moved freely, the feet remain on the floor as if glued. With a teleporter, we can then "beam" ourselves to new positions such as on roofs or behind sheltered cars.

The new position is sighted, and by rotating the analog stick we determine the new direction of view. If we let go, we will find ourselves at the target point after a brief crossfade. Due to the permanent change of position and point of view, we always lose orientation at the beginning, but with a little getting used to, we become noticeably better. After a few missions, control is intuitive. We elegantly trick the robots and use teleporting to our strategic advantage .

Robo Recall is an entertaining, visually impressive flagship title for the current technology level of virtual reality. The precise controls, the action-packed fights and the atmospheric, self-ironic presentation make Robo Recall a mandatory title for all VR enthusiasts . The high level of accessibility and stomach tolerance make the title interesting for newcomers as well, professionals and arcade fans are tempted by the hunt for the next high score and the optional bonus targets. Only the lack of variety dampens the otherwise excellent overall impression.