The upcoming VR rhythm game, AGAINST, from developers Joy Way, the studio behind the VR Parkour title Stride, aims to bring together the best parts of its contemporaries, all the while packaged with the gritty flair of 1930s neo-noir.
Set in a nightmarish iteration of 1930s New York, players must run through the alleys and streets of the city slashing and shooting at ghoulish Mafioso. The game borrows elements from its contemporaries in the VR space: the slashing mechanics from Beat Saber and the gun-fu from Pistol Whip but makes an entirely unique game experience by melding these together as well as bring its own novel elements.
The game takes a fresh take when it comes to the locomotion in this rhythmic journey through the crime-ridden streets. There are sections where the player must stand stationary and battle the incoming hoards with directional cutting instructions. Other segments have players wall-running across the map using gesture-based jumping. As the player cuts through the Mafioso forces, the music swells and builds. All this climaxes to a boss fight at the end of every level. While the game does take the aesthetics of old-timey film noir it will come with modern music to be played in the form of 10 tracks. The game will come to have three difficulty settings: Easy, Hard, and Expert.
The game was originally revealed as a prototype in December 2020. AGAINST seems to have gone in a total aesthetic shift from its prototype build, which was more reminiscent of a low-poly Tron, to a more graphic novelesque style. At the time of the reveal of the prototype, Joy Way reassured players and media that its development would not affect Stride‘s. Two separate teams were working on each game respectively and Stride would be built on UE4 whereas AGAINST is developed on Unity.
AGAINST is expected to release for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index in Q3 2021. The game is currently available for Wishlist on Steam but the studio seems to have plans to release it on other storefronts later in the year.