It takes months of practice before driving a car becomes second nature, and that’s a chunk of machinery that’s about as ubiquitous as it gets. Ignoring stick shift for the moment, the controls are so standardized that even the greenest student has an idea of how to make it go before sitting in the driver’s seat. Right pedal go, left pedal stop, rotate the giant round bit to not fly off the road. Simple, right? Now imagine having no cultural introduction to the vehicle and instead of something ranging in size between a glorified go-kart and SUV it’s a giant lumbering behemoth of a mech, and you need to learn it on the fly. A Rogue Escape is an upcoming VR remake of 2019’s Nauticrawl, which was two games in one. The first part was learning what on earth all these buttons and levers do while the second was to become a good enough driver to pilot the mech to freedom through the hostile world represented on the radar screen. It was a great idea hampered by awkward controls, but being able to look around freely and just reach out to grab, press, or flip whatever switch catches your eye promises to clear that issue right up
A Rogue Escape is going to be more than a simple remake of Nauticrawl, and instead enhances it in any number of ways. Obviously VR is a big change, but the learning curve should be a bit more approachable thanks to the addition of user logs for tips on how to control the mech. It’s also aiming to be a bit more puzzle oriented, with the press kit likening the experience to an escape room. It will be interesting to see how that plays out, but just being able to go hands-on with all the dials, wires, and other assorted bits of steampunk mechanics necessary to persuade an alien technology to do much of anything is always fun, especially when there’s a reasonable underlying logic to the mechanisms.
Today sees the official announcement of A Rogue Escape’s release date for June 10, and to celebrate it comes with a brand-new trailer showing off a number of ways to play with the control systems. A mech is a complex beast and the one in A Rogue Escape needs five separate control centers to function, so it’s going to take a fair amount of trial and error and error and error to get that thing moving. With a little attention to detail and a willingness to flip all the switches, however, it should make sense in the end.