Learning a New Machine Again as Nauticrawl Turns into A Rogue Escape

One of the more interesting gaming experiments of last year was Nauticrawl, which was about not knowing how to do a single thing inside a complicated piece of machinery.  Or at least not knowing at first, because as in all good permadeath adventures failure pays off in experience.  An escaped peon inside a giant walking armored tank can’t reasonably be expected to get too far, but the advantage for the player of death being a setback is in second chances.  Nauticrawl placed you at the controls with no instructions and then left you to it to hit buttons, pull levers, flip switches, and in general try to get the tank to move.  Learning was only the first part, though, because after getting a rough idea of how things worked it was off into the wilds, where the alien-tank equivalent of “turn key, lever to D, press floor pedal” simply wasn’t enough to survive.  A vehicle has a good number of systems working together, and each new run provided a little more experience to figure it all out.

The other thing it tried to provide was a full sense of immersion, which worked pretty well on a PC screen but would have been so much nicer in VR.  Reaching and grabbing a lever or flipping a switch is definitely a thing you can do with a few mouse clicks but it’s much nicer to use your hands instead, not to mention being able to focus on a screen by looking directly at it rather than having the game switch views when necessary.  That’s all set to change with the pending sequel to Nauticrawl, now renamed to A Rogue Escape, which has been designed bigger and fancier for the full VR experience.  Not only is it much more tactile but also a bit more helpful, thanks to notes left behind by the previous pilots.  It’s still an experiment that will probably end in capture or death, of course, but promises to be somewhat more inviting for the novice pilot attempting to escape to freedom.  There’s a weird steampunk world outside the walls of the tank, but it’s a lot safer to experience it from inside a giant shell of armor if only you can keep it moving.

A Rogue Escape is currently scheduled to come out for the standard range of headsets- Rift, Quest, Vive, and Index, some time in 2021.  If that’s the kind of thing that catches your attention not only is the launch trailer below but closed-beta signups are running over here.