Published on May 26th, 2020 | by Michael Newman0
Wolf & Pigs: Out for Vengeance
As kids, most of us grew up with the story of the Three Little Pigs. In the story the pig brothers each build their own homes based on how lazy each pig was. The laziest pig builds his house out of straw, the second builds his house out of sticks (not wood mind you, sticks…because wood would take to much effort) and the third and most dedicated pig built his out of bricks.
In the story as we all know, the villain (aptly named the Big Bad Wolf), decides he wants some porkchops and goes after each pig, blowing down each house until he gets to the brick house, where he ultimately fails to capture his dinner.
What if I told you however, that the story we all grew up on, was a lie? What if in the story, the pigs hunt down and kill all the wolves and terrorize the countryside that they live in? This is the premise behind Wolf & Pigs: Out for Vengeance, a VR FPS gaming experience by South Korean developer Visualight.
The story in Wolf & Pigs is played out on screen in an almost carnival-like experience. Utilizing a wagon to show a puppet like rendition of the events as they are to unfold on screen. Here we learn that the wolf (you), are the last surviving member of your wolf pack.
Your arms had been torn from your body, but a good Samaritan saved you, and attached robotic limbs so you can carry out your vengeance on the “little pigs”. We learn that the three brothers are terrorizing the community and you are just the right person to take care of them. The story is simplistic, but does a good job setting the tone with it’s incredibly unique visual take and interesting characters.
VR gameplay is always one of those aspects that are typically hit or miss, when done well however, it can create an immersive and fun experience (and not leave you sick in the process).
It is clear, from the very beginning that the developers at Visualight, knew exactly what they were doing when creating this VR experience. One of the biggest gripes I have with lots of VR games, is how movement is handled. There is usually a fine line between allowing free movement, and the nausea level that can go along with that for some people.
One of the ways that developers have worked around this is to allow teleporting (picking a spot and instantly being teleported there, without physically moving). While I know it can be done well in some cases (Doom VFR for example), I’ve never been a fan of it. To me, the teleporting aspect completely removes you from the VR experience.
The brilliant way that Visualight got around this was by equipping the wolf with arms that can be used as grappling hooks, that allow you to flow from one grapple point to the other seamlessly. It works incredibly well, and when you are traversing the environment from one beam to another, it can almost feel like you are spider-man swooping between the skyline of New York.
Your arms are thankfully multi-purpose, so you can use them to move from one location to another, swap out to your guns (of which there are many different types), or grab bombs that you can drop on unsuspecting piggies.
It’s worth noting that bombs are also a way that you can acquire health to ensure your vengeance is not cut short. In an interesting component, you throw these bombs (typically scattered around the map where there is a high concentration of foes) at the pigs scattered around the map. This causes the enemies to be knocked unconscious for a few moments, and if you are quick, you can use your grapple to grab them and they turn into food items.
Items such as bacon increase your health, where items such as a half-eaten burger or doughnut cause you to vomit. I personally think that the wolf should get extra health for eating a doughnut, but that’s probably just the quarantine talking in me. As one might expect in a true VR experience, when you grapple the food you must take it up to your mouth to “eat” it. As I said, a lot of thought went into the VR experience as a whole and it clearly shows.
That’s not to say that all is sunny and right in Wolf & Pigs. While the game mechanics generally work very well, there are times where you grapple to close to a building, and either are half-way in the building, or you need to find a grapple point to try again. Thankfully I never got stuck in the environment where there was no way to grapple out, so while it was an annoyance, it certainly wasn’t a game breaking experience.
Other things are more an issue with the VR experience itself, and not specific to only this game. For example, throwing bombs can be a bit frustrating. Misjudging the correct distance and strength of your throw can result in a miss that alerts enemies and can result in a serious loss of health. While the game does have lives, and allow you to pick up at various checkpoints, if you are already seriously wounded, the net result is usually restarting the level over completely.
The levels thankfully aren’t too large, and typically can be completed in five to ten minutes, so even restarting from the beginning isn’t that much of an annoyance.
Graphically the game is beautiful, the colorful cartoon graphics and bright varied environments work perfectly for the game. Enemies are humorous and while the game itself is violent, it’s done in such a cartoony way, that it’s no more violent than watching an old Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon. In fact, visuals will almost make you feel as if you are front and center in an old Warner Bros. cartoon.
Wolf & Pigs: Out for Vengeance is a true joy to play. While it can suffer from some of the inherent problems with many VR games today, they never prevented me from having an enjoyable experience. There are areas where I did get frustrated, but the fact that trial and error rarely result in more than a few minutes of wasted time, allowed that frustration to pass very quickly.
There are so many sub-standard VR games on the market, that when you find one that is a joy to play such as Wolf & Pigs, it draws you back into the awe of experiencing VR for the first time. If you are looking for a silly game, that does VR brilliantly, then look no further then Wolf & Pigs: Out for Vengeance.
What I liked: Fun Grappling component, beautiful cartoon visuals, humorous take on the Three Little Pigs story.
What I liked less: Some difficult areas can be difficult to manage based on limitations with the VR experience.
4 out of 5 stars