After much anticipation, Atom Republic released its first demo on PS4 last night. Naturally, after doing two preview videos and articles for a couple of the previous demos released on PC (which can be found Here and Here), I decided to fire up my capture card and do another preview for it.
After playing Demo 5 and Demo 6 on PC, it was nice to play the demo with a Dual Shock 4 for a change. After hitting the triangle button to bring up the menus, I could see that this was basically the PS4 version of Demo 5. The first thing I was pleasantly surprised to find was the fact that I could make my avatar jump by swiping up on the touch pad. Considering the fact that avatars have collision detection built into them, I was able to jump onto of an avatar’s head and samba on top of their skull. While clearly, this is a proof of concept and a work in progress, this was a fun, little glitch that I wouldn’t mind seeing in the final version just because its mildly amusing.
As I played around with the menus a little more, I also found two dances from nDreams in addition to the Gungnam Style and Samba dances that I previewed in Demo 5. It was interesting to see that I could press the left analog stick forward and continue to dance and move at the same time. The effect was similar to an old 80s style music video.
I had the opportunity to once again head over to the shooting gallery and fire some bullets at the neon green targets. There were some overlay issues between the menu and the scoreboard. However It controlled quite well on the Dual Shock 4. The sensitivity on the right analog stick and L2 was pretty decent as I was picking off the virtual targets.
Targeting avatars with the Dual Shock 4 felt a little more intuitive than doing it with the mouse. Before I knew it, I was shaking hands, giving other avatars piggy back rides and then possessing them and making them do my bidding.
Afterwards, I found myself on the Ferris Wheel again, overlooking the entire theme park. Basically, with the exception of the two nDreams dances and jumping with the touch pad, I didn’t notice too much of a difference in the way both the PC and PS4 version played. However, the load times in between the park and the shooting range were exceptionally longer.
Once again, this is basically a demo that is in a pre-alpha state. It was released to show the community their intent and where they are going. This is important to remember moving forward, as we are basically given an intimate window into Atom Republic’s world and the development and struggle that go along with it. Its fun to mess around with but by triggering glitches and pointing them out, we are actually helping the development team fix up and polish the experience. The proof of concept is great considering the short amount of time they have been working on Atom Universe. I would not expect this in any way, shape or form to represent the final product. Its a journey, one we will all travel together. We all have different play styles and as a result, we will have different experiences and find different things we like and issues we experience. As a community, we are doing both Atom and ourselves a favor by giving them feedback on their work. This will help us by helping them shape and mold the foundation of what is to come in the future.
Finally, respect what they are doing, as nothing is instantaneous. This is not a call to arms. Rather, its a call to understanding between player and developer. They learn from our interactions and we gain from what they learn when the project is complete. Once again, I love what they are putting together and their proof of concept is really cool. However, we can all help this project by playing it and reporting what we are experiencing. In these early steps, this is quite important to the overall process. At the end of the day, they are still working on another world for all of us to interact in. Report the details but look forward to the overall picture.
If there any of you have any questions about Atom Universe, Atom Republic has started an ongoing series of videos that will address some of the questions that the community has been asking. Below is the first video which was released yesterday: