The promise of VR is that games will no longer be something you just play, but something you experience. One of the first titles to fully live up to that promise is The Assembly from nDreams. The Assembly is primarily an intense drama. It is a thriller disguised as a game.
You play as one of two different characters, Madeleine Stone and Cal Pearson. Through these two characters you begin to discover that a mysterious organization known only as “The Assembly” has been conducting ethically dubious experiments in an elaborate underground bunker. The Assembly is not sanctioned by any government and it is not interested in getting any attention.
Madeleine Stone is a brilliant neuroscientist with a checkered past who finds herself “invited” to take a series of tests to see if she would be a good fit for the organization. Cal Pearson has been working with The Assembly for some time as a virologist. Cal begins to suspect that his organization is up to more than he has been led to believe.
The game is structured like a novel. The story alternates between Madeleine’s and Cal’s perspectives. The developers have pulled out all the stops when crafting the world. When playing in VR you actually notice a height difference when playing as Madeleine and Cal. The subtle shift in perspective adds to the realism and is just one of the numerous details that The Assembly gets right about VR.
The story is deep. You have to do a lot of reading if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, including a lot of emails and files. The puzzles in this game are different. Many of the puzzles are morality tests. How far are you comfortable going in the name of science?
The graphics are incredible and for some players may get too realistic at times. The developers allow you to easily toggle between VR and flat screen mode. This is useful if you find yourself getting a headache after playing the game in VR for several hours.
It is easy to get sucked into the world of The Assembly and to lose track of not only time, but your space as well.
The game does not build to a single satisfying ending. There are actually several different endings to the game, depending on the moral choices you make as you progress. Many gamers will want to replay the game just to discover all the different paths the characters could take.
The Assembly often feels more like you are in a game than simply playing a game. The immersive and engaging story requires you to not only solve puzzles, but to probe your own sense of morality. This game will not only entertain you for untold hours, but it will also change the way you look at the world. Once you enter the world of The Assembly you will never views games or medical research the same way again.