Spider-Man and Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac Games is continuing their partnership with Oculus. The California-based developer announced that their next virtual reality title will be called Stormland. The Oculus Rift exclusive is an open-world adventure game that will allow players to explore a world either by themselves or with friends via a wide range of movement. It's currently set to release next year, although a specific timeframe wasn't announced.
This isn't Insomniac Games' first foray into virtual reality gaming. Back in 2016, the studio released three smaller titles: the Antarctic adventure Edge of Nowhere, the magic-based action game The Unspoken, and a fantasy brawler called Feral Rites. While all of the titles were generally well-received, they were recognized to be smaller in scope than Insomniac's previous gaming efforts. As such, the studio said they wanted to do a larger title now that they were used to developing virtual reality games, and the result is Stormland.
As seen in the announcement trailer above, mobility is a key feature of Stormland. Oculus says that players will be able to "bound up cliffs, glide across chasms, and fly through the slipstream with velocity" in order to get around the open-world. In addition to exploration, players will also have to combat monolithic guardians and sentries made out of titanium. They'll be able to do so by harnessing electricity, creating their own weapons, and detonating explosives.
Stormland looks much more ambitious than Insomniac Games' previous virtual reality offerings, and it's a great exclusive for Oculus to have in their catalog. The three-minute announcement trailer shows an impressive looking open-world for players to explore, and it's clear that experimentation will be a large part of the experience. Both combat and exploration seem built around giving players the necessary tools, and then seeing what methods they can come up with to solve the problems they face.
The timing of the announcement is also significant as it comes right before E3 2018. Insomniac Games has traditionally had a close relationship with Sony, but has worked with more publishers (including Microsoft for the Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive) in the past couple years. With two of their development teams deep into larger projects, it's highly unlikely that any additional games from the studio will be announced this year. That means anyone holding out hope for another Ratchet & Clank game to be released soon will have to wait unless the franchise winds up in the hands of another developer.