Holopoint Chronicle Preview | Sleek New Look and Diverse Gameplay


Holopoint is a great game, but it shows its age and some of the limitations that existed in VR at the time. The UnityScript offered its developers the opportunity to re-write the game and make that right. The effort was estimated at over a year, so it didn’t make sense for the team to release DLC to the original game. Instead, they created a new core game and called it Holopoint: Chronicle.

Similar to the way QuiVR rebranded its Early Access Self as Vanguard, the result was a platform that could be changed and tweaked based on fan feedback. A more rapid approach to development allows for more challenges and fresher content.

Holopoint | A Quick Backstory

Released in April of 2016, Holopoint doesn’t tell a story, and it has become one of the most recognizable titles in both VR and VR Fitness. Its tight archery action is fast-paced and takes advantage of six-degrees of freedom. Enemies can come from anywhere, and with varied game modes and challenges, Holopoint has a ton of replayability.

The old dojo is back. Credit: Alzan Studios

It’s also basic by the standards of a modern VR title. However, that basic formula proved to be the start of something bigger in Chronicle. The game uses a toolset developed in Unity 2018+, so players can expect hardware optimization and supreme graphical assets. Players on the high end benefit from excellent graphical fidelity and polished visuals. On the lower end, the codebase is flexible enough to simplify graphics processing and achieve passable visuals.

At least that’s the goal. In its current state, the game is definitely in need of optimization. The new assets do tax your GPU and put a strain on your machine. The experience also just dropped, so there’s time for refinement.

Holopoint Chronicle: Gameplay

The game’s realistic scenery is only as fun as the places it can take you. There are currently five playable scenarios, with more planned for the future. Each has a different play style and sense of progression.

Players will encounter unique challenges, competitive leaderboards, different enemies, and other discoverables.

The map screen allows players to traverse locations and find new challenges

Gameplay is mostly the same, but the new game has lost its time attack mode for now. The early access launch looks like it’s focused on refining the gameplay and the new areas. As in the original game, players will need to identify targets and anticipate counter attacks as they choose their next priority.

Players also no longer knock arrows from behind the shoulder. The next arrow appears in your offhand after a momentary delay.

There are new enemies as well, such as the 20-sided holograms that take a hit and bounce before they hit the ground and explode unexpectedly. One dark battlefield scenario featured thin and tall cubes that throw crescent-shaped attacks at you when they explode or when you strike them.

First Impressions

In its current state, Holopoint Chronicles feels like an Early Access title. The forums suggested players disable motion settings in SteamVR’s settings from your PC desktop, and doing so does improve the experience. I have a fairly powerful PC and it was lagging on this one.

Alzan’s original game has tight and focused gameplay that can give anyone a fitness boost. Its replayable and engaging. That same gameplay is here, but bow physics are slightly improved and the variety of enemies makes the experience far more exciting.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mZX4CVWp9A&w=560&h=315]

For now, Chronicles offers something the original made players fight for: variety. That variety comes at the cost of some of the features that made Holopoint great, like time attack. Some IK would also be nice, since the game is a new generation of Holopoint let’s see some arms!

Final Thoughts

Chronicles is trying to be a fuller experience that appeals to a broader audience. I foresee players adapting favorite levels and trying to own the leaderboards for those areas.

Chronicles doesn’t feel like DLC. New targets offer a variety of counter attacks and attack patterns. Yes, attack patterns. Not just samurai running toward you. In the courtyard, for instance, each target is linked to another. Destroying one creates a fuse of light, which depletes until it reaches the next target. Miss the target before the fuse blows and you’ll have to dodge an incoming projectile. You can see how higher difficulties will test even the best Holopoint players.

That beam of light leads to an enemy that is probably right next to your face and will explode seconds after you see it.

Chronicles retains the same tight gameplay that made the original great, but it’s added new areas and diverse gameplay. It also has secrets that the forums hint at, like finding items, that no one seems to have uncovered. The leaderboards are open season and lively, so now is a good time to jump into this spiritual successor to Holopoint.