Meta Quest 2: Promising VR game Eolia relies on hand tracking
In the VR game “Eolia” you model objects with your own hands and make music against climate change.
Ancient artifacts, detailed statues, and cosmic strings: In the VR adventure game Eolia for Meta Quest 2, you can touch, rotate and unravel these objects and more with your own hands.
When you put away the Quest 2’s controllers, the VR headset supports hand tracking in the operating system and in some apps. So far, studios have rarely used hand tracking for games because it doesn’t work as precisely or reliably as the VR controllers.
It also lacks haptics when you simply reach into the air instead of pressing a button. In the first game scenes of Eolia, however, these shortcomings don’t seem to be too problematic, as studio Rotu Entertainment uses rather slow, careful movements.
The desert world also looks pretty good graphically – at least if the scenes were actually recorded with the Quest 2’s mobile chip. A SteamVR implementation is at least being considered. So far, however, only the Quest 2 version is confirmed, which is supposed to be released in summer 2022.
Eolia: Making music, turning and climbing with hand tracking
Similar to the predecessor “Rhythm of the Universe: Ionia”, Eolia revolves around mystical and amazing musical locations. The puzzle tasks often require actions in the appropriate rhythm or according to a melody.
Besides plucking giant strings, you cover flute holes with your fingers. You’ll also need your hands for climbing or when you turn a stone totem pole. In total, the team promises over a dozen interactions via hand tracking.
The first game in the series “Rhythm Of The Universe: Ionia” offers good entertainment, but only for about 45 minutes. That is not much, even for a VR game. Rotu Entertainment could offer more content with the sequel and integrate the story passages more seamlessly into the game – a weak point of the predecessor, where you usually couldn’t move for minutes during the narration.
Environmental protection with Meta Quest 2
The story of Eolia builds on the story of the first game: Advancing climate change is making itself felt in the world of Eolia. However, drought and extreme weather can be stopped by your empathy: Your melodies have a healing effect on the climate.
In line with this theme, part of the proceeds will go to charitable initiatives against climate change, the studio said. Subtitles in several languages are planned. The soundtrack, however, is only scheduled in English.