We’re excited to share that Robinson: The Journey is now available for Rift on the Oculus Store!
In the follow-up to their VR debut, The Climb, Crytek explores the magic of encountering prehistoric creatures in virtual space. By capitalizing on VR’s immediate sense of scale and depth, Robinson combines visual spectacle and intimate moments for an impressive, immersive experience.
Our favorite part of the game might just be the soundtrack, which you can stream or purchase on Bandcamp. With a combination of ’80s synth and acoustic instruments, BAFTA-winning composer Jesper Kyd more than lives up to his Assassin’s Creed fame.
You play as Robin, a young boy who—as the title suggests—finds himself stranded after crash landing on the planet Tyson III. From traveling with thousands of people aboard the ship Esmeralda looking for a new, habitable world to converting your escape pod to a makeshift shelter, you and your AI companion (HIGS) must rely on your wits to survive.
Soon, you discover and adopt a surprisingly adorable T. rex. Not surprisingly in a game where cultural references abound—like Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World—you name her after the first Soviet space dog, Laika.
We sat down with Crytek Executive Producer Elijah Freeman to get some behind-the-scenes intel on the game.
What motivated you to bring Robinson: The Journey to Rift?
Elijah Freeman: As developers and creators, it’s important for us to retain our own IP, and we want to take our games to the platforms where it makes sense. We push a lot of boundaries in VR, both technically and through gameplay design, so we think it’s a great fit for the Rift audience. CRYENGINE natively supports all major VR platforms, and we had a great experience in creating The Climb for Rift. When we saw the first community requests, it was a no-brainer for us.
It’s clear that dinosaurs played a big role in development. What else inspired you?
EF: We wanted a really unique setting, so we added a couple of other themes the team loves into the mix—space and science fiction. All this combined gave us the chance to put the player into an environment which felt real, but also represented an impossible journey into uncharted and potentially dangerous territory. It gives us a great foundation for storytelling, a great canvas for our gameplay designers, and a world that you instinctively want to explore.
Any fun anecdotes from the development process?
EF: We had a new game tester come on board, and one of his first tasks was to play through and inspect the pod area, which serves as an introduction to the game and its mechanics. It was designed so a new player would probably complete it in somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes. Two hours later, he was still running around in the same area, playing with Laika, and inspecting everything he could find to see if he could interact with it. That’s not great when you’re working against a development schedule, but we found it quite funny. It also confirmed to us that exploring in VR is almost a natural instinct, and that making that a pillar of the gameplay would be something players would connect with and enjoy. Sure, you can still play Robinson by rushing from checkpoint to checkpoint, but you would miss so much.
Speaking of, are all the cultural references an indication of what players can expect in terms of Easter eggs?
EF: I think one of the most fun ways to play Robinson is with a curious mind. Experiment with character interactions and how you can manipulate objects in the environment. There’s very often much more than meets the eye, and you’d be surprised to see what you can do with your multi-tool and some creativity.
Thanks for the insights, Elijah—and thanks to Crytek for bringing another visually stunning title to Rift!
— The Oculus Team