Synapse brings dual-wielding VR action exclusively to PS VR2 this year

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Synapse brings dual-wielding VR action exclusively to PS VR2 this year

First trailer and details for next gen action shooter from VR veterans nDreams, creators of Fracked. 

We are delighted to finally unveil the next generation of immersive VR action with Synapse.

At nDreams we’ve been pioneering the possibilities of VR gaming for the past decade and we’re always looking to push the medium, such as with Fracked’s fluid, run and gun action gameplay on PS VR. We wanted to push things even further with our first next-gen VR title on the PS VR2, in a way never seen before. 

Launching later this year, Synapse is the result of this hard work – combining brutal firepower, expressive 1:1 telekinesis and an iconic art style. On top of this the game has been created from inception to be a PS VR2-only experience.

We couldn’t be happier to share our teaser trailer for a taste of Synapse’s mind-blowing gameplay:

Synapse brings dual-wielding VR action exclusively to PS VR2 this year

Transforming gameplay for next gen VR

VR heightens your senses, making you feel so immersed and involved in the world around you and we wanted to fully explore this with Synapse. We saw the opportunity with PS VR2 to create a new, expressive mechanic that is perfect for VR – telekinesis. We’ve seen from non-VR games how telekinesis can add so much to combat and gameplay, but VR transforms the experience, making telekinesis feel even more immersive through full 1:1 motion control.

We’ve tailored the wielding of telekinesis to feel instinctive and expressive, giving players new ways to take down enemies and progress through levels. A key element in this is eye-tracking enhanced aiming which equips players with pinpoint precision when targeting their telekinesis and combines with motion controls to make wielding telekinetic powers a full-body experience.

An enemy is picked up in the air by the player’s telekinesis, envisioned as multiple strands that coil round the foe’s body, rendering them helpless.

Creating the future of VR combat

We were proud of the reception of Fracked’s run and cover gunplay when it launched on the PS VR back in 2021 – it was fast, visceral and uncompromised, but also entirely accessible and intuitive.  We were wrapping up the game just as we were starting work with the PS VR2, and we knew this was the perfect foundation to build upon with Synapse.  Our new game evolves this core gameplay, making full use of the Sense controller’s analogue sticks, adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, but we wanted to go beyond this.

The player unloads a pistol’s ammo, using the Sense controller to perfect their aim.

We wanted to give the player the freedom to shape and master their combat style through dual-wielding, with telekinesis in one hand and a deadly arsenal of weapons in the other. How you use this lethal combination is up to you. As an example, something I love about the guns in Synapse is the ability to reload by slamming the magazine against any surface you choose: the back of your hand, the cover in front of you, your chest, or my personal favourite – the head of an enemy you have propelled towards you with telekinesis!

There are so many abilities and combat styles for players to discover, from using objects as weapons or moveable cover, to telekinetically launching enemies into mid-air and blasting them with your trusty firearm as you truly unleash your inner anti-hero.

In a quiet moment between gunfights, the players reloads their pistol, using the Sense controller to slide the clip into their pistol.

Harnessing the power of PS VR2

A next gen hardware launch is always an exciting time, especially for us as developers. From very early on in the development cycle, we could see that the graphical fidelity of this generation of hardware was going to be a huge leap forward. So, we placed a focus on tailoring Synapse’s surreal mindscape visual style to showcase the PS VR2’s OLED display and the seismic increase in graphical horsepower. The monochrome art style with its bursts of vibrant colour can only truly be done justice on the stunning 4K HDR screen along with foveated rendering, showing the world vividness and sharpness at a level that we haven’t seen before.

The player uses their telekinesis to grip onto a far away object. The gripped object glows red to signify the player has latched onto it.

Synapse will be launching exclusively on PS VR2 later this year and we can’t wait to show you more of the game and the journey we have been on as we head towards launch. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think of what you’ve seen so far, let us know in the comments!

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