Onward, a realistic military first-person shooter, was released on the Oculus Quest last week. The game is a PC VR staple, having first come out in Early Access in 2016, soon after the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets kicked off the first round of VR hype.
As VR experiences go, it’s pretty intense. The emphasis is on realism, and you move around with an analog stick rather than the teleportation systems that many first-person VR games use to maximize comfort. Onward also emphasizes tactics and communication for its multiplayer battles; the developer Downpour Interactive describes it as “the most realistic combat experience available in gaming today.”
Onward’s Quest version has not come without controversy, however. Seemingly in order to accommodate cross-play between platforms, Downpour has issued an update to the PC version that comes with a significant technical hit. The graphical quality has been reduced pretty heavily, and Steam reviewers are not happy. The developer apologized on Reddit and pledged to improve the PC version in future updates.
It’s understandable that Downpour would want to maximize its player base when launching on a popular new platform, but making the existing version worse for all players without warning was probably not the best way to go about it. The move does, however, serve as a strong indication that VR developers are likely to continue to prioritize the Quest over advanced tethered PC experiences.