Ubisoft has unveiled a new project that will bring the social dynamics of game night to virtual reality. Entitled Werewolves Within, the game focuses on players trying to deduce which person is not who they say they are. The biggest news here is that the game seems to support local and online multiplayer, which is something that has not been seen much in the realm of virtual reality.
Set to come to “major VR platforms” in Fall 2016, Werewolves Within is essentially the popular board game Werewolf, where a select player is a werewolf and the rest are villagers who have to try and figure out who the werewolf is before they are killed. Certain players have special abilities that will allow them to slowly figure out who is who, but one of the game’s key features is its social component.
Werewolves Within could end up being a great example of virtual reality as a social experience and not just an isolated one. Players have to vote on who they think is a werewolf, which means that persuasion is a major portion of the game. In real life, with real faces, this is a much easier process because you can see the passion in a person’s face, or look at other players throughout the game and be able to tell by minute changes in their facial expression as to whether they are lying or not. In Werewolves Within, the only way a lot of this should work is with everyone wearing a mo-cap suit. Which obviously isn’t feasible.
However, the trailer above shows some neat features that help the game’s case, such as whispering and monologues. The ability to lean to one side and talk to another player without others hearing is a good use of the technology, and monologues offer the ability to demonstrate disapproval or approval of a decision by simply standing up and taking control of the room for ten seconds.
What makes things most interesting is that this shows a side of virtual reality that most games have decidedly ignored. There have been some multiplayer experiences, but it seems like a lot of VR projects are focused on providing isolated experiences. Werewolves Within looks to bring the same kind of fun and player engagement that Werewolf has as a board game.