We've seen a lot of great projects for HoloLens so far, but Fragments by Asobo Studio may be the coolest yet. The interactive crime drama takes real advantage of HoloLens' capabilities to create an evolving story.
Today Microsoft released new gameplay footage of the experience, showcasing more of the characters and process than in Feburary. Reportedly, the game takes eight hours to complete and has ten levels.
In Fragments, you take the role of a detective as you try to figure out a crime that happened in your own house. Clues appear in your world as you move from one mystery to the next. Characters sit on your sofa, talk to you, even threaten you.
Using spatial mapping, the HoloLens places objects in locations that make sense. This means characters will lean against walls, and the game will put clues in hard to discover places.
The unique element to the game comes in its high-tech environment. The game is not set in the present but slightly in the future. As the protagonist, you utilize a device that can examine the memories of others. Through motion capture, Asobo has made realistic characters that follow the user with their eyes as they move and can even sneak up on the player.
Of course, the game is not perfect. From the gameplay we've seen, graphics aren't quite up to the standards people have come to expect. Though facial expressions are realistic, textures and models seem more akin to the last generation of consoles.
An additional issue is lighting. Though the game can accurately tell what objects exist, it's almost impossible to simulate the same lighting as is in your home. As such, characters have a slight transparency to them, which solves the issue but makes the experience seem less real.
The Future of HoloLens
Despite the ingenuity of the game, Microsoft sees it as more of an inspiration than an outright popular title. The game showcases how compelling interactive storytelling on the device could be, encouraging developers to get involved.
It's not difficult to imagine the kind of possibilities this brings to gaming. A shooting game in your home, a narrative that includes multiple players – all of this is theoretically possible.\
As HoloLens evolves, the games that come to it will only get more innovative. The device offers the ability for much more immersive entertainment. Some would even argue that the incorporation of real world elements makes it feel even more real than VR.
Fragments is available for download now on the HoloLens website.