Ubisoft revealed Werewolves Within, a social multiplayer game for virtual reality headsets, at a press event during the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco this week. Developed by Red Storm Entertainment, which most recently contributed to The Division, Ubisoft’s VR game will seek to combine virtual immersion, voice analysis, and game mechanics to simulate (and even enhance) the experience of a social party game that relies on human interaction more than mechanical player “skill.”
Inspired by the socially minded party game Werewolf, player avatars in the game sit around a campfire and must eliminate the player or players among them hiding the fact that they are secretly werewolves. Every character, werewolf or not, receives a secret role, which gives them a mechanical skill that can help determine who is the monster.
After five minutes of using those skills and conferring, the players are forced to guess, and find out who “won” the game, according to Polygon. There are many different “conditions” for winning, but, speaking generally, the humans win by correctly guessing which players are werewolves and the werewolves win by surviving. Some character roles riff on the formula. The “deviant,” for example, wins by convincing players to guess they are a werewolf.
As in the original, low-fi version of Werewolf, the game primarily revolves around player communication. Players can address the group and turn or whisper to the character next to them, which mutes the rest of the circle. The game analyzes each players’ tone of voice and use positional tracking to animate each characters’ bodies and faces based on how they move and sound. Players will also be able to activate a set of pre-animated body movements with a controller, such as crossing your arms and pointing at another player.
As Gamesindustry International pointed out, Ubisoft is one of the largest game publishers that has publicly announced VR projects, outside of those developing hardware of their own. Ubisoft showed showed its first official VR project, Eagle Flight, at Sony’s PlayStation Experience convention in December, 2015.
Werewolves Within will be released this Fall on “all major VR platforms.” The game was reportedly shown using the Oculus Rift.