A molecular-level explorer titled VEV: Viva Ex Vivo will release in the summer on PlayStation 4, with planned support for PSVR once it arrives. Described as a new take on "arcade-style survival gameplay", it is the brainchild of three people who form Ohio, USA-based indie developer Truant Pixel.
You assume the role of a microbiologist who is "researching biological samples using a nanoscale artificial organism capable of surviving in a multitude of familiar and foreign microscopic environments", vice president at Truant Pixel Souha Al-Samkari explained in a blog post.
"Dubbed the 'Virtual Eukaryote Visualizer' or VEV for short, this tiny, artificial protist acts as a surrogate explorer, similar in many ways to the unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV drones, that we are familiar with today," she added. But unlike drones, this is a biological machine controlled remotely by you. The game takes place on a microscopic scale, and has you navigating things like a single drop of water or blood for organic particles.
The goal of Viva Ex Vivo is to harvest as much energy as possible and making sure your VEV has the longest lifespan possible. Environments and their elements are randomly generated to keep you on your toes. These environments, Al-Samkari notes, can be of two types: obtained directly from nature (in situ) such as a drop of pond water or taken from the tissue of an organism (ex vivo) such as a sample of spinal column fluid. Those originating from the latter will undoubtedly be tougher to navigate as the host body's immune system will see your VEV as an invader particle, just like your body's white blood cells react to any disease.
Music will play a key role in Viva Ex Vivo and will help you determine your proximity to targets or enemies approaching your VEV. This is generally ambient electronic music that will evolve depending on the elements around you.
Truant Pixel have designed the game to be compatible with virtual reality (VR) when Sony's project is ready. The mode will be provided for free once PlayStation VR makes it to the market.