Way back when – 2016 to be more precise – when everyone was super keen on virtual reality and its possibilities, Epic Games was at the forefront. The creator of Unreal Engine and titles like Fortnite was an avid supporter of the technology, experimenting both internally as well as aiding third-party developers. In 2016, Epic Games released Bullet Train – not to be confused with the Brad Pitt film – for Oculus Rift, a short, intense first-person shooter. But this was only the precursor to what would be its first true VR game, one of XR Source’s Forgotten VR Gems: Robo Recall.
Robo Recall was a pure arcade shooter, designed to highlight the kind of gameplay characteristics VR would be known for. It arrived in March 2017, very shortly after the launch of the Oculus Touch motion controller. Robo Recall became the best reason to own the new controllers – they originally started at $200 USD a pair – thanks to the sharp gun control and the way players could interact with the enemies.
Recalling the Robo action
Robo Recall was ahead of its time. Lightning fast, the aim was to get through levels as quickly as possible scoring as many points as possible. This could be done any number of ways, with variety the key to increasing the multiplier. Start with body shot, then teleport in to grab a robot by its chest, fling it in the air then juggle it with more bullets. Or simply rip its arms off.
There were multiple weapons to utilise and there were no reload mechanics to slow things down. Once a gun was empty throw the thing away and a new one would appear in your holster.
It was such a good game that it garnered over 11,000 reviews on the Oculus Store. 81% of which were 5 stars. This is why it was such a shame that Epic Games generally lost interest in VR. Aside from Unreal Engine, and tech demos, the company hasn’t made another first-party VR game since.
Time to Unplug
Thankfully, unlike other forgotten VR gems like Stormland, for example, Robo Recall was revived for a new audience, a wireless Meta Quest audience in fact. Thanks to Drifter Entertainment (Lies Beneath, Gunheart) Robo Recall: Unplugged was born.
Ported to the original Oculus Quest in 2019, Robo Recall: Unplugged offers the same balls-to-the-wall action of its forebear. This time, however, you’re not wired to a PC. So you can spin, shoot and make those robots dance with no cable hazards.
It is refreshing that Robo Recall: Unplugged can still easily be accessed in the Quest 2 era. Rather than being confined to VR’s history. The game is still full price though, so wait until a sale then pick it up.