Negotiatoris a first-person strategy-based narrativethat action fans will especially resonate with. Like something straight out ofPatriot Games (1992) or … well …The Negotiator (1998), thegamepromises to deliver high-stakes missions that test your reasoning and manipulation skills, but more importantly, your ability to extract hostages alive.

As a disillusionedmilitary negotiator on your return from a botched mission—branding you as an infamous “killer of innocents” back on your home turf in the UK—you get the idea to hop the country in favor of Southeast Asia. You know, where you people won’t hound you for getting a beloved celebrity killed by a terrorist.

Everything is going swimmingly until terrorists storm theembassy in London where you just so happen to be waiting in line to collect your travel visa.

The game, currently in development by 4PM Games, is aboutmanaging your environment and the people in it—like giving into the demands of a terrorist so you can secure a fatal sniper shot, or lying to them so they let down their guard. It’s not all about romancing the baddie over a radio though. You can teleport.

Jumpinginto the shoes of an armed good guy across the map and positioning him to enter a building is just as important as manipulating a bad guy over a walkie talkie. And keeping out of sight as you move to your objective so you can gain new intelligence, like teleporting into the position of a young boy so you can crawl through a ventilation system andeavesdrop on terrorist plans, can go well (‘Phew!’) or not so well (‘Boom!’).

CreatorBojan Brbora maintains that you shouldn’t get too attached to characters, because “depending on how you control/handle the situation, at the end of every chapter, one person can be killed by the terrorists or police.” And you better do it quick, because the narrative marches on—with or without you.

Oculus Rift owners can try out anupdated demoof Negotiator,which explores a prototype version of the game’s first level. I found the character teleportation mechanic to be a natural fit for a game that really feels more akin toan ’80s action-thriller like Die Hard (1988) than a traditional first-person game. This is mostly because it takes place in a single location, albeit not as big asthe fictionalNakatomi Plaza in the film, and lets you visualize an entire scene and view it more like a film. The developers recommend you play seated.

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The demo is a bit rough around the edges character animation-wise, however the team has been developing a blend ofvideo projected textures to achieve higher realism in facial animation of characters. Atmosphere and lighting are both spot on, and whet the appetite for the final feature-length production.

Provided Negotiator makes its£15,000 ($21,500 USD) Kickstarter funding goal, andalsoreceives some outside help from a few private funders, the final game is estimated to ship in September 2016 forOculus Rift, HTC Vive and traditional monitors via Steam.

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See Also: We Badly Need Episodic Narratives in VR

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