Cold VR: Running On Instinct Is How To Play This Cool Steam Demo

Some of my favorite games over the years have been the ones that allow for the manipulation of time. In 2001, the release of Max Payne from Remedy Entertainment changed everything.

Suddenly we were given the ability to run into rooms filled with enemies while using our newfound ability to seamlessly slow down time at the touch of a button, giving players the ability to take out enemies in a slow motion ballet of pure carnage. This was a game changer for the action genre, and “Bullet Time” was born.

In the lead up to the launch of VR as a consumer platform we saw several other gaming franchises using variations of these time manipulation techniques and, in 2016, a new variant made its way into what is now considered a classic virtual reality gaming experience — SUPERHOT VR.



OK, so let’s get this out of the way up front… It’s almost impossible to talk about COLD VR without comparing it to SUPERHOT VR. While it’s true that both games share a time manipulation mechanic, they approach it in fundamentally different ways.

In SUPERHOT, time moves only when players do, giving them the ability to plan their next moves in order to outwit enemies. So this take on the time manipulation mechanic creates a strategic and almost puzzle-like experience that ultimately rewards players for carefully planning precision strikes.

In Cold VR, the mechanic is reversed and time progresses at full speed only when movement stops causing players to have to think on their feet in order to react quickly to the ever-changing environment around them. The constant need for locomotion serves to create a more chaotic and adrenaline-fueled style of gameplay that’s challenging, and it also makes you feel like a badass digital John Wick.

What Does COLD VR Get Right?

One thing that always seems to make a game stand out for me is when it has some level of story, especially when it’s in VR. I like my virtual excursions to have a narrative so I can lose myself in the depth of these games, providing a connection that makes these adventures stay with me longer. With that in mind, I’m happy to say that COLD VR isn’t just about gameplay mechanics, it also presents a cool blend of high quality live-action video sequences coupled with in-game storytelling that puts players in the position of ultimately determining the fate of humanity. 

Look and Feel

As for the look and feel of COLD VR, it’s clear that ALLWARE has paid a lot of attention to detail. There’s a challenging enemy AI and subtle environmental cues that help with guiding forward progress, coming together to complement the game’s tense atmosphere. The visuals feature a sleek and modern aesthetic filled full of advanced lighting effects, dynamic shadows and reflections all set against a backdrop painted in a vibrant neon draped color palette that focuses on blues and whites presenting a futuristic and icy atmosphere.

The sound design in COLD VR is also a nice accompaniment to the games visuals. ALLWARE has filled the demo with a variety of musical styles, all serving to amp up the backtrack of the game’s levels while bullets whiz past enveloping players in the sounds of glass shattering as enemies fall all around. Overall, everything blends together nicely to create a pleasing visual and auditory experience.


Now with all of this fast paced movement I know some folks are probably wondering about the comfort levels in this one. This is a game played from a first person perspective and it has some fast paced movements like bullet dodging while sprinting toward multiple enemies, so for those without strong VR legs some discomfort might be in the cards. For the increased immersion it brings I found it best to play this one standing and as for the locomotion options in the game, in this early demo players have either snap turning by default or just turning with their own bodies. There were no other options to be found in this early demo build so for players who need or prefer to play the game seated, hopefully ALLWARE will consider adding a smooth turning option when the game officially launches.

A Cool Look At What’s To Come

The demo for COLD VR on Steam offers a glimpse into an exciting upcoming game and, while it’s pretty obvious this is SUPERHOT in reverse, there is enough new and different here to say that COLD VR seems to stand on its own merits. This game definitely has us both curious and excited to see what Argentinian developer Carlos Alfonso brings us when it officially launches. The full game is listed as coming soon so hopefully we will see a full release before the anticipation for more COLD VR melts away.

COLD VR arrives this year on PC VR, and the free demo is available now. PSVR 2 and Quest 2/3 ports should follow after the Steam release, followed by a flatscreen version on all major platforms.