Radial-G: Proteus is a spin-off of the earlier Radial-G racing games for PC and consoles, designed specifically with the Oculus Quest in mind. We decided to try it out and see how it fares on less powerful hardware.
Developer Tammeka and publisher Things3D are taking the basics of Radial-G: Racing Revolved and bringing it to the Quest, which we thought was an interesting move considering the fact that Radial-G was one of the first racing games to embrace VR when it received a PSVR update way back in 2017.
Radial-G: Proteus isn’t a Quest version of that earlier release, and the main reasons are technical in nature. Assuming the Quest wouldn’t be able to power the original visuals of Racing Revolved, the new Proteus release features a cell-shaded, neon-infused visual style that is still futuristic and makes it feel a little bit like Tron in certain ways.
Despite the makeover, the gameplay itself is very familiar if you’ve previously played Radial-G. You race along the sides of giant tubes that twist and turn in every direction to eventually form a continuous loop. Because the track shifts in every direction you can imagine, this is an intense VR experience that’s not well geared to those people prone to VR motion sickness. The same was true for the PSVR (and Rift) version, so this should come as no surprise.
Another big change is that the game is now no longer a gamepad title, but uses the Touch controllers – which kind of makes everything feel even more like riding a Tron lightcycle though I’d assume this is also a matter of personal preference and nerdy movie references. This mostly applies to the new motion-based control scheme, though you can also go with a more traditional layout that uses the thumbsticks.
Radial-G: Proteus also received a new soundtrack, though the bass and drum-heavy techno tunes are a bit of an acquired taste and the heavy emphasis on beats makes it feel very “present” while playing.
Some of the shortcomings of Radial-G: Racing Revolved still linger though – in terms of content the tracks and racing could use a bit more diversity, and the track designs (both visually and in terms of the routes laid out for you) tend to blend together after a while. This is shame, because even in its Proteus incarnation Radial-G is a VR title that has the potential to give gamers that “wooow” sensation. If you’re prone to motion sickness then that’s not always a great thing, but it’s a shame that the sensation wears off if you’re very tolerant as well. It’s still a thrill, but since Racing Revolved we’ve also seen the likes of Wipeout enter the VR domain.