Groups of three players will team up to battle an Angel in recreation of the fun parts of the heavy-themed fighting robot anime.
Is Evangelion a successful anime franchise? The obvious answer is yes. It’s made mountains of money, won critical acclaim, and had a profound influence on the aesthetics and themes contained in Japanese animation
But Evangelion has had mixed results communicating one of its primary themes, which is that despite the depictions shown in so many other anime, being a teenage mecha pilot who has to bear the responsibility of protecting mankind would be a psychological hell. Part of that is the anime’s own fault, because while it includes plenty of scenes showing protagonist Shinji and other young pilots succumbing to the pressures of their harsh lot in life, there’s also no denying that when the Eva Units finally do get around to rumbling with the invading aliens, the action scenes look pretty awesome.
As a matter of fact, the technological bells and whistles of the Eva world look so awesome that this summer, you’ll be able to experience them for yourself through a virtual reality game at a new VR center in Tokyo.
A year after its VR Experience endeavor in Tokyo’s Odaiba, video game publisher Bandai Namco is getting ready to open the VR Zone Shinjuku facility in the Shinjuku neighborhood. One of its flagship attractions will be Evangelion: The Throne of Souls, in which players strap on VR headsets and seat themselves in cockpit-style control rigs that move, shake, and shoot blasts to make the experience as realistic as possible. The presence of an English-language website for the game suggests that it’s being designed to be enjoyable even for players who don’t speak Japanese.
The developers promise a faithful reproduction of the Evangelion startup sequence, including a simulated filling of the entry plug with LCL, nerve synchronization, and sync ratio measurement. After that’s done, it’s time to deploy and battle the Angel Zeruel.
In the anime, defeating Zeruel requires a combined effort between Evangelion Units 00, 01, and 02, and likewise Evangelion: The Throne of Souls is designed to be played by a team of three players, with each one taking control of one of the first three Eva Units. Oh, and don’t worry. According to the game’s story, you’re all “temporary Eva pilots” who’ve been pressed into duty when the regular anime cast isn’t available, so the VR recreation of the anime isn’t likely to include parts where you have to grapple with post-traumatic stress disorder or the urge to masturbate in the hospital room of one of your incapacitated teammates.
VR Zone Shinjuku will be opening on an unspecified date this summer.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he calls dibs on Unit-02.