Of all the titles with promos at the PS5 launch showcase, no game divided opinion like Bugsnax – chiefly because it seemed so damned odd. Unsurprising when you realise that it comes from the brains behind Octodad: a game where you have to hide your true cephalopod identity from a human family.
The game has become a little clearer now thanks to USGamer’s interview with Young Horse’ president Philip Tibitowski, but more interesting is what he has to say about the PS5’s innovative DualSense game controller and its haptic feedback.
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“Running around in the environment and feeling the different types of terrain under your feet while sprinting is really cool and weird,” Tibitowski explained. “Past vibration in games has felt good, it's a nice addition, but it's never been essential, I guess.
“Now, it feels like it makes a big difference in the game, whether it's running through a stream of water or, when trying to catch a Bugsnak, it being in your trap and finding ‘oh, is it trying to escape?’ You can feel how intense it is and how close it is to escaping."
This isn’t the first we’ve heard about how haptic feedback might change the way you play. Sony’s senior vice president of platform planning and management, Hedeaki Nishino, said similar things about the pad in an April blog post. “We had a great opportunity with PS5 to innovate by offering game creators the ability to explore how they can heighten that feeling of immersion through our new controller,” Nishino wrote explaining that vibrations can reproduce powerful sensations “such as the slow grittiness of driving a car through mud.”
It’s not just vibrations, either. “We also incorporated adaptive triggers into the L2 and R2 buttons of DualSense so you can truly feel the tension of your actions, like when drawing a bow to shoot an arrow,” he added.
“Bugsnax is a first-person adventure game where you play as a journalist who is sent a mysterious film from an adventurer named Elizabert Megafig," Tibitoski said. "She says she's found these things called Bugsnax, these half-snack half-bug creatures, and she wants you to come and document her discovery with her group of misfit followers.”
So that’s what you’ve got to look forward to when the game launches on PS4, PS5 and the Epic Games Store later this year. Of course, only one of those formats will have this new haptic feedback...