Population: One's Metropolis Doubles as Battle Royale Map and Social Experience
Metropolis arrives today in the world of BigBox VR's Population: One battle royale game and while it's touted as a new map, it's much more than that.
Let's get real for a minute and recognize that despite the huge area of this map, which offers more square footage than the entire map combined, the real beauty of Metropolis is the fact that it's designed for exploration and social interaction.
Tall buildings, neon signs, cargo containers, a store, the train, and so much more make this a spectacular map.
Although I enjoy competition, I’m an explorer by nature so one of the things I enjoy most about immersive environments is that same ability to discover new things, see what actions create particular reactions, etc. One of the appeals to VR Chat, Altspace VR and areas such as the lobby in Echo VR is the ability to simply hang out, play with toys, chat with friends, explore, etc. Metropolis provides that sort of environment in Population: One.
Whether you’re playing with friends or queuing into a random match with strangers, it’s fun to strategize and work together, especially if you manage to see that sweet “VICTORY!!” message at the end. At the same time, it's also a marvelous feeling to stand on a corner in VR watching a street sign change to the "safe walk" symbol while neon lights blaze around you and digital signs share the latest Shield Pop ad.
Although I definitely wouldn't recommend standing still for any period of time in a competitive match, you can create a private lobby and enjoy these areas with friends so the map turns into much more than a battle royale game. It becomes a huge area with fantastic, creative areas for social interaction. Here are some of my favorites!
When you visit the Junction, be sure to take in the lights, the design, the train, and the sensation of what you’re experiencing. (Thankfully the train is stationary and won't run you over like the one in Larcenauts. Although that one is very fun to try to avoid, definitely be aware that those move – very rapidly!)
Look up and take in the glowing Metropolis that surrounds you.
While there’s a lot of chatter about the meaning of the Metaverse, interconnectivity, how it will all work, etc., I think we could learn a lot from game devs who create social environments. BigBox VR added a training area a while back that’s a lot of fun, but if I wanted to go hang out somewhere, I’d go to Metropolis.
Well, as long as it’s in a private lobby and no one is killing me every 20 seconds. Even in competitive matches, though, I discovered that if I simply climb all the way to the top of the tall structures in Metropolis, I could chill out a bit and enjoy watching the chaos below before the map started closing in.
The Pop One community has actively created events since the game released on October 22, 2020 and they continue to find creative ways to enjoy the game, encourage social interaction, and make use of game mechanics.
There are plenty of places in Metropolis to hang out, chat with friends, sit at the bar, or dance, but I’m sure the Nightclub will be a player favorite with birthday parties, concerts and more.
As a side note, thankfully the devs didn’t include any poles so hopefully we’ll think of it more as a teen club with Pop One sodas instead of alcohol.
This area didn’t interest me as much as I’m sure it will others. It’s an incredible idea and there's sure to be plenty of action in and around the Store as players battle to the death over all the weapons lining the shelves. That’s what I said. Weapons lining the shelves. Enough to equip your entire team!
I prefer to just blow people up with grenades in Pop One so basically I need to find some people willing to create a private match and make the only available weapon grenades. Then I’ll definitely loot that store! (Yes, you can choose the weapons that appear in private matches.)
The Meeting Room
I’m actually not aware if the devs named this area, but I’m calling it the Meeting Room and it’s one of my favorite spots in the Metropolis! Perhaps it’s the teacher or the mom coming out in me, but it just looks like so much fun. This would be a great place to welcome people to VR and let them get acclimated to the surroundings a bit while asking questions, etc.
Or, back to the whole Metaverse concept… Why can’t we hold meetings in places like this? I’ve had numerous meetings in Echo VR private arenas before, but we were floating in zero gravity and some people can’t handle that. In the Metropolis, users can walk (or glide) right over to their little desk and it’s so much more pleasant to have meetings like this versus a 2D Zoom-type environment or a boring, expensive meeting room downtown after waiting in traffic for an hour.
Immersive tech has enabled us to enter a new era and we can encourage others to embrace the joy of these XR if we think outside the box a bit.
More Key Features
With Metropolis comes the addition of jump pads, which redefine what it means to go vertical.
It was discovered shortly after the game’s launch in 2020 that some actions caused players to “launch” vertically. Initially there were complaints about this “bug,” but it wasn’t so much a bug or glitch as an amazing little treat when you could make it work. In fact, some of us started referring to it on our community Discord server as a feature!
When players launch into the air, it’s a lot of fun and also provides an advantage since they gain great height and can glide to other areas of the map. However, the danger is that a skilled sniper can take you out while you’re in that open air space so launching definitely does come with risks.
The jump pads were a top community request and I’m sure people are going to love these. It’s also kind of fun to repeatedly launch yourself into the air so if you’re feeling stressed, just create a private arena and go do that for a while.
Neon Night Mode
There has been much positive feedback for night modes in the past so night mode is a feature coming later during the Metropolis update (but not today).* Neon mode will cycle on randomly at the start of some matches.
Metropolis Battle Royale
Typically players spawn in the air ships and take their pods to various areas of the map, but in Metropolis Battle Royale mode, players can drop their pods or hot drop directly into the new map. This mode consists of 6 squads of 3 players each (18 players total) and the last remaining squad wins.
A new weapon is being added as well. When you swing the sword, it provides a speed boost and damages opponent’s health as it skips shields.
Whether you want to queue up for a pub, a private match, or simply go hang out with your friends in this cool new map, I recommend that you make time to make plans to hang out in the Metropolis. It will surely brighten your day!
If you’re new to the Pop One community, join us through your preferred social media platform as well. Introduce yourself, ask questions, share your thoughts about the game and the new map, and find new friends to party up with.
Purchase Population: One
*Edit: Originally this article didn't clarify that the Neon Night Mode is coming later versus today.
This article originally appeared on VR Fitness Insider.