Well gamers, the future is now, or that is what Virtual Reality developers & gaming companies want us to believe. The emergence of VR is however an exciting time to be a gamer. Since playing video games is the number one hobby we enjoy on a daily basis, most of us are intrigued & excited to try out a VR game. Here is what my first VR experience felt like.
I attended the SXSW Gaming Expo in Austin, Texas last week. It was there that I experienced a VR game called P.O.L.L.E.N developed by Mindfield, a small Indie studio based in Finland. Before I was able to put on an Oculus Rift I watched others explore Station M, a research base located on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. The premise of the game is to uncover clues that help reveal what happened to a research team member that mysteriously
disappeared prior to a big announcement. Station M was created to feel as real as an actual moon base so almost everything on the base is interactive. From shooting a basketball to picking up the smallest object that could be the key to solving a puzzle that unlocks one of the many secrets of the station.
The game demo I played at SXSW allowed me to walk around a portion of Station M via the Xbox One controller while seeing the environment through the Oculus Rift. The VR headset did give me a sense of depth that a non VR first person view can’t duplicate. In a way it did seem as though I was on the moon base but it still was an average, with a chance to be good, experience. These are the few things I particularly didn’t care for:
• Having to position your head just right before receiving the prompt that an object was now interactive.
• Once the object, in this case a book/pamphlet, was in my hands it was a bit blurry with no way to move it further from my face.
• Then there was the issue where the virtual on screen controller was not really helping me use the real controller to accomplish the task needed to solve a puzzle.
All in all, my first experience with a VR device was fine. I will try Playstation VR before making a decision to invest hundreds of dollars, since I already own a PS4. As of this article I will not be donning a VR headset, however I do anticipate enjoying the game P.O.L.L.E.N on my PS4 when it releases later this year.
Have you been bitten by the VR bug, or do you need more evidence that VR is not just another fad in the gaming industry? Let us know in the comments below.