Jul 02


The New Reality of Gaming

Author: jacobmeier


Finally, a way to travel to new worlds, fight dangerous aliens, and go on insane adventures all without having to leave your couch. The idea of virtual reality used to seem like far off, science fiction, turn-all-of-humanity-into-absent-minded-lazy-bums, but now several companies are making that dream (pause for pun) a reality. Companies like Sony and Oculus VR are carving the path to making VR gaming the new norm. The concept of virtual reality is pretty simple, one puts on a goggle like headset and suddenly you’re immersed into the world of whichever specially designed game you’re playing. From then on, you are essentially a part of the game.

Oculus VR, a Kickstarter born start-up turned 2 billion dollar Facebook purchase, has been making headlines with its groundbreaking device the Oculus Rift. While the device is still being developed and won’t be released until next year, many people have gotten a chance to play around with the latest, and final version. And the reviews are very exciting. Sean Hollister, a writer for Gizmodo.com was able to experience some of the most notable games for the Oculus Rift. The device comes with a motion controller, but it can be paired with an Xbox One controller and according to Hollister both offer pretty incredible game play. The first, “Chronos,” is a “Zelda meets Dark Souls” game in which the objective is to get the character, or yourself, through a massive labyrinth while battling enemies. The sense of scale and the enormity of the world you’re thrown into is the reason this virtual reality game is so incredible. Hollister claims that when you look up you can really grasp the sheer size of the mountains, and if you look down at the deep chasm below your feet, a harrowing sense of fatality overcomes you. Hollister describes the experience as “humbling.” Another game Hollister describes is “EVE Valkyrie.” Apparently, this is the most exciting and fun game for the Oculus. The player is thrown into a space battle, with giant capital ships and plenty of starfighter dog fights. Being thrown into a game in which the world is one big action packed battle and you are in the cockpit of your fighter looking around you, dodging blasts and debris would be very intense. The intensity, the adrenaline, the emotions these games will be able to invoke from players will be a huge selling point and the major appeal for VR.

Sony is stepping into this new world as well. Sony’s Project Morpheus is set to launch next year as well and it is shaping up to be just as exciting. The headset itself is beautiful and futuristic, but as of right now the quality and quantity of games for Project Morpheus is lacking. While there are several games worth mentioning, Hollister, who also tried out Morpheus, claims that they do not match up to those he played on Oculus Rift. “RIGS,” a first person game in which the player pilots a giant robot designed for battling other giant deadly robots, is noteworthy. The experience is fun and Hollister believes the graphics are “amazing for a PS4 game.” However, the game that might out-compete Oculus is “The London Heist.” A game that sounds incredibly similar to GTA V, but is most likely much more exciting due to the fact it’s VR. You control a diamond robber who must battle guards and defend your loot from rival thugs all while trying to escape in a getaway van with your accomplices. If Sony can develop more games like “The London Heist,” then there is no doubt they will be able to compete in this new market.

The future of these endeavors is exciting and the possibilities for game content is endless. There are already speculations about other applications for virtual reality. Could this be a new educational tool? A way to train athletes from their homes? Or is virtual reality too ahead of its time to take hold? For the most part, many people are hopeful that this will become the new thing. I mean, when Facebook wagers 2 billion dollars there has got to be some potential for success.

You can read Sean Hollister’s complete reviews of the systems here and here