VRcade by VR Studios @ SDCC2016
VRcade is hands down the best VR I have experienced thus far.
VR is the next phase of technology. The question remains, will it be Blu-Ray or HD-DVD? With sold out Oculus Rifts and Playstation VR’s, I would bet on the former. However, with the massive amount of gear and space required, it could easily shift the other way. There are also numerous different ones to choose from, as well as varying levels of intensity and immersion. But out of all of the VR’s out there, and of the many I tried and will write about over the next few weeks, VRcade by VR Studios is hand’s down the best VR experience I have tried.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2016, VRStudios was part of VR Con right across the street. VR Con celebrates the boldest and coolest explorers of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mediated Reality (MR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Wearable Computing. VR Con covers all aspects of the mediums, from gaming to education, travel, entertainment, and more. There were truly fascinating things all through VR Con, and it is unfair to compare the mediums as they all had different focuses. However in terms of VR gaming and entertainment, I repeat VRcade by VR Studios stole the show.
VRcade featured their game Time Zombies, which takes players back in time to 1910 in the back alleys of an English town. It is there that players are swarmed by a horde of zombies that they must shoot to survive. The game concept is far from unique. Players are chasing another time traveler to keep him from ruining the world. When you catch up to him, he unleashes a horde of zombies he’s been working on. Time Travel and Zombies, Plants vs. Zombies kind of covered that. But the gameplay and mechanics were beyond any other VR our there.
VRcade is a completely wireless system. No other VR games for higher end gaming have this feature. On top of that, the gun you use is perfectly calibrated to aim down sight versus controlling a reticule. My problem with FPS games is that moving your crosshairs means moving the entire field of view. I like aiming like I’m playing Time Crisis. Couple that with the perfect tracking within the designated space, and you have the most immersive and best-controlled VR experience available. It did take a couple of attempts to get the game fully functioning, there were some syncing issues with sound and the controller before me, but it did not take long to get it up and running
The flawless mechanics made for the most enjoyable zombie attack I have been a part of. This includes Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, Plants vs. Zombies, and running around with Mega Man’s Buster Canon in Dead Rising. The surround sound, combined with the VR, gave me almost like a Daredevil-like ability to know where the monsters were coming from despite. The very late realization of not having any wires attached to me, allowed me to sidestep and double tap any undead goon in the coolest of fashions. I even got a few no look shots in, but that was more because I was completely surrounded and as long as I didn’t aim at the sky or ground I would hit something. It was a completely engulfing and thrilling experience, and I truly felt I was in the world dodging and mobbing zombies like a total bad ass.
VR Studios seems to easily be the most advanced and most innovative of the VR technologies out there. The wireless aspect alone makes it the most practical, but its flawless integration of the wireless system and peripherals make it the most fun by far. The Playstation VR is only a few notches away in terms of peripherals, grabbing a Batarang from my utility belt and hucking it was nearly just as fun as braining zombies. However, the wired headset greatly limits the physical space in which to play. The game is obviously designed with that limitation in mind, but also requires you to challenge those limitations to a fault. But I’ll talk more about that later.
VR Studios is without a doubt making the most advanced and fully actualized VR system on the market. They seem to have a stronger focus on commercial applications, but that’s more likely because of the scope of their technology. You can’t expect Superman to focus on getting cats on trees. My hope is that they are able to share their technology, being handsomely compensated for it of course, with say Playstation and Xbox so we can get the full potential of it in all avenues.
For more on VR Studios and their technology, be sure to check out their website: VRStudios.com