The countdown to the delivery of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift (CV1) has begun, and a brave new world of virtual reality is almost upon us.
For the happy few who have been lucky enough to get their hands on a DK2, it’s already here, of course, provided you don’t mind the inevitable bug or two. Here’s a quick look at what’s already hot on the Oculus Rift
Virtual reality’s power to to let you lose yourself in enormous, immersive worlds is mind-boggling, and massive multi-player games will likely be a huge driver of the new medium. EVE: Valkyrie is currently in beta, and hotly awaited, but that other sprawling open-ended space epic, Elite Dangerous, has already been rendered in virtual reality, allowing you to explore a galaxy modeled 1:1 on the Milky Way. Mind-boggling, like we said.
Lucky’s Tale has been described as “the Mario 64 for VR,” a cartoon run-and-jump platform game created by Playful, the new studio started by Paul Bettner, co-creator of Words With Friends.
Lucky’s Tale offers an unconventional twist on the new VR medium in the sense that, like all platform games, it’s third-person, not first person. This means that you are merely an observer of the titular character’s energetic exploits. But you still feel like you’re “there,” of course. You can turn your head 360 degrees to examine every aspect of the landscape and watch the stars explode as Lucky bounces around. On paper, it doesn’t work; in virtual reality it’s amazing.
I Expect You to Die
I Expect You to Die is a hugely fun puzzle-solving, escape-the-room type game. A tongue-in-cheek spy-thriller, you play a top secret agent who has gained access to a Bond villain’s private jet in order to steal a technologically advanced car fitted with high powered weaponry. The car is booby trapped with bombs, poisonous gas, laser beams and a host of other deadly pitfalls, which it is your job to diffuse and escape.
In short, the general aim of the game is to avoid getting wasted. Proof that fully immersive virtual reality and the constant threat of imminent death make for a powerful and exciting combination.
SlotsMillion’s VR project is the world’s first virtual reality online casino. It’s been predicted that social casino, and social gaming in general, will become a big hit in virtual reality because of the scope for social interaction inside virtual worlds and SlotsMillion says that the social element will become more pronounced moving forward.
Currently, the casino only offers slots games which have been lovingly rendered in VR, but the casino lobby itself is a stunning piece of work in itself; set on the 80th floor of a skyscraper in a futuristic, Blade Runner-esque cityscape, you can prop up the bar, interact with other players, and experience very real vertigo when you lean against the windows and look down.
VR does post-modernist satire and it does it surprisingly well in the award-winning Job Simulator, from Owlchemy labs. The year is 2050 and, naturally, robots have taken over the earth and now perform all the jobs that need doing in the world.
Concerned that humans might lose their minds from an overdose of spare time, the robots created Job Simulator to keep the humans happy, allowing them to run a virtual convenience store or go to a virtual office, for example. Except that the robots got it all a bit wrong, with hilarious results.
Job Simulator is funny, clever and, from a techy point of view, a project that truly utilizes the full scope of the Oculus Touch, allowing players to perform a host of intuitive tasks in a sandbox environment.