VR tolerance levels
Before continuing, I’ll just add that I’m pretty VR-tolerant. If I’m sat down then standard xbox controller-style movement doesn’t phase me. Only the following items have caused me any issues:
- Lone Echo gives me a bit of a headache sometimes
- Echo Arena - If I go too fast towards the floor my stomach lurches a bit
- The International Space Station - 5 minutes in that and I want to puke all over the place - avoid it!
Note that this is a starter/placeholder and I’ll likely come back and do something more comprehensive with this.
All the major VR contenders (iRacing, Raceroom, Assetto Corsa, Project Cars 1) do excellently, albeit I have to turn a few settings down that I don’t care too much about. Project Cars is probably the best VR experience, especially in the rain.
For me, I’ve found it almost a cheat mode. To be able to feel where the cars are relative to me makes me much better at slicing through traffic as anyone at Bathurst against me in the Skippy on iRacing will confirm. The feeling of being in the car is amazing in all of the sims and I’m absolutely loving it.
Lone Echo and Echo Arena
Brilliantly immersive and the controls are spot on. Lone Echo can cause me a few headaches, but the experience itself is wonderful. Very clever controls with use of points on your ‘body’ (mostly your head and hands) that you can use to activate certain things, rather than blindly fumbling for buttons on the touch controller. A very elegant solution to the problem of motion.
The single-player game (Lone Echo) seems pretty cool so far, and sees you tasked with figuring out what’s going wrong in a space station where an anomaly has suddenly appeared nearby and buggered up your systems, I’m exploring the space station and thoroughly enjoying it, though frankly my progress is a bit slowed by headaches. The multi-player game (Echo Arena) is free and it’s incredible. I’m crap at it. I don’t mind one bit. 3x3 flying around a zero-g arena trying to grab a frisbee and throw it through the goal. That’s it. In some ways it has a bit in common with rocket-league, but in VR it’s better. Hmm VR rocket league… anyone?
Wow. The best thing on VR. A couple of issues with things being outside my play space but it’s smart enough to let you grab things that are too far away anyway. When you get it right it’s amazing, you feel like a complete badass (though I’m sure my neighbours looking at me through the window think I look like a dick). When you get it wrong it’s frustrating. It’s brilliant.
The main attractions are Pool, Darts and Air Hockey. The darts are not too good sadly, but I think that’s a limitation of VR as a major part of how you throw darts is how you release the dart. That said, I suck at real darts and I suck at VR darts so there’s not much new there.
Air Hockey is amazing. You don’t have tactile feedback of course (you get a bit of haptic feedback from the controller when you hit the puck and that does half-a-job but not a complete job) but it just feels completely right. The AI puts up a decent fight too.
Pool is superb, albeit the controls are poorly explained. It tells you to do a whole load of stuff, but the best way is to line up then use the front (left in my case as a right-hander) controller trigger to lock the cue position, then swing back and forth with your right arm to provide the power. It works better than you’d expect.
The hulk controls and teleportation make it easy to get yourself into position around the table or around the bar as a whole, and a lot of sensible choices are made re comfort.
Can they add bowling please? I want Wii bowling on my Rift!
Eleven: Table Tennis VR
Quite simply awesome. It’ll actually improve your real-life table tennis. Sensible controls to adjust the height and position of the table relative to you mean you can adjust it to your play space easily. Physics are spot on (I was instinctively spinning shots and they were doing exactly what they were meant to do) and immersion is superb.
AI opponents are perhaps a bit spaced out in skill levels. Amateur can’t handle fast spinning serves, but otherwise puts up a reasonable fight, but the next one up puts in levels of spin to almost all shots that I can’t combat (admittedly my movement is slightly restricted by not wanting to crash into a wall or light).
Coming soon… Job Simulator, Project Cars 2, Pierhead Arcade, New Retro Arcade Neon, Thrill Of The Fight (spoiler: shite)