Category Archives: Make it a (virtual) Reality

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

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If you’ve had so much as a passing interest in virtual reality (VR) technology over the past few years, then it’s likely crossed your mind that head-mounted displays (HMD) are a perfect companion to the horror genre. The isolation and immersion provided by the likes of the Oculus Rift can create an atmosphere unlike anything achievable with a standard screen. As those more deeply invested in VR will no doubt know, many developers have already tried to capitalise on this. The Oculus VR Share platform, a portal for free VR software, is littered with scary experiences while some high-profile studios such as The Creative Assembly have been using the Oculus Rift with their projects such as Alien: Isolation. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Rocksmith

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Earlier in the week Ubisoft San Francisco, the developer behind the Rocksmith videogames, dropped a tantalising hint that virtual reality (VR) technology support could play a big part in the series’ future. The developer suggested that using VR could allow players to look at the guitar they are using to learn as they are taught how to play it. Just the thought of this brings several ideas for how VR could enhance the process of learning an instrument. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: The Evil Within

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Last month saw Shinji Mikami, the celebrated creator of the Resident Evil series, return to the genre he helped shape with The Evil Within from Tango Gameworks. The title harkens back to different eras of Mikami’s career, from the scary beginnings of the original Resident Evil to the action landmark that is Resident Evil 4. It even goes a little further than that, revisiting themes seen in the overlooked Shadows of the Damned before eventually making a few marks of its own. The title was met with a mostly positive reaction from critics and consumers, suggesting that it could have a future ahead of it. Its terrifying blend of psychological horror and intense action also make it a unique candidate for a VR adaption. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Mario Kart

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The racing genre is something of a given for virtual reality (VR) experiences. With the player seated and hands firmly locked to a steering wheel, racing videogames avoid many of the issues and limitations that other VR titles currently face. That said, it’s not a match made in heaven; Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) Head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida earlier this year admitted that Evolution Studios’ DriveClub had now fared well with experimental VR support. The sense of speed can indeed be disorientating. But not all racing titles are about fast cars and realistic visuals. In fact, the karting genre seems perfect for a VR adaption. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Mass Effect

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You stare out at the galaxy. Hundreds of planets are strung out for as far as you can see. Each one presents a whole new landscape, atmosphere, civilisation and culture to become immersed in. You think over your next destination as the sound of consoles clicking and virtual keyboards tapping surrounds you. Members of your squad brush shoulders with you as they head to the armoury. The cockpit and pilot rest at the end of the corridor in front of you. This is your ship to command and your galaxy to explore. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Real-Time Strategy

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Usually with VRFocus’ ‘Make it a (Virtual) Reality’ series a specific videogame or movie franchise is picked for a virtual reality (VR) conversion. But thinking about the real-time strategy (RTS) genre, it quickly becomes apparently that the kind of improvements VR could bring apply to almost every title. The changes we’d like to see the Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display (HMD) make to the likes of Command and Conquer, Total War, Company of Heroes and many, many more are virtually the same. With that in mind, this week’s piece will look at the genre as a whole. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Another World

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Virtual reality (VR) fans narrowly missed out on the chance to see adventure videogame legend Paul Cuisset work with virtual reality (VR) earlier this year as the developer’s Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming Subject 13 failed to hit a stretch goal for Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) support. That’s certainly a shame, as the imaginative worlds the developer has created in the past certainly deserve to be realised in VR. Nowhere is that more evident than in Another World. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Yakuza

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Popular though it may be in Japan, in recent years SEGA has stopped bringing its Yakuza videogame franchise to western shores. The last entry to be release in the US and EU was the PlayStation 3’s Yakuza: Dead Souls. Following its release Yakuza 5 and Yakuza: Ishin have both failed to make the journey, and there are no signs that the upcoming Yakuza 0 will be any different. It’s something of a tragic situation for fans of the series that can’t speak Japanese, and even moreso when you consider the series’ potential for virtual reality (VR). READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: The Lord of the Rings

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You are drenched, exhausted and, above all, terrified. Following the long journey to Helm’s Deep, you now find yourself standing on top of its walls, being beaten by the rain as an impossibly large army of Uruk Hai begins to mindlessly cry for blood. The sea of degenerates stretches out further than the eye can see, and you know that the battle won’t be over until every last one of them has been dealt with. Your hands grip the hilt of your sword a little tighter as the enemy’s pounding feet take charge. It’s time to go to war. READ MORE

Make it a (Virtual) Reality: Destiny

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While it’s easy to get tired of the sheer amount of first-person shooters (FPS) in today’s videogame climate, it’s hard to deny their simply joys. Their accessibility and instant payoff make them the ideal test bed for new consoles, controllers and technologies. That said, traditional FPS videogames undoubtedly prove something of a conundrum for virtual reality (VR) technology at this stage. Without a gun to hold in player’s own hands as they take cover and return fire, immersion can be broken instantly. There’s also the issue of keeping pace with some of the more fast-paced entries in the genre such as Call of Duty, which even the Oculus Rift’s second development kit (DK2) may struggle to meet demands of without players getting simulator sickness. READ MORE