4 November 2016

So today a little something unexpected happened, we were told there’d been a VR setup and were asking for volunteers to play it. Would you like to have a go? Hell yes! Dropped the lesson like a brick and was out of the door before they could take back their offer!

I was told the game we were going to play was something to do with archery nut that was about it. There’s a programme on TV that’s just recently been doing the rounds on Dave called Dara O’Briain’s Go 8-bit and in an episode Dara played on a VR kit called VR Archery. I remember thinking that is looked fantastic and that I wanted to play it, I mean I really wanted to play it. Imagine how giddy I got when I walked into the room and found that very same game running! Yes!

vra

I cannot say just how impressed I am with this piece of VR. It’s so immersive its unreal. From the second you put that headset on you believe you’re standing on top of a castle wall with a bow and arrow in your hands. You can turn and see a full 360 degrees and see as far off into the distance as you like, you’re free to move anywhere you like within the room you’re in and the only time the immersion is spoilt is if the sensors placed in the corner of the room trigger an on-screen grid to let you know you’re getting too close to the wall. While some might see it as a spoiler I don’t, I mean who really wants to walk into a wall? Exactly.

You have two controllers in your hands, kinda like a bigger version of Wii Remotes both of which have trigger buttons that you’ll need for this game. You raise your arms to load the bow with the arrow and pulling back to fire starts the rumble in the controller your bow is in replicating the strain the arrow is placing on it. Its a really nice touch. A few practice shots at a poor Game & Watch style man waving a red flag and you’re on.

Raiders start coming out of the hills all determined to smash your gate down and ransack your castle while you seem to be the only guy still there. 3D factors of the real world apply all over in this, from the power of your bow to the elevation of your shot, you really need to apply real world thinking to play this, but it’s far from hard to do. After a few moments in this you feel like you’ve always been there so doing those applications comes very quickly.

Even down to you movements. Its not about just looking left and right to follow your targets, its about looking up and down to see where they’re running and underneath you. There’s a path they take which you can’t see from where you’re standing and to see it you need to take a step forward and look down, like you would in real life to look over a wall or other obstacle. Its insanely realistic in what actions you have to do.

The game itself is a tower defense type game where you have to survive waves of enemies, a very much been there done that bought the t-shirt style of game, but the VR actually enhances it in a way I’ve never experienced before. You’re not sitting down staring at a screen; you’re there, on a castle top, with a bow and arrow in your hands defending that castle door like your life depended on it.

Marvellous stuff. I want one but I don’t have a spare £780 for one. Can anyone spot me? Anyone?

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