Missed the last episode of SundayVR? No worries, catch the video recording and written recap here! Live for Speed steals the show, we see some incredible Descent-like action from SubLevelZero, and I (finally) got Half-Life VR up and running.
Episode 30, Part 1 – Superb Sightline and Terrific Titans of Space
The live stream began as it does every Sunday: with community conversation, playful banter, and various questions about VR in general. This Sunday, we continue to talk about VR peripherals—specifically the Cyberith Virtualizer and my impressions after trying it. After a few more minutes of conversation, I tore into the demos for the day.
GeoCore nails the post-apocalyptic robo-lord future, with a drab aesthetic, cool yet eerie robots, and creepy sounds. However, the game is clearly in very early stages. Robots continually spawn from a couple of places and chase you down, surrounding you while a horrific drone crescendos. It has potential.
Sightline: The Chair
Sightline: The Chair is wonderful, and my new go-to title for VR newbies. Each environment change evokes wonder and surprise; you literally paint yourself into a new world with a turn of your head. Fantastic!
Titans of Space
Titans of Space was my DK1 demo of choice when exposing teachers to VR. The experience gets a great boost in the DK2. The sense of scale is still marvelous, but now you can see even more detail on the surface of each planet, and lean to the side to get a better view of your vessel. Very cool!
The Futuristic Cityscape is an interesting teaser that left me curious to see more. The cyberpunk office gave way to a secret passage and elevator ride, while a mysterious video loop plays on billboards strewn throughout the city. I will be keeping my eye on this one.
Episode 30, Part 2 – Live for Speed is Glorious, HL2VR is too
I restarted the stream to help out a few viewers that were having issues, and was quickly wrapped up in VR racing with LFS!
Live for Speed
Live for Speed is early in development, somewhat bare bones with graphics and UI. However, the devs here have done an incredible job with the DK2 integration. After tweaking some settings to get the Logitech G27 wheel working, there was no turning back. The proportions felt right, the controls responded wonderfully, and I was completely immersed in seconds. At one point, I slammed on the brakes and braced myself for the car to lurch, and was disappointed when nothing happened. Only Elite: Dangerous has approached this level of immersion thus far. VR Racing is going to be a killer genre.
VRog is quite simple at first glance—you are a frog, and you look at bugs to eat them. However, the game has a brilliant aesthetic with bright colors and whimsical creatures. The interface design is also quite thoughtful, requiring only head tracking input from the user. One can even turn the frog or jump to another lily pad just by looking. It was also quite cool to see yourself as a frog—the main menu has a mirror!
Robo-bliteration is a straight forward arcade style shooter in the vein of Geometry Wars. What VR adds to the experience is a very well designed cockpit that you observe the action from. The use of detail and layered geometry within the cockpit is remarkable.
Sub Level Zero
Sub Level Zero is fast paced, addictive, and incredibly fun! This may indicate yet another type of game that may make a comeback, the 6DOF shooter. SL0 is clearly inspired by Descent series of games, and will generate a giddy wave of nostalgia in any gamer that explored Descent’s hallways back in the late 90s.
The Talisman of Tantanon
The Talisman of Tantanon was definitely creepy and mysterious. However, I seemed to experience a difference with what was being displayed in the right eye. The excessive black smear in this dark title further detracted from the experience. I may return to this title once some technical issues are worked out.
Half-Life 2 VR
It took a fair bit of time to get the HL2VR mod working. I had neglected to opt into the correct beta for one of the Steam tools, and then Steam was having some issues recognizing those changes. After several restarts and re-copying some files, I was able to get the title started and cruise through the training module. The combination of Half-Life 2, the Razer Hydra, and the positional tracking from the DK2 is magical. Performing the physical motions to reload the revolver like an action movie star left me giggling like a loon. The beauty of this experience drives home the need for motion controls in VR.
Aside from the technical difficulties, an awesome stream. I think I discovered a new love in LFS, racing with the DK2 is absolutely killer!
I look forward to seeing you on the next Sunday Stream!