The artful and delightful virtual reality ballet La Peri has has been re-launched with a new name, adding Lord of the Rings voice actor John Rhys-Davies alongside numerous other enhancements in this unique ‘must own’ VR experience, now known as Firebird: La Péri.
La Péri appeared alongside the HTC Vive’s launch back in April and perhaps didn’t receive the coverage it deserved (and I include ourselves as guilty parties here). The title, developed by Paris / LA based studio Innerspace VR, is an ambitious and unique project, sitting alone in a genre it has now essentially created.
A virtual reality ballet, La Péri is based on the music of on a one act ballet of the same name by French composer Paul Dukas and tells the story of Iskender, an ageing Magi who seeks the Flower of Immortality for, well, you know. In its VR form, the ballet comprises acts or dances, with each new dance centering around Iskender (played by you incidentally) capturing one of the four petals of the flower. The experience cites Disney’s Fantasia, an animation also based on Dukas’ work, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Now relaunched as Firebird: La Péri, in reference to the central, ethereal dancer, Innerspace has revisited the original and laivished some significant updates. Most notably is the addition of Lord of the Rings‘ (although he’ll always be Salah from Raiders of the Lost Ark to me) John Rhys-Davies who now provides his gravitas as the title’s narrator 0 Davies of course famously played Ghimli in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of Tolkien’s fantasy novels.
Also, for those that have tried La Peri previously, the developers have now added a magic book which leads you through the story in between catching the heart from the creatures (the crux of the interactivity in the original). Also, Firebird now includes both French and Mandarin language options.
La Péri was one of the most effective uses of the HTC Vive’s much vaunted room-scale capabilities on release. Sharing space with the beautifully motion captured dancer, who forms the centerpiece of the experience, elicited some of the most powerful sensations of presence I’ve ever had in VR – that’s before considering the stunning use of abstract production design and particles which are present throughout.
In short, if you have an HTC Vive, and haven’t tried La Péri, the newly re-launched Firebird: La Péri is a perfect opportunity to get this must-have experience. You can grab it from Steam right here. What are you waiting for?