When we first saw KFC created a bizarre BioShock-esque VR training experience, we weren’t sure if it was the company’s next attempt at creating a brand engagement advert, or if KFC really intended on using the wacky chicken-frying escape room to train its employees. While the company says they’re actually using the KFC The Hard Way to train employees, they’ve also released the experience for free on the Oculus Store for Rift—making it a little less clear of the company’s overall intentions.

The objective: escape the clutches of the Colonel by learning how to fry chicken ‘the hard way’. The ultimate outcome: do exactly as the Colonel says and you’ll live to see that sweet $8.35-per-hour paycheck. It’s a quick (and free) experience, taking less than 10 minutes to complete, so I popped in for a look-see.

As an escape room, it fails miserably. The Colonel tells you how to do pretty much everything within a few seconds of incorrectly fumbling a piece of chicken, and there isn’t much to explore beyond the defined tasks ahead. As a less terrible way to teach employees the basic steps to preparing and cooking fried chicken, well, it seems to get the job done however.

Visuals are fairly impressive, although object interaction and hand presence could definitely be better. I found myself swiping at things just in reach, my hand passing through them to no avail. When I did grab onto something, it would automatically snap to a the desired hand position. This, combined with the lack of hand articulation possible with Touch controllers makes it a less immersive experience than I’d hoped going in. It’s certainly more entertaining than watching an employee training video in the back office, but that goes for almost any hands-on activity though.

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laser beams stop you from tossing chicken on the floor, image courtesy KFC

Despite what KFC says, it’s clear its franchises won’t be installing a gaming PC and VR headset to actually train employees using KFC The Hard Way. It simply isn’t comprehensive enough, nor does it include anything more than a few tasks to teach you how to fry chicken. If you’ve ever worked at a fast food restaurant, you know just how many codified step-by-step tasks there really are, and this doesn’t scratch the surface of everything required to run a clean and safe restaurant.

Check out my full play-through below:

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  • I was curious about it and finally I’ll be able to try it!

    • Celia

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