War Thunder, the popular WWII-themed plane combat game, now has integrated support for the HTC Vive, and it works great.
War Thunder developer Gaijin has been experimenting with virtual reality since the early Rift days. Early versions of War Thunder’s Rift support left much to be desired in terms of technical integration; tracking, scale, and design issues made the experience uncomfortable.
Now we’re happy to report that not only has the company added support for the HTC Vive, but War Thunder’s overall VR integration is mostly flawless, letting players enjoy being immersed inside of the game’s hundreds of authentic WWII plane cockpits. The game will also be a launch title for PlayStation VR, according to Gaijin.
Curiously, to enable the HTC Vive in War Thunder, you need to make sure to check the ‘Oculus Rift’ box in the game’s launcher menu. This will indeed activate support for whichever of the two headsets you’re using, but the company needs to rename the option to something more generic, having just recently built in Vive support.
With the Vive and Rift’s improved resolution compared to prior headsets, this is the first generation of devices where playing War Thunder in VR feels truly practical, as the resolution is good enough that you can clearly see the thin crosshairs when aiming through a plane’s sights, as well as spot the silhouettes of enemy planes on the horizon.
As an added bonus, the game’s many tanks can also be piloted in virtual reality, but the experience isn’t quite as solid without the detailed interiors of the game’s planes. The game places your virtual view floating fairly high above the tank. Your view also turns when the tank turns, which doesn’t make for a particularly comfortable experience. Gaijin says the VR support for tanks is still early and they hope to make more improvements as they go.
The studio is also thinking about adding new VR features to War Thunder. Gaijin’s Alexander Trifonov said one idea that the company is floating is a sort of virtual museum/showroom that would let players check out the game’s many plane models from the outside. Trifonov said that seeing the planes at scale is an exciting prospect for many of the game’s dedicated players, and one that can really change people’s perception of these classic aircraft.
Trifonov also confirmed that Gaijin is working to bring VR support to Crossout, the company’s latest game which is currently in closed alpha. Meanwhile Star Conflict, Gaijin’s space dogfighting game, is still lacking support for the Vive and the latest version of the Rift, though Trifonov said both were in the works.