For months, news of the next generation virtual reality headsets have been nothing more than a series of tantalizing sneak peeks surrounded by a lot of clunky hardware trying to power games mostly in their early beta testing stages. Although Oculus Rift has been receiving the most attention, Sony’s Project Morpheus is not far behind with an appealing headset whose characteristic strip of blue neon running across the top of the frame is just plain cool.
Fortunately, both teams are closer than ever to producing polished games, and the technology and feasibility of actually bringing these to market is eagerly being anticipated by gamers and industry analysts the world over.
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Oculus Rift is on full display, offering reviewers a chance to test the games Alien Isolation, Lucky’s Tale, and Superhot.
The Oculus Rift Headset
Oculus Rift has come far since its inaugural debut, whose then clunky headset was hardly appealing, much less comfortable to wear. Today, Oculus Rift’s headset fits snugly, is light, and is hardly noticeable when playing.
This reviewer had a chance to play Sega’s Alien Isolation at length, and the experience was nothing less than spectacular. The gameplay felt and looked smooth without any visible glitches (although some reviewers I spoke to witnessed the occasional skip). Most impressive was the actual experience of looking around and navigating through Alien Isolation’s darkened tunnels, hallways, and control centers while trying to evade the aliens lurking about, and ever ready to chase you down for a feast.
Although critics of virtual reality gaming are quick to point out the issues of disorientation and eye fatigue, I experienced none of them. In fact, the immersive nature of Alien Isolation brings you inside the game in a way most gamers not yet privy to virtual reality gaming have no idea of conceiving. After playing Alien Isolation, I am convinced these systems are no longer gimmicks, but the first true step toward the future of gaming. My only disappointment is not being able to take one of these home, as 2-D gaming now feels so, well, yesterday.