Whether you’re done with the Oculus Rift after the Facebook buyout or you could care less who’s bankrolling the project, it’s hard to argue that some of the projects being developed for the headset aren’t unlike anything we’ve encountered before in gaming and simulation. Let’s take a look at some of the unique experiences made possible by the headset:
Alone is a horror-themed game with a meta approach, the player is actually playing a video game within the game, sitting on the couch and enjoying a spooky top-down game while eerie sounds emanate from the virtual house that the player sits in. Look over your shoulder at the right time and you might see your door suddenly swing open and slam shut. If you remember playing horror games like Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil and Silent Hill and being spooked out by every eerie noise and shadow in your house, Alone takes that experience to another level.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
The potential for Oculus Rift to eat up hundreds of hours of your time as you sit alone strapped into the headset is there, but the OR also takes party games into the future with projects like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. You know in movies like Lethal Weapon where the cops have to clip the blue wire to keep a building from being blown up? Keep Talking tasks one player with clipping the wires, while other players feed him necessary information, telling him which wires to cut so everybody can, well, not explode.
Even if you think that all of the OR games so far are kind of gimmicky and more like toys than actual games, remember that plenty of existing games already support the headset, including Skyrim, DooM 3, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. As soon as the novelty of VR wears off, we can expect to see plenty more core, skill-based gaming experiences that just so happen to use immersive technology to put you into the game.
Ever wanted to step inside of your favorite shows and movies? Jerry’s Place is the first major project to focus on recreating the environment from a famous non-gaming piece of entertainment, but it’s probably not going to be the last. The VR Star Wars cantina can’t be far behind, nor can the bowling alley from The Big Lebowski, or the Cheers bar. What we like about sitcoms and certain movies is that you can put it on the TV and just sort of hang out with the characters for thirty minutes or a couple of hours. As soon as someone gets around to simulating actual Seineld episodes or creating an Oculus Rift-original sitcom or movie, the OR will take that into a whole new dimension.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Not all VR experiences need to be focused on far-fetched fantasy. Euro Truck Simulator 2 offers Oculus Rift support to put you behind the wheel of a big rig. It sounds almost silly to use such high tech to recreate such a low key experience, but if you think about it: how many experiences are there that are just barely out of our reach? You could become a trucker, but you’d have to quit your dayjob and earn your truck driving license. Flight simulators and the more simulation-focused racing games have the same appeal.
“The only limitations on virtual reality are those imposed by the content creators,” said Jason Hope, tech expert “whether they choose to create immersive gaming experiences, training simulations or just fun virtual environments to explore, we’re looking at a whole new creative medium.”
The Oculus Rift’s buyout by Facebook may change the way that the product is created and marketed, but the content is defined only by the content creators. Whether this means simulation experiences, hardcore gaming, or just letting you visit your favorite fictional locales, developers are already plunging into the wide range of possibilities made real by the headset technology.
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