I recently decided to dive into VR and bought a Valve Index. I’ll write about the hardware elsewhere, but in the meantime here’s the start of a new series of VR mini reviews. Enjoy!
My first full on VR game (not including the Steam stuff), GORN really does an excellent job of making you feel like you’re in an (cartoon) arena, holding a big rubber hammer bashing the crap out of the NPCs. On a screen, video game violence is still somewhat divorced from reality, but when you swing your hand holding a VR weapon and it connects with a VR NPC, it really does feel very immersive. I found myself backing away, shielding myself, and going for the exposed bits when I got the opportunity. It’s a bit short, which I understand is a problem with most VR games - but when you want to just be in an arena and bash stuff it’s great fun.
Only two gripes; with the game really. Firstly, the movement methods are restricted to either grabbing the controller and ‘pulling’ the world towards you, which feels weird and slow, or move with the thumbstick which makes me feel sick.
Secondly, although I know there’s only so much you can do with a simulator, I can literally knock the goons across the arena if I flick my arm hard enough. Pretty quickly I found myself abusing the physics, waiting for an opening and then smashing the goon on the head very very quickly, which seemed to work for pretty much anything.
The absolute highlight of VR here for me was getting shot in the chest with an arrow; I wasn’t expecting that at all. I saw the guy with the bow, I expected to get shot - but not to then look down and see an arrow protruding from my chest. All VR games omit your actual body, generally making your hands and your head physical objects in the world. Presumably the game works out where your center of mass is based on the head and the hands, but having an arrow sticking out of you is definitely one that takes getting used to.
For more reviews, check out my Steam Quest.