We got a taste of the future of VR gaming with the Oculus Rift
Virtual Reality has been around even well before the Virtual Boy. However, aside from the Virtual Boy, it never ended up being a household item. That's all about to change with the Oculus Rift.
Our friend and indie developer, Evan Schiftan, was among the many that supported the Oculus Rift Kickstarter and therefore has gotten his hands on a developer unit. He was kind enough to bring it by GameZone and let us take it for a test run, running games like Mirror's Edge, Team Fortress 2 and Skyrim.
My first venture into the world of Virtual Reality was in the form of a tech demo, taking place in some sort of intergalactic museum. There wasn't much gameplay there, rather, it was an introductory experience that got me used to moving around, and taking in the scenery.
Mirror's Edge however was a completely different experience. Although still a bit buggy, it took us a while to get it running. It seemed like Mirror's Edge was designed with VR in mind, or the Oculus Rift was designed for experiences just like this. Being able to look down a building before making a leap across is exhilarating to say the least.
It is important to note that the Oculus Rift does cause a lot of motion sickness. I personally haven't experienced much, but turns out Evan himself has previously thrown up after continued use of the Oculus. It's certainly something that gamers will have to get used to if they plan to venture into the world of VR.
Skyrim was also a pretty awesome experience, but was certainly more buggy than Mirror's Edge. Shadows would move depending on which way you were looking, which made the game look downright dumb, but what's important here is that folks who are allowing these games to be played with the Rift are on the right track. There is a reason these are just dev kits.
The future is definitely bright for the Oculus, which will have support for BioShock Infinite soon, and many other FPS games that will undoubtedly make good use of the device. Beyond that though, it would be amazing for an MMO to have the capabilities of using the Oculus Rift. Ever since I saw .Hack, I've dreamed of an immersive MMO that will make me feel like I'm in the game. While we're nowhere near that type of tech, the Oculus Rift is certainly the first step.