News

  • Take A Virtual Tour Around The Solar System With ‘Overview’

    A French company is using VR to create the next generation of educational space simulators. From outlandish ideas involving sensory deprivation chambers housed inside a Burning Man art installation and a location-based VR experience launched as a partnership between NASA and Samsung in commemoration of the Apollo program’s 50th anniversary, to multiplayer moonwalks and actual

    The post Take A Virtual Tour Around The Solar System With ‘Overview’ appeared first on VRScout.

  • Sprint Vector Dev’s Electronauts Releases Next Week, Tracklist Revealed
    Sprint Vector Dev’s Electronauts Releases Next Week, Tracklist Revealed

    The next game from the developers of Sprint Vector and Raw Data is releasing sooner than you think.

    Survios today announced that its VR music creation experience, Electronauts, will be launching on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR (PSVR) on Tuesday, August 7th. The PC VR version will cost $19.99, while the PSVR edition will go for $17.99. A full track list for the game has also been released, which we’ve included below. It includes popular artists like The Chainsmokers (who have their own VR app, in fact) and Steve Aoki.

    Electronauts allows players to remix, compose and perform tracks, giving you a heap of tools and virtual instruments to mess around with. As you may have already guessed from the neon-lit launch trailer, its geared more towards dance music instead of the rock songs that games like Rock Band VR have tackled in the past.

    Electronauts isn’t all Survios has in the works right now, though. The studio is also developing Creed: Rise to Glory, a VR boxing game based on the popular spin-off to the Rocky franchise.

    Full track list:

    The Chainsmokers – Roses (ft. ROZES)

    ODESZA – Say My Name (ft. Zyra)

    Steve Aoki & Boehm – Back 2 You (ft. WALK THE MOON)

    Tiesto & John Christian – I Like It Loud (ft. Marshall Masters & The Ultimate MC)

    ZHU & Tame Impala – My Life

    ZHU & NERO – Dreams

    ZHU – Intoxicate

    12th Planet – Let Me Help You (ft. Taylr Renee)

    Netsky – Nobody

    Dada Life – B Side Boogie, Higher Than The Sun, We Want Your Soul

    Keys N Krates – Dum Dee Dum

    Krewella & Yellow Claw – New World (ft. Vava)

    Krewella – Alibi

    Amp Live & Del The Funky Homosapien – Get Some of Dis

    DJ Shadow – Bergshrund (ft. Nils Frahm)

    3LAU – Touch (ft. Carly Paige)

    Machinedrum – Angel Speak (ft. Melo-X), Do It 4 U (ft. Dawn Richard)

    People Under The Stairs – Feels Good

    Tipper – Lattice

    TOKiMONSTA – Don’t Call Me (ft. Yuna), I Wish I Could (ft. Selah Sue)

    Reid Speed & Frank Royal – Get Wet

    AHEE – Liftoff

    BIJOU – Gotta Shine (ft. Germ)

    Anevo – Can’t Stop (ft. Heather Sommer)

    KRANE & QUIX – Next World

    B-Sides & SWAGE – On The Floor

    Gerald Le Funk vs. Subshock & Evangelos – 2BAE

    Max Styler – Heartache (Taiki Nulight Remix), All Your Love

    Riot Ten & Sirenz – Scream!

    Fawks – Say You Like It (ft. Medicienne)

    Taiki Nulight – Savvy

    Jovian – ERRBODY

    Madnap – Heat

    MIKNNA – Trinity Ave, Us

    5AM – Peel Back (ft. Wax Future)

    Jamie Prado & Gregory Doveman – Young (Club Mix)

    Coral Fusion – Klip

    GOODHENRY – Wonder Wobble

    Starbuck – Mist

     

    Tagged with: Electronauts

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Sprint Vector Dev’s Electronauts Releases Next Week, Tracklist Revealed appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Magic Leap One’s Reported Field Of View Leaves A Lot To Be Desired
    Magic Leap One’s Reported Field Of View Leaves A Lot To Be Desired

    The Microsoft HoloLens Developer Kit originally released back in March of 2016. That’s nearly two and a half years ago. At that time it’s limited field of view of only 30 degrees horizontally was seen as a frustrating, but understandable, drawback. Now the Magic Leap One, the severely hyped upcoming AR headset that no one can talk about, only has a 40 degree horizontal field of view according to uncovered developer documentation.

    There’s no other way to describe that than as a disappointment.

    Source: VentureBeat

    In a world where the upcoming Leap Motion North Star headset reportedly has a 100-degree FOV and Magic Leap’s received over $2 billion in funding by comparison, 40 degrees horizontally isn’t much of a “leap” forward at all.

    Similar to the HoloLens, using the Magic Leap One will likely instill a “window” effect in your view. Instead of feeling like you’re surrounded by a magical, augmented world such as is shown in all of the promotional videos for the device, it’s more like peering through a tiny window to another world — almost like holding up your phone with Apple’s ARKit or Google’s ARCore.

    Granted, I have not personally tried the Magic Leap One, but this statistic is troubling. When you combine this number with the lack of a real, live demo and an incredibly lackluster “rock monster” presentation that doesn’t even feature hand occlusion, it’s all adding up to what will likely be a major disappointment.

    Source: Next Reality

    The verdict is still out though and we have to wait a bit longer before delivering any real impressions, but our excitement is quickly dwindling. Magic Leap One will start shipping developer kits this summer.

    Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: Magic Leap, Magic Leap One

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Magic Leap One’s Reported Field Of View Leaves A Lot To Be Desired appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Oculus To Talk Porting Content To Santa Cruz And More At Connect 5
    Oculus To Talk Porting Content To Santa Cruz And More At Connect 5

    The first talks have been revealed and registration is now open for Oculus Connect 5, being hosted September 26 and 27 in San Jose, California.

    The first 18 talks revealed for the two-day event cover a variety of subjects, including porting content to the upcoming high-end standalone headset Facebook is seeding to developers this year.

    The talk by Gabor Szauer, an Oculus Developer Relations Engineer, is titled “Porting Your App to Project Santa Cruz” and covers how to bring content to the forthcoming standalone system. The talk will cover “a stable of universal techniques and best practices can help reduce draw calls and hit perf without sacrificing fidelity. We’ll start with an overview of the device and basic considerations, and walk step by step through the process of reviewing and optimizing textures, scene geometry, and lighting. This session will also include a deep dive on engine profiling tools and specific Santa Cruz performance targets.”

    This looks like the deep dive developers will be hoping to see about the capabilities of the “Santa Cruz” developer prototype. It is unknown right now exactly how hard it will be for developers to get versions of their PC-based Rift games up and running on the headset and this talk looks like it might answer some of those questions.

    Oculus Connect 5: I will be doing me my usual live app reviews and unscripted keynote on day 2. https://t.co/zOTpbnn6cE

    — John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) July 31, 2018

    Here are the other talks Oculus revealed:

    Advances in the Oculus Rift PC SDK
    Volga Aksoy, Oculus Software Engineer + Dean Beeler, Oculus Software Engineer
    The PC SDK is the foundation of performance apps and games. This session will cover our latest features and new runtime advances designed to help you boost visual fidelity and performance.

    Blood, Sweat, and Tears: A Tale of VR Esports
    Christopher K. McKelvy, Oculus Head of Esports
    Catch up on the latest and what’s next for Oculus’s journey into VR esports. During this talk, developers and business leaders will learn what makes a great VR esports title and how to capitalize on industry trends. Attendees will leave with a deep understanding of Oculus’ long-term strategy to revolutionize every aspect of esports including gameplay, competition, and viewership.

    Bootstrapping Social VR
    John Bartkiw, Oculus Platform Engineering Manager
    The best way to get the real feeling of presence in VR is to share an experience with someone else. In this session, we’ll debunk the myth of how challenging it is to build a multiplayer VR experience. We’ll walk through a Unity sample project step-by-step to help you build with invites and matchmaking, co-ordinated app launch and Avatars, VoIP, and P2P networking.

    Building Brand + Community (On a Budget)
    Lisa Brown Jaloza, Oculus Tech Comms Manager
    Come learn about the unique opportunities available to you as Oculus developers and pick up some tried-and-true best practices while you’re at it. From blogs and asset creation to reddiquette and beyond, we’ll help you put social media and the VR community to work for you—without breaking

    The post Oculus To Talk Porting Content To Santa Cruz And More At Connect 5 appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Anamorphine Review: A Distressing Tale Of Depression With Little Redemption
    Anamorphine Review: A Distressing Tale Of Depression With Little Redemption

    Gaming is more open than ever, and that’s an amazing thing. Slowly but surely we’re seeing a much more diverse, vibrant industry emerge, one that thrives on the joys of our differences but also one that isn’t afraid to tackle tough subjects that we all face, like mental health. Some games, like this week’s stunning VR port of Hellblade, navigate this tricky territory with aplomb. Anamorphine, though, isn’t able to tackle it with the same eloquence.

    Developer Artifact 5 is clearly speaking from the heart with this distressing tale of a couple that succumbs to depression following a tragic accident. And, through striking imagery and inventive design, the team does find some interesting ways to talk about these struggles. But a handful of missteps leave Anamorphine feeling cold, misguided and ultimately even a little irresponsible.

    Other than movement and gaze-based interactions you’re simply a spectator in Anamorphine. You follow protagonist Tyler and his wife Elena as they struggle to come to terms with an incident that leaves the latter unable to play her cello, clearly a strong source of her livelihood. There isn’t a single spoken word; you move through Tyler’s increasingly distorted memories on what very much feels like a descent into the very recesses of mental anguish.

    Artifact 5 mines the topic for some memorable and disturbing moments. The workmanlike halls of the hospital in which Elena rests stretch on like an increasingly frustrating maze, while some sequences have you endlessly walking through the couple’s apartment to hammer home the vicious cycle that poor mental health can lock you in. Flies fester, garbage piles up, lights drip and the wind howls. It’s literally stepping into the state of someone at their lowest.

    Recurrence is, ironically, a recurrent theme within the game itself and perhaps a little too much at times. Some sequences stretch on a little too long without having much to say, and what impact they can make is diminished by frequent returns. This is a story that’s at its best when it encapsulates the strain of depression in ways that only gaming can express, by literally transporting you into someone’s mind and playing with the supernatural, so it’s a shame the ideas can’t stay fresh even for 60 minutes.

    That said, there are moments that will stay with me, more for how cleverly that define the difficult juggling act of staying positive. At one point the music that Elena thrived upon appears to completely swallow her whole, which Tyler’s struggle with alcoholism is brought to life in one particularly visceral scene. Earlier moments in the game have happier sequences too, like exploring a world Elena builds with her music.

    One of Anamorphine biggest missteps, though, is with its ending. Without spoiling anything, it’s important to note there are two possible conclusions to the game, and it’s very easy to miss the action needed to achieve the ‘good’ ending. I did the first time and, as a result, the game really rubbed me the wrong way. It simply didn’t have an ascent to

    The post Anamorphine Review: A Distressing Tale Of Depression With Little Redemption appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Flight Is A Photorealistic VR App For Fighting Fears Of Flying
    Flight Is A Photorealistic VR App For Fighting Fears Of Flying

    I remember the first time I flew by myself, I was terrified. And the funny thing? It wasn’t about the flying, it was about the airport. I was paranoid that I wouldn’t know where to go, wouldn’t be let past security, wouldn’t be allowed onto my flight and be stuck in some strange, alien world I knew nothing about. And that’s not uncommon; I’ve met lots of people that have had similar experiences. That’s what makes the Oculus Start-backed Flight VR so intriguing.

    Current in development as a collaboration between VR architectural visualisation company, Visual Lane, and art studio, Chris Bain Design, Flight is a photorealistic experience designed for people that have a fear of flying. It offers a meticulous recreation of an airport and recreates the many processes passengers have to go through before and during boarding as a means of helping people get to grips with it. No detail has been spared, right down to safety instructions displaying on a passenger’s in-flight screen before takeoff.

    Flight VR Experience from chrisbaindesign on Vimeo.

    “VR is a perfect tool for releaving someone of the acute anxieties caused by flying,” Chris Bain himself told Upload over email. “Traditional exposure therapy can be distressing to the patient and cause even more extreme symtoms such as panic attacks and vomiting. Flight VR allows the user in enter a photorealistic 360 environment and experience air travel procedures, at their own pace, in the comfort of their own surroundings.”

    As you can see in the trailer, the experience covers everything from arriving at an airport and checking your flight times to checking your luggage is the correct size for travel and passing through security gates. Eventually, you’ll board an aircraft, find your seat, stow your luggage and prepare to take off. Helpful hints appear along the way to give you as stress-free an experience as possible.

    “It’s important the user has exposure to the full flying experience and part of that involves the journey through the airport/security/boarding and the sights and sounds of the airport,” Bain explained. “Many passengers with flying phobias don’t even make it to the aircraft jetway and our Flight VR allows the user to slowly build up the courage and relieve those anxieties.”

    There are plenty of VR apps that utilize exposure therapy right now, but Flight easily looks like one of the most polished and intriguing we’ve yet seen.

    Right now Flight VR is being developed as part of the Oculus Start program, which is designed to help smaller developers hit the ground running. Bain and co hope to turn an initial prototype into a full experience over the course of 2018, so hopefully we can get a deeper look towards the end of the year.

    Tagged with: Flight VR

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Flight Is A Photorealistic VR App For Fighting Fears Of Flying appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Kite & Lightning Showcasing iPhone Motion Capture At SIGGRAPH
    Kite & Lightning Showcasing iPhone Motion Capture At SIGGRAPH

    VR development studio Kite & Lightning is taking its impressive iPhone-based motion capture pipeline to SIGGRAPH.

    We’ve written a couple stories about the system which Kite & Lightning co-founder Cory Strassburger has been putting together mainly on his weekends. Strassburger uses a helmet-mounted iPhone X combined with an Xsens suit for completely wireless full body and facial motion capture. His latest additions smooth out the process even further and, with the Ikinema LiveAction tool, a performance can be brought directly into Unreal Engine in real-time.

    “With the facial capture data being only 150kbps, you could easily have a mobile companion app for your game that allows an MC or Commentator to stream their audio and facial capture performance right into a live VR match,” Strassburger explained in an email.

    Kite & Lightning is a small studio that developed VR experiences like Senza Peso as early as 2014 to show some very early adopters a true sense of immersion for the first time. Strassburger and co-founder Ikrima Elhassan also sharpened their skills with some work-for-hire VR projects before raising $2.5 million in 2016 with plans to build a game with an unusual premise. In Bebylon, immortal “bebies” regularly do battle in a character-driven VR spectacle.

    Strassburger’s iPhone-based capture pipeline relies on face-sensing capabilities to transform his expressions into one of these bebies in real-time. Overall, it shows the potential of using one of Apple’s newest gadgets for decent motion capture at a relatively low all-in price. Strassburger explained in an email earlier this year how this possibility affected their roadmap.

    “Having any meaningful amounts of character animation on our game’s early roadmap was a total pipe dream. I knew full well how slow and expensive it was to capture decent facial performances let alone the cost and time involved in simply building the facial rig for a character,” Strassburger wrote. “If Ikrima and I actually had a conversation early on, we would have both logically agreed that a handful of facial expressions would be all we need or could even entertain given the scope of our game. Luckily that conversation never happened because it went without saying! And as the concept for the game started to take shape and the Bebylon world was being born, so was this underlying, powerful desire to see these characters walk and smack talk and tell their stories to the public! The more I started to create and write about these characters, the more their existence became pivotal to the game’s concept of inspiring players to unleash their inner wild child within this crazy virtual game world.”

    Capturing performances this way also opens the door to more easily making vignettes, TV shows, movies or other types of productions with the same core content and tools. These tools might not be up to the quality some creators need for their projects, but for those that do find this to be a good enough solution “it would definitely change the scape of creating content for those mediums because it is insanely easy to capture lots

    The post Kite & Lightning Showcasing iPhone Motion Capture At SIGGRAPH appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Oculus Go’s They Suspect Nothing Gets New Games In Free DLC
    Oculus Go’s They Suspect Nothing Gets New Games In Free DLC

    First you saved serious cash on buying an Oculus Go headset instead of those pricey Rift thingies, and now you’re getting free content for one of the kit’s biggest games. Lucky you!

    Coatsink’s frantic minigame compliation, They Suspect Nothing, will recieve a free update named Overclocked on Friday, Agust 3rd, which adds in eight new experiences for players to test their skills against. These games will be split across two new hub worlds added to the game’s robotic city in which humans are strictly banned. These include Arcadia University and the morbidly named Terminal Park. There’s also some extra items to customize your fake-robo character with.

    “The Arcadia City University opens in the campus’ main foyer, a lavish hall filled with robot artifacts and the remnants of a student party,” Coatsink explained to UploadVR. “Unlike previous mini-games (in which the player struggled to prove they’re a robot), here the player must cheat their way through a series of exams to gain their ACU diploma, aided by their new best friend Terrence… a human disguised as a fridge.

    “Meanwhile, Terminal Park is a vibrant funfair run by the extravagant fortune teller Voltar and her jaded crystal ball. Despite the wealth of workers (including a littering robot designed to make the place feel ‘authentic’) the player is officially the park’s first visitor. As Voltar says, “There are no tests here. No traps or tricks. Just pure unfettered amusement – built solely, it seems, for you.”

    On top of the DLC, the game’s soundtrack will also go live on Spofity, iTunes and Amazon music.

    They Suspect Nothing now boasts 20 minigames. It’s an experience that fits in with the core value of the Oculus Go itself; to get people into VR with accessible, engaging hardware and software. That is to say, it might not be the game for hardcore VR gamers, but it’s great for showing off your shiny new VR gear to friends and family. It’s available on both Go and Gear VR for $7.99/£5.99.

    Tagged with: They Suspect Nothing

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Oculus Go’s They Suspect Nothing Gets New Games In Free DLC appeared first on UploadVR.

  • PSVR’s Blood And Truth Gets Plenty Of New Gameplay In Dev Video
    PSVR’s Blood And Truth Gets Plenty Of New Gameplay In Dev Video

    Eager to see more of upcoming PlayStation VR (PSVR) shooter, Blood And Truth? This new video has some tantalizing gameplay snippets.

    Shot at last month’s E3, this footage from PlayStation sees developer Sony London discussing the making of its latest VR game with another studio, Flavourworks, which is currently making a title for PS4’s PlayLink platform. London’s Stuart Whyte talks about the challenges of making a VR shooter and delivering a story in a world in which the player has complete agency, and there’s some interesting comparisons between that and making Flavourworks’ smartphone-based adventure, Erica.

    Perhaps most interesting is that Whyte reveals London Heist, the story-driven shooter minigame found on London Studio’s PlayStation VR Worlds, was “by far the most popular experience” found in that compilation. Blood And Truth is considered to be a spiritual successor to that experience, retaining the same look and feel though not necessarily starring the same characters. The aim, essentially, is to turn the London Heist demo into a full game.

    Gameplay-wise, this clip shows us some new areas of the game that were being shown at E3. You take to the streets of London for gritty shootouts using the PlayStation Move controllers, and we also see players using construction sites to climb and take cover. We still don’t know when the game’s expected to hit, nor if it’s going to support PSVR’s shiny Aim controller, which seems perfectly suited to the experience.

    Tagged with: blood and truth

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post PSVR’s Blood And Truth Gets Plenty Of New Gameplay In Dev Video appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Beat Saber Could Remake VR Arcades With Tournaments And Mixed Reality
    Beat Saber Could Remake VR Arcades With Tournaments And Mixed Reality

    Indie sensation Beat Saber is now officially supporting VR arcades with a commercial license. This means VR arcades can officially start carrying the rhythm slicing game through an agreement with its creators.

    Distribution platform SpringboardVR is one of the first partners to get official access to Beat Saber for arcades. While the arcade roll-out is much larger than one single distribution partner, SpringboardVR operates at hundreds of locations around the world and co-founder Will Stackable said they “tracked” four million minutes of usage across their network in June. Those are interesting numbers to take note of as one of VR’s most exciting games comes to neighborhood arcade locations around the world.

    “I think it has the potential to transform the VR Arcade space,” Stackable wrote. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it jumped to a top 10 slot and accounted for 5-10% of our total minutes the first month, which would be between 200k-400k minutes. (A number that would put it in good company with other top titles).”

    Stackable offered up several reasons he’s excited to see what Beat Saber’s release in arcades does to shape the VR industry.

    1.) It’s A Fun Game

    The VOID draws in people with Star Wars while Dave & Buster’s just launched an alluring Jurassic World VR attraction. For VR arcades, Beat Saber might be just the thing to draw people into repeat visits. If the game turns out to be a compelling enough title to transform the scale of SpringboardVR’s business then it will likely also remake the larger VR arcade industry as well.

    “Beat Saber is, put plainly, a truly high quality game,” Stackable wrote. “And just as importantly it’s the first quality game that is specifically made for arcade play. VR Arcades are used to taking consumer games and trying to fit them into an arcade play style. This game changes that.”

    2.) Beat Saber Looks Incredible On Camera

    Springboard is planning to partner with LIV and Virtual Athletics League to host a VR Arcade Tournament at more than 50 arcades with mixed reality broadcasting to show spectators what the game looks like.

    “It’s the first VR game that looks as fun to play as it actually is to put on a headset and play,” Stackable wrote. “Mixed reality videos of Beat Saber are blowing up the internet… and we haven’t really seen that yet in VR. VR Arcades (and VR as a whole) desperately needs that. We need a game that people watch a video of on Facebook and say, ‘I NEED TO PLAY THAT!’ Beat Saber is a marketing teams dream game.”

    3.) Per Minute Pricing

    According to Stackable, SpringboardVR recommended the team behind Beat Saber price their commercial license around 6 cents per minute — a rate Stackable says is emerging as an industry norm.

    “This is based partially on what operators are realizing makes sense for them financially,” Stackable wrote. “With their margins, spending approximately 15% of their revenue on commercial licensing makes sense. Above that and it gets tricky. So at $25 an hour, that comes out to $.06.

    The post Beat Saber Could Remake VR Arcades With Tournaments And Mixed Reality appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Farmers Insurance scales training with virtual reality In the insurance industry, training claims adjusters is a non-stop challenge. These public-facing employees work with clients in stressful situations, and their expertise is essential to giving customers the service they expect while ensuring effici...
  • Farmers Insurance scales training with virtual reality In the insurance industry, training claims adjusters is a non-stop challenge. These public-facing employees work with clients in stressful situations, and their expertise is essential to giving customers the service they expect while ensuring efficienc...
  • Get 40% Off Hellblade As VR Version Launches Today
    Get 40% Off Hellblade As VR Version Launches Today

    The verdict is in: Hellblade VR is a triumph. Ninja Theory’s BAFTA-winning adventure was already worth your time on a flat screen, but it soars in VR and is simply unmissable if you own an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Good news, then: you can currently pick it up for almost half the price.

    The original version of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is on sale on the Humble Store for the next week priced at $17.99/£14.99. That’s 40% off of the original price of $29.99/£24.99. Crucially, you can claim the game on Steam, meaning you’ll still get the free VR update when it goes live later today.

    We loved what Ninja Theory did with Hellblade VR, calling it a “remarkable achievement in visual and sound design.”

    “It’s a great example of how to port a non-VR third-person action game to the immersive realm of HMDs that not only stays true to the source material, but enhances the experience in meaningful ways,” Games Editor David Jagneaux wrote. “If you haven’t played Hellblade before, there is no better time than now and if you have, then this is an engrossing way to re-experience Senua’s journey from a new perspective.”

    Elsewhere, Ninja Theory also confirmed that anyone that picked the game up on GOG instead of Steam will also be getting the VR version free. Yay!

    Tagged with: Hellblade VR, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post Get 40% Off Hellblade As VR Version Launches Today appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Review – A Haunting Thrill Ride Through The Human Mind
    Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Review – A Haunting Thrill Ride Through The Human Mind

    I remember the moment that I realized playing a game like Hellblade in VR would be unlike everything else I’ve  played before. During a tense fight with an enemy early on in the game I was very low on health. One of the voices in my head that’s constantly taunting, nagging, and whispering to Senua throughout her journey yelped “Behind you!” and I physically spun my head around to see another enemy lunging  with a sword, so I pressed the block button and parried the blow perfectly. Had it not been for that ability to turn and look — and my instinct to follow directions from the voice in my head — I likely would have died.

    Small moments like that are great examples of how VR can be used to enhance an otherwise non-VR game. Not every game needs VR support, but most games would be more immersive and engrossing if it was done well. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice outside of VR was already one of the best games this entire generation with ominous psychological overtones and a highly atmospheric setting, so adapting that world to VR only enhances what already made it so great to begin with.

    In Hellblade you take on the role of Senua as she descends into the depths of Nordic Hell, otherwise known as Helheim, on a quest to save the soul of her lost lover. Throughout the adventure you’re besieged by twisted, demonic creatures that engage you in ferocious melee combat. The journey consists of battling back these deranged creatures, exploring dark, twisted worlds, and uncovering the meaning behind cryptic symbols and puzzles.

    What underscores everything though is the bold and brilliant presentation. Visually it’s one of the most stunning games (VR or otherwise) that I’ve ever played and I’m honestly hard-pressed to think of a better looking experience inside of a VR headset. The sound design is second-to-none as voices race through Senua’s head and across each of your ears. One voice may whisper words of encouragement while another sneers insults and discredits your actions. Flickers of images and brief hallucinations appear on-screen and you’re constantly questioning everything that you do and see for the entire 6-8 hour journey.

    Combat in Hellblade is thrilling and intense. It’s nowhere near as deep as other third-person action games you may have played recently, but it doesn’t need to be. Senua can issue light and heavy attacks, dodge, block, and parry. Eventually you unlock some otherworldly abilities and time manipulation, which looks amazing in VR, but that’s the gist of it. You time your blocks to parry attacks, string together combos, and juggle multiple enemies that quickly try to surround and overwhelm you.

    Being able to crane your neck around and marvel at the amazing environment is a huge reason why playing Hellblade in VR is so magical, but the change of perspective actually helps out combat as well. As explained at the start of this review, you can look around while fighting to avoid getting flanked by unseen enemies.

    And while you

    The post Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice VR Review – A Haunting Thrill Ride Through The Human Mind appeared first on UploadVR.

  • PSVR Co-Creator Richard Marks Leaves Sony For Google
    PSVR Co-Creator Richard Marks Leaves Sony For Google

    Update: After publication we received the following comment from a Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) spokesperson:

    “ATAP is at the intersection of science and application where our goal is to solve significant problems and close the gap between what if and what is. We’re super excited about Richard joining the senior team and look forward to his contributions.”

    Original: According to a report from VentureBeat, Richard Marks, a former senior researcher and head of PlayStation’s Magic Lab who helped create the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset and PS Move controllers, has left Sony to join Google.

    As of now we’ve got no real idea what his role at Google will be or what this means for the future of Sony’s PSVR. In fact, Google recently hired Phil Harrison, the former head of Sony’s game research and development for worldwide studios, Jack Buser, the former PlayStation Home chief, and even the creator of Xbox Live Arcade, Greg Canessa.

    Clearly it seems that Google is amidst a big push for game-focused talent and is likely building up to something huge. There have been rumors of a “Google Yeti” which could be a cloud-based gaming platform to rival PlayStation and Xbox. If the Yeti were going to have VR features, hiring Marks would be a great way to prototype and engineer that sort of support.

    While running Sony’s Magic Lab, Marks was in charge of R&D of future-focused concepts and ideas. In that role he helped create the PS Move controllers and PSVR headset as we mentioned, as well as the EyeToy (the predecessor of the PS Camera).

    We’ve reached out to both Sony and Google for comment.

    Tagged with: google, PSVR, richard marks

    .special-buttons > * { text-align:left !important; } FacebookTwitterRedditMore

    The post PSVR Co-Creator Richard Marks Leaves Sony For Google appeared first on UploadVR.