So I get to try VR out as part of my new job at work, and today I spent some time in Google Earth & in Lone Echo and a failed attempt at Defense Grid. While I get to try it on every conceivable platform there is out there, along with a host of the highest gaming laptops / pcs and VR backpacks, I’m starting with the Rift on a fairly non-descript core I-7 system.
As I’m a complete newbie with this, I thought I would start documenting this with my narrative and basic questions and hopefully you can answer some or ask questions on others.
The tutorial is OK but then diverts me into a path it wants me to take (I DON’T WANT TO SAVE another location based on your already save location), and the volume was way too loud with no ability to change it. They make it look so impressive in the beginning / tutorial / their saved locations.
But then I did what I would assume 90% of people will do and that is to look at my house. As I live in a somewhat rural area, it’s no better than what I would see on a PC, in fact it’s worse since the resolution is far lower.
But then it says “ah click here to go into street view” and It transports me to an intersection about 2 miles away, so it’s interpretation of where I want to go to and where it actually puts me is pretty damn far off. To make things worse, I can’t figure out how to exit street view other than to bring up the menu & go to a saved location, which puts me thousands of miles away.
HORRIBLE FIRST IMPRESSION. So many people rave about this but honestly, this is just a gimmick on their saved locations, the lack of volume control (on / off), and inability and horrible user interface of trying to navigate back out of street view really have me wondering here. Probably just pilot error and I don’t know what I’m doing but I clicked every button and pulled every trigger to no avail.
Wow. What a start. Beautiful graphics (comparably so), great voice acting, wonderful setting in space, and how they create the tutorial with a “malfunction” requiring me to go through a calibration session both introduced me into the controls and immediately reinforces it through immediate game play once I exit. Still getting my bearings and adapting to this new form of input, but grasping things and using my wrist jets to control movement / direction is very cool. After about 20-30 minutes, I started to get fatigued and my forehead was developing “VR Head” and I put it down, which brought up my single complaint: There appears to be zero save game support for multiple people. It only has “quit / continue” so if different people want to trade off, I can’t figure out how I would save something just for me.
Defense Grid 2: VR
Well, this was a bust, I was really excited to try it and while the menu comes up, and I can traverse the menu, any trigger pull / button push acts like the game is reading it as said button depresses, and the screen kind of pauses, but then the menu is refreshed. As the quit button is a menu button as well, no way to exit other than getting to windows & killing it with task manager.
Anyone know what I’m doing wrong? I’d love to play this as I have hundreds of hours in Steam on it.
First day impressions:
I hit the screen in front of me once, which really accentuates the need for an “environmental avoidance” option where it could potentially overlay the surrounding obstacles when I get close. i wasn’t using the “barrier” that can create a “play pen” to keep you contained as it takes up too much room and people walked by several times while I was playing.
The cord on the Oculus is pretty good and heavy and I could actually feel it as it was wrapping itself around me and I was able to “unwind” without the game really being impacted.
The heat / sweat from the screen needs to be taken into consideration. I can see how this can get uncomfortable over extended plays. Right now, I’m attributing the “fatigue / slight dizzy” feeling to being in new environment, not unlike my first foray with Descent 20 years ago when I experienced something similar. Over time this effect went away, so it will be curious whether I get acclimated to it.
The other thing is just within three games on the Oculus and I’m seeing such a disparity with controls / menu options, this is going to be a poor user experience if there is zero consistency between apps.