“Alright, once these guys clear out you can take your seats and we’ll get you suited up,” one of the developers at CCP said. The room was dark, and the setup looked more like a ride at Disney World than it did a game demo. Once the other gamers cleared out we took our seats and put on Oculus Rift headsets, were given headphones, and handed Xbox 360 controllers. Suddenly, we weren’t a bunch of writers sitting in the LA Convention Center--we were starship pilots, about to enter into a deadly dogfight in space.
While we’ve played games on the Rift before, none ever felt like they were actually made to embrace the new form of consuming media. EVE-VR, CCP’s proof-in-concept for a virtual reality game, totally changed our perception of virtual reality. While the Xbox controller provided a familiar taste of gaming’s past, the headset had us gazing into the future, looking around the cockpit and staring into space. Flying around was exhilarating and we couldn’t help but bob and weave our bodies when enemies fired lasers at us. The best element, though, was the rockets, which actually required us to look at our target to lock on. The right analog stick was useless, we’d actually have to hold down a trigger, turn our head to the ship we wanted to obliterate, and let go, launching missiles with our eyes. It was incredible.
CCP calls EVE-VR a “sliver of a game,” using EVE assets to prove the potential of virtual reality. If this is a sliver, we can’t wait to see the whole thing--we were skeptical about the practical uses of the Rift before playing, but after going hands (or, rather, eyes-on) with EVE-VR, we’re ready to embrace the future of gaming, whenever it may fully arrive.
Check out the following slides for additional images and more information.