Arizona Sunshine 2 and The 7th Guest VR Ask Us: Is VR Still the Future of Gaming?

This story is part of our new story The future of the game series, a three-site look at pioneering games in technologies, players and creators.

When looking at the future of gaming, it’s hard not to look inevitably to virtual reality. In some ways, virtual reality has been in the game for more than 40 years, even in many of its actions in regular The facts themselves are relatively tied to the past and buried in the trash can of television screens. virtual boysand other failed attempts to bring the future to life. It’s only been in the last decade that technology has caught up to Neal Stephenson’s ambitions to build gaming headsets. Only Ubiquitous and (relatively) cheap enough to support the gaming industry itself. Even then, however, the results have been limited not only by the limitations of the technology, but also by humans’ willingness to succumb to the full vision and audio immersion that virtual reality requires. (To say nothing of games that require exaggerated body movements or even prolonged standing.) One of the main reasons is that VR games tend to be decidedly boring. Short: This is all most of us can tolerate.

Year 2016 Arizona sun There was an exception to this trend. At over four hours long, Vertigo’s technically slick zombie shooters will eventually port over to every VR platform under the sun, even Sony’s usually title-starved original PlayStation VR. . its future sequel, Arizona Sunshine 2, which we had the chance to play at a press event in San Francisco last month, promises to be even better, and not just because the game lets you go on a quick quest to recover health after a collision. Hard, stick hamburger buns directly on your virtual face. with the dead

Arizona Sunshine 2 | Announcement – watch and learn Meta Quest 2 + 3 + Pro

During our hour with the new game, which was helmed by game director Peter Duerleau, there was a lot of emphasis on the new features built into the second title, most notably a canine companion, Buddy, made to play with (or cut) objects. has been limbs) for the player, dealing with zombies as you desperately struggle to reload your guns, mitigating some of the occasionally oppressive loneliness of the original. (And of course VR itself, a medium that can isolate players at times, even when they’re in a crowded room.)

At the same time, and despite some notable hiccups, when we pitched it for a game in development, as expected in a still-in-development title, we were impressed with how the sequel builds on the original game’s gameplay. It was made first and featured zombie shooting which was great. A balance between inducing a sense of mastery and frantic immersion. Few things are as satisfying as ending one of the games’ most deliberately complicated animations. Only Fast enough to pick off the person attacking you, or throw an improvised mine into the largest group possible. (Don’t worry, the balloon can’t explode with walking corpses, which we confirmed by asking and not trying, so don’t freak out.)

But given that we were definitely out of breath by the time we got through that opening hour of the game, we were also curious as to where Duerlow sees the future of VR gaming in general: Is there a future where gaming takes place with a headset? be normal While traditional games based on the screen and controls finally give way to an immersive experience? Can VR replace traditional games?

Acknowledging that the industry is still a bit slow, in some ways, Duerloo argued that VR could definitely take over, pointing to newer technology like Metas Quest 2 that makes it easier for VR to reach the point of connection and gameplay that players need. he does. Be able to pick up the controllers, throw on the helmet and be in a game just as quickly as with a traditional gaming setup. ([VR] Doerlow also needs to cut costs, citing the continued need to generate enthusiasm for the media in order to increase the install base and lower prices.

Playing Arizona Sunshine 2 It made a real case for the medium’s strengths while also highlighting some of its frustrations. (Getting things off the ground was a constant problem for us, though we may have spoiled the point by watching it fly in your hands with the technique of flying.) But there’s something undeniable about being in a world that has to be constantly be in it Check your back to make sure zombies aren’t attacking you. Take a look at your gun to see how many rounds are left in it. And, yes, put a chef’s hat on your dog to make him look super cool while scratching up the dead. Immersion is exciting even if it can’t quite sell us on the idea of ​​playing like this for the same lengths we often (and not entirely healthy) spend on traditional games.

Interestingly, with its current VR titles, Vertigo isn’t just looking to the future of gaming, but also to its past: the studio has just released a virtual reality remake of the classic adventure game. The seventh guestusing an innovative new volumetric video technology that allows the studio to create their own versions of popular games (and Sometimes infamous) full-motion video game in the form of 3D virtual reality performance of live actors. (It’s an amazing effect that allows the player to move around the characters and see them from different angles, which is usually impossible with live action.)

Directed by Paul van der Meer, the game takes a lot of inspiration from the 1993 classic, while adjusting several factors for both new media and modern appetites. (Among other things, van der Meer told us that one of his big inspirations for remaking the game was his youthful desire to fully explore its central haunted mansion, only to realize when building it in VR that its original floor plan made no sense. (For games where you’re just clicking between abstract rooms, it’s much more or a problem when dropping players into a VR world.)

The 7th Guest VR – Release Date Reveal Trailer | PS VR2 games

Van der Meer also acknowledged the problems VR can face with accessibility, noting that one of the reasons the new game makes heavy use of the Ghost Lantern is that players can shine on the various haunted levels in the game. eerie images or reveal essential clues, it was a mode of interaction that did not require extensive physical access to players. (In some ways, you could argue that looking, not touching, is the fundamental verb of virtual reality, at least as it’s mostly practiced today.)

At the same time, he emphasized the tactile importance of manipulating puzzles by showing your hands, noting that the team often wondered if they were making enough use of the virtual reality and 3D nature of the game when they were playing. Putting their own challenges together (he also noted that answers to accessibility concerns are often built directly into the storefronts through which VR games are distributed, since part of the certification process includes making sure the games have options which allows the maximum number of people to play them.)

Meanwhile, when it comes to the future of VR, van der Meer told us that’s how he sees the field the part From the future of the game, but not the whole base, just one element of the future diet:

It’s just like mobile games. When it came out, and then it got really big, it didn’t just replace console gaming, and even console gaming didn’t replace PC gaming. VR is great for certain types of experiences. It can be very intense, but it’s also the reason people don’t want to do it all the time because it can be tiring, just being on your feet so physically. Sometimes you just want to lay on the couch and play a game and not have to move.

And these things can go perfectly together. I see no reason not to. I play like this. Sometimes I want to dive into a VR game and see what kind of cool new things they’re doing. And sometimes I just want to play Major impact.

The seventh guest It is now available in most major VR showcases. Arizona Sunshine 2 It will be released later this year, with a demo available now.

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