That Call of Duty PlayStation VR experience is amazing! No really, it is

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So CODXP is over now and I’m just heading up to Seattle to get some hands on time with the upcoming Rise of Iron expansion for Destiny, so stay tuned for that.

One of the most intriguing things that was on display at CODXP this past weekend was a custom built Virtual Reality experience for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

I got some hands on, erm I mean head on.. wait that sounds bad.. you know what I mean. So I got to sit in this custom made chair that was made to look like the inside of a space ship and then had the PSVR headset mounted on and I have to tell you my life changed at that moment.

The actual gameplay is weak, it’s obviously been developed as a marketing tool for Sony PlayStation and all you do is leave the ship, fly over to a radar and then start shooting things using head tracking and the remote. It’s not exactly an on-rails experience but it’s pretty close, up until the point you get attacked.

A whole bunch of enemies suddenly arrive and you need to dog fight them in space, with no real way of dying, to see if you can beat the high score. It’s fun and something you absolutely must try but not because of the gameplay but rather because of the technology.

Many people have tried and failed to explain how it feels to be kitted out in VR and now it’s my turn to take a go.

First up, my left eye has terrible eyesight. Has done since birth so I can’t watch 3D movies without the screen being terribly blurry. I could never see those stupid 3D posters that you had to squint at for ages in the 90’s and every time I go for a licence I need a letter from an optometrist.

So I had very little faith in the PSVR device even working for me; but it does. It really does.

As soon as that headset went over my head I was transported into a space-fighter in the hull of a massive spaceship. As I looked around (physically) I could see my hands on the controls of the fighter and my feet stretching out in front of me. The visuals felt so real that I felt the need to move my real legs to ensure they lined up with the projected legs else it all felt wrong.

Once I was ready I got blasted out of the spaceship by pushing the thrusters fully forward. Now this is the weird part. I didn’t have thrusters I just had the standard PS4 remote but as I pulled that trigger back my thruster hand moved forward and I’ve never felt more in control of exactly how much gas I’m giving the vehicle in a video game.

As I left the spaceship and entered the vastness of space I couldn’t help but pull back on the thrusters and just gawk at the environment. It felt huge, it felt real and it felt like something from the future.

I turned my head to look around and it all felt so natural, everything moved as it should and it took the game calling out to me on the radio to remember that I needed to actually do something. After that the experience continued where I locked onto objects using my eyeballs and then after tagging 3 of them I let my rockets loose to lay waste.

I was honestly pretty dejected when the experience ended as I would have loved to have roamed around in space visiting planets and simply exploring the galaxy with no real story line… in other words I’d buy No Mans Sky if it was PSVR enabled.

Obviously the tech isn’t rock solid right now, the eye tracking is a bit off and it’s a bit limited in the speed of movement. This isn’t going to be used for a twitch shooter anytime soon.

However some of the genres that this technology is going to supremely enhance would be Horror, Driving Simulators, Flight Simulators, Building (SimCity, Minecraft, Ark), Exploration games (NMS, Firewatch) and I suspect an entirely new genre of industry defining games.

Oh and porn… because for a guy (see problem for ladies) I can 100% see how they are going to make this good for porn.

Bottom line, if you can afford to grab a PlayStation: Virtual Reality headset then I recommend it. It’s not going to change how you play games in this generation but it is going to change how we experience entertainment moving forward. If you can’t afford to get one then find a friend who can and who is buying Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as the Jackal VR experience is going to be available as free DLC.

I really do feel it is a life changing moment for the entertainment industry.

Last Updated: September 7, 2016

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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