Every time I get my eyes on the latest VR project, it further strengthens my resolve that virtual reality is more than another fad. When the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus launch next year, the landscape of gaming is going to begin to change, and it’s concepts like The London Heist that are going to lead the way.
At a Sony event in Manhattan this week, I checked out one of the Morpheus demos I missed at E3 — a demo called The Getaway, which is only a small segment from an upcoming game called The London Heist.
After waiting in line for a quite some time (the demo was by far the most popular), it was finally my turn. I sat down in front of a TV and a PlayStation Camera, donned the Project Morpheus headset and grabbed the PlayStation Move controllers. I was told that the demo takes place inside of a car after a successful heist, with some unhappy folks hot on our tail.
I materialized in the passenger’s seat of the car, with the driver seated next to me. For a few brief moments, everything was calm, and I had a chance to poke around the vehicle and play with all the interactive bits and bobs.
First, I reached over to the dashboard and pulled the trigger on the back of the Move controller. My virtual hand grasped ahold of the dial and I was able to change the radio station. I did the same thing with the volume knob, then proceeded to fiddle with the air conditioner, tossed an empty soda cup on to the floor and opened the passenger door.
I finally opened the console in front of me to find a bunch of clips for an automatic weapon, at which point my partner noticed that bikes and vans had appeared in the rearview mirror. He tossed me a gun, which I promptly picked up and loaded just seconds before the first wave of enemies arrived.
Shooting was a simple as aiming and holding down the trigger. It took some getting used to, but before long, I was shooting bad guys off their bikes and picking off drivers in vans on the other side of the road. Whenever a clip was empty, it would automatically drop out of the gun, at which point I had to reach into the console, grab a new clip and reload the weapon by tapping the bottom of one Move wand to the top of the other. It was a surprisingly natural motion.
The demo was relatively short, but it made an impact. It was the first game I’ve ever played on a VR headset that felt like more than a tech demo — I could’ve sat there for an hour if there more to do. If this is the sort of content that Sony is going to have available for Morpheus at launch, consider me sold.