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Virtual Reality

Kona is a hauntingly beautiful survival adventure

Sep 02 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]308447:60214:0[/embed] Set in the wilderness of Northern Canada during the early 1970s, you play as private detective Carl Faubert as he investigates the mysterious events occurring at a remote village of Atamipek Lake. What starts as simple job of finding the unknown culprits behind the vandalism of private property, it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they seem and Carl finds himself in a whole mess of danger. With nearly the entire population of the town missing -- along with wild animals looking for their next meal -- he'll have to rely on his wits and resourcefulness in order to survive mother nature's cold embrace of the land, and learn the truth of what happened in the isolated town. As the first episode of a planned series, Carl will explore two square kilometers of land in search of clues and supplies. While on his investigation, he'll find abandoned homes and public points of interest that will give him leads. Along the way, he'll learn more about the town's unique characters while searching through their abandoned homes, notes, and other clues left behind. I really liked the atmosphere and tone that Kôna gave off. Exploring the town felt like opening up a time-capsule from the '70s, and many objects, media, and other knick-knacks from the era are presented in authentic fashion. Though be careful, exploring the environment will take a toll on Carl, and he'll have to look after himself during his journey through the wilderness. Interestingly enough, the game's survival elements do a lot to play into the core structure of intrigue and dread that the game encapsulates. While most adventure and narrative-driven games like Dear Esther or Everybody's Gone to the Rapture have players focus on story and not worry about their characters getting hurt, Kôna goes all in with survivalist gameplay. Players will manage Carl's health, temperature, stress, and carrying capacity, which adds another more pressing element to the title's structure. Eventually, you'll acquire firearms to ward off wild animals, such as packs of roaming wolves, but ammo is in extremely short supply. I was impressed to see that the two gameplay focuses, which are totally different from one another, actually work quite well together. If anything, having to mange resources and Carl's well-being adds to the urgency of the environment. Though my time with Kôna was quite brief, I really enjoyed what the developers have come up with. Blending survival elements into the narrative structure of an adventure title was alluring, and my short stint in the great white north offered a lot of intrigue. The developers are also working on special VR features for the title, which will create an even more immersive experience. Though the game is still some time away from release, Parabole has got something quite special with this evocative title.
K˘na photo
Whiteout in the great white north
It's not often we see a title that blends one of the many hallmarks of the adventure genre, a focus on a rich and evocative setting, with the tense and resource-focused gameplay of survival games. But...

Vive photo
Vive

Expect a 'limited quantity' of Valve's VR headset Vive


Most of us will have to wait until Q1 2016
Aug 28
// Vikki Blake
Valve's virtual reality headset, Vive, will only be available in a "limited quantity" when it launches later this year. "Larger quantities" will be available from Q1 2016.  "Vive developer kits have been available f...
Racing photo
Racing

Can video games make you a better driver?


It works for F1 drivers
Aug 27
// Vikki Blake
F1 driver Max Verstappen has been honing his driving skills by way of racing sims. By using simulators like Assetto Corsa, iRacing and rFactor 2, Verstappen's been able to familiarise himself with the F1 c...
Morpheus is ready photo
Morpheus is ready

Sony's VR headset Morpheus is complete, just needs games


I'm still waiting on PS Camera titles
Aug 19
// Jed Whitaker
Sony's sleek virtual reality headset Morpheus is complete hardware wise, but it is "just waiting for the game titles to catch up with the hardware," according to Dennis Castleman, hardware R&D engineer at Sony Computer En...

Johnnui photo
Johnnui

John Wick getting a VR shooter


Published by Payday developer
Aug 10
// Steven Hansen
If you didn't catch last year's John Wick, it's a pretty great flick, and a rare well-choreographed one (as far as American productions go). Its lead character has already crossed over into Starbreeze's Payday 2 (above); the ...
Virtual insanity photo
Virtual insanity

What's going on with this goofy Time cover?


Also, what is that Oculus plugged into?
Aug 06
// Jordan Devore
Twitter is blowing up with the new Time cover featuring Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey. Some people seem upset -- "isn't virtual reality a hard-enough sell already?" -- which I find funny. One silly magazine cover isn't going to ruin the tech's chances at success. It's better than that. Why Virtual Reality Is About to Change the World [Time]
Strap-on Gaming Star Wars photo
Strap-on Gaming Star Wars

Star Wars podracing is pretty awesome in VR


As is dancing at the cantina bar
Jul 28
// Jed Whitaker
Someone went through the trouble of recreating Star Wars' Tatooine for the Oculus Rift and it is awesome. In the demo appropriately named Tatooine, you can visit the cantina where a dance party is taking place with the ...
Danganronpa VR photo
Danganronpa VR

Cyber Danganronpa VR: Class Trial could be the start of something neat


Tech demo for Project Morpheus
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
Spike Chunsoft has been playing around with Project Morpheus, and Cyber Danganronpa VR: Class Trial is the result. As that subtitle indicates, it places players directly inside of a class trial. The tech demo was shown this w...
Nokia VR photo
Nokia VR

Nokia might be announcing its own VR hardware next week


Strap an N-Gage to your face
Jul 22
// Joe Parlock
Virtual reality is like the bus: you wait twenty years for one, and then four of them come along at once. Typical. This time, it’s Nokia stepping into the VR ring, going up against Sony’s Morpheus, Valve and HTC&r...
Virtual reality photo
Virtual reality

Valve and HTC are touring with the HTC Vive


Across the US, Germany, and France
Jul 10
// Jordan Devore
This was the year I went from not caring much about virtual reality (yet) to mentally committing myself to buying an Oculus Rift when its consumer model releases next year. The company's E3 2015 showing, which included a one-...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft boss explains why it has a leg up on making VR games


It has everything to do with its style
Jul 10
// Brett Makedonski
Like many people, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot is excited for the advent of virtual reality gaming. But, he isn't just anxious to see what will come of it; he views his own company as a potential leader in the VR space, and it'...
cOculus Rift photo
cOculus Rift

Which VR headset will win? Porn has already decided


Porn, porn always changes
Jun 25
// Jed Whitaker
There is plenty of debate about which virtual reality headset will "win the war" and be the last one standing, but porn has already decided. Where porn goes so does technology, as can be seen in VHS vs. Betamax and Blu-ray v...
Headmaster photo
Headmaster

Headmaster is NOT a VR porn game for Morpheus


Though its lessons may cross over
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
"Though its lessons may cross over," get it? Crossover, like the soccer move? (We kicked it and I scored, soccer game). Because Headmaster is (sort of) a weird soccer game and not about giving virtual blowjobs (you'll only g...

Super Hypercube would be great even without VR

Jun 22 // Jordan Devore
[embed]294606:59196:0[/embed] This is coming exclusively to Morpheus as a launch title from Kokoromi and publisher Polytron. (We've gotten word that Fez designer Phil Fish is also working on the game. He's back!)
Virtual Reality photo
First-person puzzler for Morpheus
Super Hypercube is another leading Morpheus game. It's a puzzle title about twisting a block around, in three dimensions, so that it fits through holes in oncoming walls. Tension builds as new pieces are added and your simple...

My favorite Morpheus game so far is RIGS

Jun 22 // Jordan Devore
Combat isn't anything new for the genre, but after you take enough people out and pick up orbs from fallen foes, you're put into an overdrive mode. It's at this point you need to make a mad dash toward the top of the map where there are ramps leading up to a giant hoop. Jump down through the goal as if you were a basketball to score, but watch out for incoming fire and melee attacks. If and when your mech is destroyed, you'll eject and skyrocket to the top of the map. You can take in the scenery, or get straight back into the action by looking at one of a few colored spawn points and confirming with a button press. Given the immersion of VR, free-falling felt awesome. Had the game just been standard team-based combat centered on blowing up mechs, I wouldn't have thought much of it. This mode, Power Slam, really was the best way to introduce it. RIGS won't be a compelling enough reason to own a Morpheus by itself, but it's a good starting point.
Virtual Reality photo
'Basketball with guns'
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and virtual reality -- those were the two things, by far, I most enjoyed at this year's E3. Steven did an exceptional job of capturing the essence of the former, so now it's on me to ...

Nintendo VR photo
Nintendo VR

Reggie Fils-Aime doesn't think VR is fun enough yet


Virtual Boy's the face on his knocker
Jun 19
// Joe Parlock
Seemingly still haunted by the rattling, wailing ghost of the Virtual Boy, Nintendo of America's President Reggie Fils-Aimé has ruled out the company picking a side in the growing virtual reality war. In an i...
Summer Lesson photo
Summer Lesson

Summer Lesson looks like everything I want from virtual reality right now


S-sign me up?
Jun 17
// Josh Tolentino
OK, real talk: That headline makes me sound like a giant creeper because, in case you didn't know, Summer Lesson is a Sony Morpheus-based tech demo that involves you just sitting beside a girl, listening to her, an...
Minecraft Hololens photo
Minecraft Hololens

Wow, Minecraft on Microsoft's HoloLens looks hot


The power of Microsoft money
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
We have seen snippets of Minecraft on HoloLens in the past, but at Microsoft's E3 press conference today, a couple of presenters showed off something that had us putting up the respect knuckles. With a special camera showing ...
Microsoft VR photo
Microsoft VR

Microsoft outlines future VR plans, working with Valve on Vive


Also more about the HoloLens
Jun 15
// Joe Parlock
Microsoft has announced its plans for VR at its E3 conference. Alongside the already known partnership with Oculus for the Rift, Microsoft also announced it will be partnering closely with Valve to ensure the Vive headset is ...
Robinson: The Journey photo
Robinson: The Journey

Crytek is developing VR game Robinson: The Journey


Crash land on a dinosaur planet
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
Whenever a new Crytek game is announced, the comments go to the meme of "will it run on my machine?" For Robinson: The Journey, the answer to that question is likely "no," unless you are running a virtual reality headset. To ...

E3 2015 Preview: Pink eye and treadmills, VR is here

Jun 11 // Jed Whitaker
Tell me which of the following has you pumped for the future, as you surely are: ANTVR KIT - The All-IN-ONE Universal Virtual Reality Kit (ANTVR KIT), was independently researched and developed by ANTVR, launched on kickstarter, and raised over $260,000 -- exceeding its goal. The ANTVR headset features a 100 degree field of view, tracks head movements 360 degrees, provides vivid 3D images, and produces a non-distorted immersive virtual reality effect. It is compatible with PC/PS/XBOX and other platforms, as well as existing 3D/2D games and movies. TAW - TAW is a foldaway VR headset for smart phone which can bring you into the virtual world anytime while working with a smart phone of 4.5-6 inches. ANTVR Camera - ANTVR Camera is a 3D sports camera featuring 3D shooting with a 180 degree viewing angle and first-class image. It can be used with a VR headset. Guided Meditation VR - Experience an endless virtual vacation with Guided Meditation VR by Cubicle Ninjas. This virtual reality application provides powerful relaxation in exotic locations across the globe. Find your happy place as our "Relaxation Artificial Intelligence"walks through proven meditation and mindfulness techniques. Virtualizer - The Virtualizer is an advanced omnidirectional treadmill that allows users to walk, run, strafe, jump and crouch in virtual reality. Based on its third generation design, the Virtualizer is the first to offer 360 degree tangle-free rotation and a vertical free-motion ring for full freedom of movement in VR. Manus Data Glove - A data-glove for the common man. The Manus is an affordable data glove that tracks hand movement through various sensors integrated in to the glove. This data is then sent to our software -- which allows the user to play any game. With our open-source software you can program the Manus for other uses such a controlling drones, mobile games and more of your favourite devices. All of the above are real products that will be at E3 next week. Add these to Valve's Vive, Sony's Morpheus, and the Oculus Rift, and I assume you become The Lawnmower Man. Personally I'm looking forward to the Power Glove made for man ass. But for real, as cynical I've been about all this I'm very excited for E3, for the potential of VR, and to making as many informative (read: silly) videos I can from the show floor next week!
Yay eye cooties photo
The future is awesome?
As E3 approaches we here at Dtoid have been getting our inboxes filled with emails wanting us to check out new games and products, a large portion of which are virtual reality based and not just of the headset variety. O...

Edge of Nowhere photo
Edge of Nowhere

Insomniac's Edge of Nowhere is an Oculus Rift exclusive


Third-person adventure in the Antarctic
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
During today's Oculus Rift stream, Insomniac Games announced a third-person action-adventure game, Edge of Nowhere, exclusively for the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset. Here's the teaser. "What appears to be a rescue mis...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

These are the Oculus Rift's proper controllers


Played like a damn fiddle
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
Virtual reality enthusiasts were not exactly enthused by the news that Oculus Rift would come with a wireless Xbox One controller as its default input method. The goal there is to give "developers something they can target," ...
Oculus Rift photo
Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift comes with an Xbox One controller


Xbox One games will be streamable, too
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
When the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset releases in Q1 2016, it will include a gamepad -- a familiar one, at that. Oculus has partnered with Microsoft to bundle the wireless Xbox One controller and adapter (usable with W...
Adr1ft photo
Adr1ft

Things get real bad real quick in this Adr1ft trailer


The loneliest number
Jun 10
// Brett Makedonski
As Jordan learned recently, space has the potential for all sorts of mishaps. Things can be going perfectly smoothly when, all of a sudden, everything's exploded and everyone else is dead. Also, you're suffocating because th...

Adr1ft is going to give someone a panic attack

Jun 10 // Jordan Devore
Late last year, Brett covered Adr1ft and detailed its unlikely inspiration. What I saw and played at a pre-E3 event was much of the same content, only more polished. There was no puzzle solving in this initial chunk of game, only death. I strayed to investigate a distant lifeless body and the trip proved too lengthy. I suffocated. Horrible way to go, but my last sight, the earth, was majestic. Given how little of the game I experienced, I'm unsure what shape Adr1ft will ultimately take. Movement feels right, though, that I can assure you. Plenty of freedom, but not so much control that it's overwhelming. You have to be mindful of your surroundings. The sound design -- the stuff that actually makes gasping for air so damned horrifying -- is similarly great. Enthralling. I'd say I'm looking forward to playing the finished game but, well, I'm dreading it. Even without a virtual-reality headset, it's that nerve-wracking. Space doesn't need Xenomorphs to be scary.
Adr1ft photo
Stave off suffocation in space
I'm anxious about playing Adr1ft. Every moment I spent with this lonely, immersive, surprisingly vivid game about an astronaut stranded on a damaged space station with an equally damaged suit was full of tension. Will my next...

Virtual reality photo
Virtual reality

You'll need about $1,500 to go all in with Oculus Rift


Still no price for the actual unit
May 27
// Robert Summa
While we're still waiting for a final price on the retail version of the Oculus Rift, the company's CEO Brendan Iribe said that users will need to pony up about $1,500 for both a computer that will run the device and the actu...
Oculus photo
Oculus

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey accused of fraud


Allegedly
May 25
// Vikki Blake
Oculus VR founder, Palmer Luckey, is being sued for breach of contract. According to The Recorder, Hawaiian virtual reality company Total Recall Technologies “seeks compensatory and punitive damages” aga...
Arizona Sunshine photo
Arizona Sunshine

Arizona Sunshine: The (Steam) VR revolution will, unsurprisingly, have zombies


Virtual reality zombie shooter
May 21
// Steven Hansen
I sometimes feel like I'm less on board with VR than most. It's a fun novelty to show a family member for 20 minutes, not something I'd like to be cocooned in for hours . Maybe that's why there's expectation of it doing gang...
Oculus photo
Oculus

Oculus has something to show us in June


Step into the Rift
May 20
// Vikki Blake
Oculus is inviting selected press to a special event in San Francisco on June 11. The plain invites merely bear the words "Step into the Rift" and an image of an Oculus Rift headset. What exactly the event will cover remains ...

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