War Thunder appears at EGX in HD Oculus Rift
The Oculus Rift by Oculus VR has been causing a stir in the gaming world, and its appearance at Eurogamer Expo 2013 has been no different. So far, the Oculus Rift has been visiting the Cons and Expos with a variety of games; from EVE to Hawken, but at EGX they decided to show off their capabilities in the upcoming MMOFPS, War Thunder.
Many testers have had to settle with Standard-Definition Rift's, or games that don't fully exploit its unrivaled visual potential up until this point; but here in London, you have the chance to play a fully immersive flying game, in glorious High Definition. The game itself fully utilizes the Rift's 3D accelerometer system; giving you the ability to fully look around the canopy, and to lock onto targets after they've flown well out of your typical gaming periphery.
Games like this make you realize what the Rift can do, and paint a strong picture of its evolution. In large-mapped MMO's like this, you can really get a good picture of your surroundings, and more comfortably schedule attacks against multiple enemies. I can see this even working in a third-person environment like World of Warcraft; where turning your head would simply rotate the unfixed camera. The fact that the in-game camera is intuitively controlled by your head and orientation, means that your hands are actually freed up to control the more critical parts of the game.
The Rift follows your movements seamlessly and overall provides outstanding image quality and fidelity. The fitment was slightly uncomfortable, and unless it can be more customizable, it may start to hurt after prolonged wearing/playing. Some options are customizable, such as the different-pitched lenses, allowing more/less space inside the device, to improve fitment. I must admit to feeling slight motion sickness at times, but I put that down to becoming fully engrossed in the game, due to the boost it had been provided by Oculus.
War Thunder takes you into the skies using a variety of vintage aircraft in a team vs team, dogfight MMOFPS. They are currently in their beta phase, and you can apply, (no Oculus Rift needed) by clicking on this link.
Although the Oculus Rift gives out the impression of another fad controller a-la the Nintendo Virtual boy, it's actually crucial once you get used to it. This really could become the face of gaming as we know it and has converted anyone who's tried it into believers. This could be a game changer.
Game-play: Dramatically changes how you play, and undoubtedly improves the experience. 10/10
Cost: Estimated to cost around £300, it's not cheap, but that's actually about the same price as a new monitor...and it does a lot more for you! 8/10
Comfort: I can't imagine playing with this for a long time, it's bulky and may cause motion sickness. We'll have to wait to see the long-term effects of using them. 6/10
Ease of use: The controls are incredibly intuitive, and actually free up your hands a little. 8/10
Total Score: 8/10