In this slogging post, HackerNoon contributors discuss what we think about virtual reality in gaming. We talk about whether we believe VR is currently impressive, what it can do to improve and where we think it might go in the future. The real nail in the coffin for me was playing Skyrim in VR, and I realized that there was no way I would physically stand for an entire playthrough of that game, and sitting down felt weird. Hopefully, slimmer and more comfortable headsets will arrive within the next five years.
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In this slogging post, HackerNoon contributors discuss what we think about virtual reality in gaming. We talk about whether we believe VR is currently impressive, what it can do to improve and where we think it might go in the future.
This Slogging thread by Jack Boreham, Adrian Morales, Limarc Ambalina, Ellen Stevens, Mónica Freitas, Zaeem Shoaib and Nicolas Ng occurred in slogging’s official #gaming channel, and has been edited for readability.
What do we all think about VR in gaming? Will it ever catch on? Do we believe it’s impressive at the moment? I used the oculus quest 2 recently and, to be honest, wasn’t impressed.
I have owned an Oculus Rift CV1 since 2017, and it more or less is collecting dust now. Most of these headsets are far too cumbersome right now and just don’t feel good to wear. As far as the gaming experience goes, I struggle to have fun past playing in 10 to 15-minute bursts. The real nail in the coffin for me was playing Skyrim in VR, and I realized that there was no way I would physically stand for an entire playthrough of that game, and sitting down felt weird. For games like Beat Saber and anything that has a very active element to it, VR is fantastic! Hopefully, slimmer and more comfortable headsets will arrive within the next five years.
Damn, man, I strongly disagree when it comes to Oculus Quest. The lack of cables is a game-changer, and you can do simple mods to improve comfort.
However, I feel you with the standing in VR thing. But at the same time, that’s what I love about it (you can exercise while playing games). It helps keep me in shape for real. If I didn’t have this, I think I would’ve gained 10 pounds. IF you want to add to the workout, you can use something like Natural Locomotion on SteamVR so that running in place makes you run in the game. I was surprised by how well it worked.!
I’m dying to try. It looks incredible. Of course, it will continue. It will branch out into many different sectors. If I were a musician, I’d only perform virtual concerts, haha.
I do agree with you. I found it cumbersome and also difficult to master certain games. I do think it’s great with smaller games such as beat sabre, though. Most of the time was playing FPS Onward; I found it difficult to pick up my weapon and found the graphics washed out. Limarc Ambalina, as fps enthusiasts, what games would you recommend? Also, what do you think about the graphical quality? Am I elitist in regards to graphics being used to console games?
Jack Boreham, I’ve only ever played Robo Recall and Beat Saber. I found it quite fun for someone who was the first and only experience with VR in gaming. Of course, if you expect a real immersive experience, today’s VR can’t give you that yet. However, there will be more advanced VR technologies that will provide that lifelike feel every gamer wants. There’s still need to be a growth in the offer of VR-adapted video games as well, so it’s a matter of years until it booms.
For me, VR games overall have just been clunky no matter what hardware I used, from tracking to just doing in-game tasks. I have used everything from the Oculus to the HTC Vive Pro. Games like Beat Saber are fun in short bursts, for sure, but I haven’t come across anything in VR that is a comfortable experience. Half-Life: Alyx was the closest thing to having a good long experience in VR, but that still wasn’t a comfortable or clunk-free one. I guess I am just a traditionalist and prefer my games to be ones you play sitting down on a couch.
Jack Boreham, you’re not an elitist, but for good graphics in VR, you need crazy computing power. Half Life Alyx is beautiful, and if you have a strong PC, then the experience is mesmerizing and awesome literally. For FPS, I’d recommend Pavlov VR! It’s the best one by far, and the modding community is ridiculously good. They’ve done counterstrike maps, full-blown battle royales, zombie survival, among us, prison breaks, and more! IF you want a Call of Duty style thing, I recommended Zero Caliber to Nicolas Ng, and he’s been liking it so far!
I can confirm, it’s a lot of fun and gets challenging. It’s far from perfect, though. The AI is kinda stupid. The sort that runs into walls if you stare at them too long. The story and voice acting leave much to be desired, and scopes are really hard to use if you aren’t wearing your headset perfectly. On a more personal level, I am too short to aim down the sights of some turrets. But, it’s intense shooting and very fun!
The real king of VR right now is vehicle simulation, though. Or at least vehicle-based games. Project Wingman is incredibly fun in VR, thanks to how intense it gets. Same with DCS, though I don’t have the hardware, I would like to play it without seeing my keyboard. One particularly interesting game is Vox Machinae, a mech-based game that has you sit inside a mech and interact with the controls as if it’s with your hands.
I agree; @Mónica Freitas; beat sabre is a brilliant game. It reminds me of the classic hack and slash motion controls of Wii. What kind of genres do you want to see come to life fully in VR? I agree. The clunk is a problem. Hopefully, in the future, we will get less clunky devices that are more comfortable. What would be the turning point for you? Would it just be improved comfortability to make you enjoy the experience?
Interesting, I might give that a shot, and that will work on Quest 2? Nicolas Ng, I will have to give these a try. So I’m guessing you are a bog VR advocate? Would you say it’s best to put money into a PC setup or get a standalone device?
Jack Boreham Yes, the ability to just be able to sit down and enjoy a VR environment plus smoother tracking and less stutter when performing actions would be big improvements for me. More accessibility to be able to mix and match motion + traditional controls would also help a lot. I hope as tech improves, it would be less of a chore to put on a bulky headset to enjoy VR, and companies will be able to make them more compact and lightweight.
I’m quite interested in this because I don’t quite understand that. At least for us hardcore VR folks, it’s all about how can we get to 100% immersion. Wouldn’t it be super jarring to “walk-around” in Skyrim while sitting on a couch in real life? Just thinking about that makes me motion sick. Oh, and Jack Boreham, my friend. If you get a Quest 2. we’re going to have some good times. I’ll walk you through all the best simple comfort mods and cheap go-to apps and best multiplayer games where we can squad up.
Limarc Ambalina I think the motion sickness aspect in VR comes mainly from the frame rate and smoothness rather than the movement/non-movement in real life. I mean, the earliest versions of VR with android VR headsets didn’t have any motion tracking or physical motion controls, and you could only control movement with a joystick. You never heard of anyone getting motion sickness from that.
The immersion is a personal preference, I think. To me, that takes a back seat to comfort and just enjoying an experience.
For quick burst games like Beat Sabre, immersion and standing around is necessary. Still, for something story-based like Skyrim or Resident Evil 4 VR or Half-Life Alyx, I’d rather just sit down to enjoy the experience.
I feel more immersed when I can fully enjoy a game rather than worry about what I’m going to bump into or knock over while moving about with a headset on.
I guess people like me need to wait for a time when images/games can be beamed directly to the brain like the Matrix 😂
Haha, that’s very interesting. On the one hand, I want complete immersion, but on the other, I also want comfortability. A lack of comfort brings me away from the immersion and makes me less immersed. But I guess that’s because I’m far too easily distracted. Limarc Ambalina, you saying that makes me want to get one. Time to get out the credit card 😂.
Haha, do it! Yeah, I’m on the other side of the spectrum here. For me, that sounds similar to someone saying I want to sit down while playing basketball. LOL, maybe I’m elitist, but for me, VR itself isn’t the same as a normal gaming sesh where you can sit down with drinks, have a snack. Mentally for me, the notion of starting a VR sesh is the same as starting a workout or starting an activity like saying, “I’m going for a walk”. So the same comfort I’d expect when going for a walk or starting a workout session is what I’m expecting. I want that real-life immersion, man 😄
Jack Boreham, I wish they could adapt the classics to VR – Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh inspired, maybe a Harry Potter and Sonic version…the fangirl in me would scream 😂
Mónica Freitas same here hahaha. The closest for me was Star Wars https://www.oculus.com/vader-immortal/. Limarc Ambalina Mónica Freitas have you guys played it?
It’s one of the first games I played Jack 😄. It’s one of the less interactive games, but it does very well in making you feel like you have the force. Seriously…
Jack Boreham, I haven’t 😶 It does seem fun though, just watched the trailer. Hopefully, VR will get more advanced so that we get a better experience playing – more realistic.
Hahaha, I knew you were a Jedi Limarc Ambalina. Okay, well, I think you guys might have sold me. Anything to be a Jedi😂
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