I was walking around Gamescom in the entertainment area when to my surprise, I stumbled upon two huge lines for the Oculus Rift booth. They were showing two games on the Oculus, a NASCAR related racing game and the Free-to-Play mech shooter, Hawken.
I had already been lucky enough to experience the Oculus earlier this year at E3 2013 when we visited with CCP behind closed doors. There we took part in a play session where the developers showed us their EVR demo which was quite the eye opening experience. So you can imagine how eager I was to don the Oculus Rift’s black headset once more. I immediately made a mad dash towards the line where I waited anxiously for a few minutes, although it felt like hours.
Upon placing the Oculus over my eyes, my vision was filled with the interior of a mech cockpit, I smiled. Hawken feels like a game that was built for the Oculus Rift. It’s just another feather in the Oculus’ cap and a testament to the level of immersion the small screen inside can bring you. The overall gaming experience is more enjoyable, both in how it feels and looks.
The only complaint I had revolved around the limited resolution. While the Oculus will launch with native 720P resolution, the current version most people have been able to try out is limited to just 480P. This isn’t actually a fault of the product itself, but it did make me sad I didn’t get to see the game in glorious HD.
The technology isn’t exactly cheap and for many gamers who mainly play Free-to-Play games, it isn’t an option. But the experience it provides opens up new avenues into game immersion and its interpretation. So if you ever find yourself in the presence of an Oculus with some free time, do yourself a favor and give it a try.
By Luis Dobreira