RV VR: Retrovirus through the Oculus Rift


The most intuitive use of the Rift is in simulation games that make use of familiar objects. Racing games, flight sims, and military combat games all present environments that we have seen often enough to feel grounded in reality. Even first person fantasy and horror games can benefit from familiarity mixed with imagination. Where does that leave Retrovirus, where the player controls an antivirus program in a zero gravity computer world?

One of the interesting side effects of using the Rift in a completely unfamiliar setting is that many of its limitations become less noticeable. The low resolution and lack of positional tracking have less impact on the game, as the player doesn't have expectation for how the world should look or behave. Even when graphically incense situations cause the framerate to drop, the Rift continues to be quite usable when one isn't making the association that a real place is stuttering. Though I have experienced motion sickness in many Rift game, Half Life 2 included, I have not experienced any discomfort after many hours of continuous play in Retrovirus, quite likely because of the lack of dissonance between what I see and what my brain expects.

When even the distance from the ground is variable, a player can shed the traditional notion of immersion and become open to a new world with new rules.