E3 2015: Crytek is Way Ahead of the VR Competition

I’ll admit that I am not a big fan of VR. It’s not that I don’t believe in the concept, it’s more of the fact that I haven’t seen a demo that’s actually impressed me. Whether it be E3 2014, GDC 2015 or even E3 2015, I’ve struggled to find a demo that proves that VR is the future. Towards the end of E3 2015, however, I finally found that demo.

Crytek invited us to demo Escape from Dinosaur Island 2 during the show. I remained skeptical until a developer put the Oculus Rift on my head, handed me a controller and booted the demo up. At once I was pushed into an unbelievably gorgeous world. Out of all the VR demos I have seen, Crytek has, without a doubt, crafted one of the most immensely beautiful VR worlds I have ever seen.

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My objective was simple, climb the cliff. Ziplines were already placed, but the developer confirmed that in the main game players will have to set up the ziplines for themselves. I held both triggers to hold on, only removing my finger when switching ziplines. Along the way I encountered pterodactyls who were not at all happy about my presence. A few attempted to knock me off my throwing debris at me. Finally, I made it to the top and was immediately welcomed by a breathtaking vista. Here I was allowed to explore my surrounding in 360 degrees of detail. I looked behind me and saw just how high I climbed, and I peered out over the vista, scanning objects of interest. It was a brief five minute demo, but I found myself completely immersed in this world.

Escape from Dinosaur Island 2 is a demo for a larger game Crytek is developing. Robinson: The Journey is a brand new game being developed for VR devices. Players will assume the role of a young boy who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet. No details on how the game will play, but you will get to explore your surroundings in 360 degrees of detail and interact with the world around you. PC players will use Oculus Rift, while PS4 players use Morpheus. Crytek would not reveal what VR device Xbox One players will use.

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“Ever since Crytek was founded, we have been striving to build the most realistic, believable worlds we possibly can for players,” said David Bowman, Crytek’s Director of Production. “Today’s VR technologies are enabling us to bring together CryEngine’s capabilities and our legacy in creating immersive gaming experiences like never before. The time we’re spending in Robinson: The Journey as we develop it is transforming the way we think about games, and we can’t wait until everyone has the chance to set foot in this universe for themselves.”

Robinson: The Journey is still a long ways off, as we’re still waiting for Oculus and Morpheus to launch. If Escape from Dinosaur Island 2 is any indication, however, we could be looking at VR’s killer app.