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It barely uses VR, with static camera angles, a third person perspective, and genre-typical exploration and difficult combat.But the atmospheric touches in Chronos are top notch. How its lenses and screens serve the games they display.For the past three years, the promise of VR has been bold: nothing short of a paradigm shift in how we interact with technology.Oculus designed its setup process to be as simple as possible, and that degree of care extends to the entire process of using the Rift.A single cable reaches out of the headset before splitting into HDMI and USB at the base.A story to latch onto, a set of skills to keep improving, a world to explore.Those games will presumably come, but they aren’t here yet.
The Oculus Rift’s 30-strong launch lineup contains quite a few ports of simple games from the Gear VR’s library. But most of them feel slight, the kind of library padding you’d use to show off the Rift to a friend—”hey, check out this neat thing”—and quickly move on from. The Oculus Rift is a portal to another world for the eyes and ears, and for the mind, but not for the body. But it’s come so far, so fast, from the prototype on Kickstarter a few short years ago. Not just the mechanics and fun of dogfighting in EVE Valkyrie, but how swooping around asteroids and using my head to aim lock-on missiles makes my brain feel, and how it utilizes this new technology. But it goes beyond that—it means thinking about VR as an entirely new way of playing games on the PC, and how the Rift heightens or hinders that experience.For Oculus, this is presumably just the beginning, the first step on a long road of technological progress.For game developers, too, this is just the starting line of a race to design games fundamentally unlike anything we’ve played before.