Entertainment Games Tech Virtual Reality

E3 2017: Bethesda Virtual Reality Releases

For anyone keeping an ear to the ground on gaming news, the recent slough of virtual reality games shouldn’t come as a surprise. Virtual reality headsets are a dime a dozen these days, (even clothing shops like Cotton On or Jay Jays are selling them), they are part of a growing trend and some popular games are making the switch to the platform.

There have only been three unspoken rules with VR gaming: Don’t play in an enclosed space, keep the session time minimal, and don’t adapt large and/or popular games to the VR format.

Except, they did.

During the Bethesda Panel at E3, it was announced that not only was the company working on integrating VR software into its games, it was integrating them into their hottest games right now: Fallout 4 and, of course, Skyrim, with the former being planned for an October 2017 release.

Vault-Boy, the Fallout series mascot, seems all for the idea.

It’s safe to say that the proposal got a lot of mixed reactions. Some fans were excited by deepening the immersion of an already incredibly in-depth game, whereas some saw it as yet another cash-grab and/or attempt to make more money from the games. The list goes on, but the most universally-shared concern was the conflict between the way RPGs and VR games are played.

Since VR gaming first came out, a lot of its users have spoken out about the motion-sickness and nausea caused by the headsets, symptoms that worsen the longer the game is played. This is primarily due to the fact that games require you to move a character about (often through a first-person POV); but since your body isn’t moving with the character, it becomes disorientating and harder for your body to ‘catch up’, particularly after a longer gaming session, resulting in nausea.

Now, this becomes a problem with games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim, which often demand longer sessions because of their nature as open-world RPGs and the pure depth of their immersion. A ten minute session (long enough to induce nausea in VR) with an RPG is the gaming equivalent of a one minute shower – it’s just not long enough.

Considering this and the reputation VR games have for glitchy controls, will this treacherous platform do these beloved games justice? The world will have to see in October. For now, here are the links to the trailers. What are your thoughts?