We’ve waited a long time, but it’s finally here—commercially available virtual reality. The Oculus Rift is shipping to customers now, the HTC Vive is just around the corner and Playstation VR will drop before the end of the year. Exciting times, and with the advent of affordable(ish) VR in people’s homes, a rash of articles and YouTube videos and blogs will quickly follow—all likely speaking in glowing terms about how immersive it all is.
People will rightly rave about the huge wondrous universes of Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen. They’ll tell you that the claustrophobic feel of horror games such as Amnesia, Slender or Dreadhalls will usher in a whole new golden era for the genre. Or that the sense of speed you’ll experience in racing games such as Driveclub, Dirt Rally or Assetto Corsa will be unlike anything you could ever hope to experience on a normal TV screen.
And this may all be true, but—if we’re being honest here—some game worlds will be absolutely horrible to visit in virtual reality.
’Assassin’s Creed Unity’
You might be thinking to yourself “what’s wrong with Paris?” and you’d be right. Ubisoft did a pretty fantastic job of rendering Paris and its unique architecture in Assassin’s Creed Unity. It should be an absolute pleasure to traverse. But, hey, you know what they didn’t do such a great job with? Actually allowing you to traverse it. The game was infamously glitchy.
Imagine experiencing this in VR and try not to vomit just at the thought of it…
As an added deterrent, think about the fear you’d experience the first time you had one of these staring back at you.
Deadly Premonition—a game by eccentric Japanese developer SWERY65—is weird, plain and simple. Taking much of its inspiration from television cult classic Twin Peaks, the game is set in Greenvale, a small town full of bizarre individuals. So far, so David Lynch.
But that level of odd isn’t why I’d hate to visit it in VR. Oh no. The reason I’d hate to visit it is because, well, I could probably take about two minutes of the game’s utterly woeful voice acting up close and personal before I would want to take sharpened pencils to my own ears.
Do you consider yourself to be a good person? Do you like your fellow man? Do you want to keep it that way? Then never visit Minecraft’s 2b2t server.
In layman’s terms, Minecraft’s most notorious (and that’s putting it extremely lightly) server is the Wild West, if the Wild West was populated by the kind of people who crop up on internet comments sections to tell you how wrong you are about everything and the things they intend to do to your mother as punishment.
Terrifying to look at, dangerous to traverse and almost impossible to survive, visiting 2b2t in VR would be the modern-day equivalent of the above.
4. SIM CITY
This one is a no-brainer as a world I’d hate to immerse myself in. Think about it—you’re stuck in suburbia, surrounded by neurotic wrecks masquerading as human beings. If I wanted that, I’d have got myself a part on Desperate Housewives. And I’m fairly certain they’d be speaking in their own gibberish language, just so they can talk smack about me, without me ever knowing what they’re saying.
The alienation would be overwhelming, like being Bill Murray in Lost In Translation, but with the added stress of worrying that my neighbours are actually planning to burn my house down and piss on the ashes. And no Scar-Jo to keep me company. Awful.
3. THE CITY
Look, I’d love to tell you that there was some funny reason for not wanting to visit The City in EA’s free running action adventure game, Mirror’s Edge. But really, just look at this GIF. As someone scared of heights, I think I’d literally die. No, thank you.
’ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron’
I—I’m sorry. I was just imagining how nightmarish this would look in VR and managed to give myself an epileptic fit. I mean, just look at it:
It’s like early ‘90s Nickelodeon ate a whole bunch of Skittles and then threw up directly into a Sega Genesis. Or like The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff got into game design. Or like Sega were asked to visualise a migraine.
1. SOUTH PARK
’South Park: The Stick of Truth’
“I can’t believe I’m in South Park. This is awesome! Look, there’s Cartman! Hey, Cartman! And you’re dressed like a wizard! Cool. What’s that? You have some quests for me to do? Sure! Sounds like fun. You need me to defeat who? The Underpants Warlock? Weird name for an enemy, but alright. I—oh. Oh no. Oh no no no no no, please. Please—”
“AAAARGGGGHHH, MY EYES! MY EYES!”
Right, I think I need to stop now for the sake of my own sanity. The moral of the story is this: don’t buy VR. It’s evil! Save yourselves!
Just kidding, it’s gonna be awesome.
Andy Manson is a gamer of over 30 years and, as such, remembers when consoles were powered mainly by imagination and transistors the size of your fist. You can follow his shorter ramblings on Twitter @PsychTyson.
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