Riding imaginary roller coasters and losing one's self in immersive 360 degree environments is all well and good, but for me to truly appreciate virtual reality I needed an experience that spoke to my gaming tastes. Vive rhythm game Audioshield did the trick.
I love rhythm games, and I hold a particular fondness for games like Dylan Fitterer's Audiosurf, which analyses the player's own music and turns it into a game. So when I stumbled across a new game from Fitterer that utilised the same Audiosurf algorithm to pit my music against me in a virtual reality arena, I was ecstatic.
Audioshield transforms the Vive controllers into a pair of shields, your only defence against music brought to life and hell-bent on your destruction. The blue shield blocks blue beats. The orange shield blocks orange beats.
The rhythm is going to get you. Seriously. Run from the rhythm. Perfect tracking of the Vive controllers coupled with strong haptic feedback are what make Audioshield sing. Beats impact the shields with physical force, sparks bouncing from their curved surfaces. The harder you punch, the bigger the reaction, both in VR and should anyone or anything get in your way whilst you flail about.
Watch me flail. Appreciate my glowing cat-ear headset.
Audioshield is exactly the virtual reality experience I needed, a familiar feeling in a strange new place. Now I'm ready to explore less familiar territory, or I will be once my music library is exhausted.