After not touching my Oculus Rift for a good while I’ve had a resurgence of interest. This is mainly due to buying Fallout 4 VR.

fallout4.jpg

I’ll prefix this by stating that I’ve played the original Fallout 4 extensively, sinking countless hours into it (as well as the previous Fallouts). It’s a world and story that I’ve enjoyed a lot and so I’m very biased when playing the VR version.

I’ve read that it doesn’t natively support a Rift, and needs additional work to handle the touch controllers. I can only assume this was earlier versions, as it started up perfectly and before I knew it I was inside the game and looking at my Pip-Boy as I zipped around.

Movement is via the standard teleportation method – you point somewhere, press a button, and get transported. It’s not as natural as the 2D game, but it’s workable, and I’ve not had any motion sickness yet. There is an option for ‘normal’ movement, but I don’t think I’d last long.

So far it’s the most enjoyable game I’ve played in VR. I think part of that reason is that it’s an actual real game from a major producer. It’s not a mini-experience, and it’s not an on-rails shooter. There’s a plot, there’s things to do, and people to talk to. Part of the enjoyment of Fallout is its size, and that it allows you to explore anything and do whatever you want. This really becomes apparent when you’re virtually stood inside the world.

The thrill you get at completing your first encounter is vastly more satisfying than in 2D, and a lot of the imagery makes more sense when viewed in 3D. There are times when you have to take a few moments just to look around and soak in the post-apocalyptic scenery.

One scene that sticks out is when you rescue an actor and his supermutant friend from a skyscraper. After battling your way to the top there’s a section of the building exposed to the outside and you can stand and look out over the city as a storm bears down.

As with most Bethesda games, it’s a little… quirky at times. I’ve fallen through the floor and discovered an underworld. I’ve somehow appeared above the ceiling of a room and can look down, but have no way back in. At one point my viewpoint was at floor level until I ran a patch I found on Github to ‘fix’ the floor. And let’s not forget about the number of times I’ve accidentally dropped a grenade or molotov cocktail on myself…

It’s is fairly tiring, and there’s no sitting down. The resolution of the Rift is still a limiting factor with regards fidelity, and I still find the headset uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. The touch controllers have been used well though, and do bring you more into the world, although it would be nice to see your own body so as to feel a little more there.

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