Prepare to fall at new free-roam VR in Lower Parel
India's first free-roam VR experience is not for the faint-hearted, but you just can't give it a miss
Most of us must have experienced virtual reality in some form or the other. It involves a full head mount with controls that let you move through the digital space. Regardless of what your experience with VR has been so far, you have to try out Zero Latency—a new free-roam VR experience, where the user can physically move in the virtual world and experience it with his/her friends. Its outlet at Todi Mills in Lower Parel is the first in India.
It all begins with registration and selecting a call sign, after which there is a brief set of instructions about the game and some safety tips to avoid injury. Then you are suited up with a VR headset, headphones and a portable backpack computer. The entire kit weighs around 4.5 kg, but the backpack distributes the weight evenly, so it's still comfortable. You are then led into a room with your VR headset on, so that the game can register you. Once registered, the whole virtual room goes blank and then white. It is a bizarre feeling.
The game being monitored on a screen
The first game we tried was Engineerium, an award-winning non-violent exploration and puzzle game that will bend your mind. The world is huge and everything is on narrow ledges. In fact, our party needed to be escorted across the first ledge. From there on, the game just pushes all your buttons, making you as uncomfortable as it can, with drops into beautiful landscapes. However, if you can ignore your fears, the game has amazing scenery and does well to make you feel like the space you are exploring is bigger than it actually is. The scale is amazing and it's perfect for people who want to experience full-room VR without killing or destroying things.
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The second game we tried was Zombie Survival. This one required a gun, which was quickly handed to us, while the game was loading. Zombie Survival is all about teamwork under intense pressure of facing an ever-increasing horde of zombies. The gun for this game had some weight to it and the instructions to use it were simple. But if it had some haptic feedback, similar to the way a controller vibrates while playing a game, it would feel a lot more immersive. That said, the game was intense enough to get the adrenalin pumping. There was no way to survive it without a crew. Having people you know to play with is also a big part of the experience, as communication in these games is key.
The writer, suited up with a VR headset, headphones and a portable backpack computer, attempts at playing Zombie Survival
We also tried Singularity, a space shooter where you have to kill robots, drones and a large, AI-controlled robot. The game was fun, but wasn't as intense as Zombie survival. The best part of this game, however, was the final boss monster that reminded us of the one in the retro game Contra.
Zero Latency is an experience; no matter what kind of VR you have tried in the past, nothing will ever prepare you for this.
Where: Zero Latency, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel
Entry: Rs 899
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