EVE-VR on Oculus Rift preview
The creator of EVE online has created a special demo to show what is possible on the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that promises to immerse you into the game.
Shown at E3, the annual gaming convention in Los Angeles, the new proof of concept was developed by CCP Games as part of the company's 20 per cent time project.
Similar to Google, the company lets its employees spend one day a week working on their own projects. Excited by the new virtual reality headset, which rocketed to notoriety on Kickstarter in 2012, a couple of the developers have created a game called EVE-VR.
The idea is simple. To try to recreate what it must be like to be in a dogfight in space. Imagine the final space battle of Return of the Jedi and you start to get the picture.
The core element to the experience is the Oculus Rift VR headset. It is like an overly large pair of ski goggles that features a 720p screen (the company that makes Oculus Rift has just announced it has increased the screen size and the quality of the screen to 1080p) and a number of sensors that let the game respond to your head movements instantly with zero response lag.
What that means in practice, as we've found out at CES and again at this year's E3, is that when you move your head in the game you get to see around the environment as if you were there in real-life.
In the case of EVE-VR, you are put in a spaceship and forced to dogfight your way out of trouble against five other players also wearing the headset.
Where it works with the Oculus Rift so well is that you are stationary in the spaceship's cockpit, and are not only keen to look around into space, but also into the depths of space around you.
The demo starts with us sitting in a spaceship in a docking station waiting to be fired into the action. Looking down reveals our legs, our cockpit and the controls around us - in this case controlled via a physical Xbox 360 controller.
Thirty seconds later and we are fired into deep space and straight into the action. This is the most immersive gaming we've ever experienced, giving us motion sickness at one point as we barrel rolled our way out of a missile attack, while looking above us to lock on to another spaceship flying at breakneck speed to escape our cannon fire.
There is no easier way to describe it other than by saying this is what it must be like to fly a spaceship. Really.
In our first go of the Oculus Rift in January at CES we were walking around in a first person shooter, this experience in a cockpit felt much more natural.
A couple of kills, and deaths ourselves later, and the experience was over. The sad news is that there are no plans to release the game - this really is a proof of concept, the developers told us, and talking to a spokesman for Oculus VR, the company behind the headset has no plans to release the Rift to consumers at the moment. It is, however, taking pre-orders.