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Preview: The Castle Demo

The second Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) demo showcased using Project Morpheus was simply known as The Castle Demo, however you should not let the name suggest to you that this is a lightweight experience. It is, in fact, a much more detailed and immersive presentation than The Deep. And with this kind of incline VRFocus can’t wait to see what SCE are holding in reserve.

Morpheus2The Castle Demo uses Project Morpheus and two PS Move controllers. With this set-up the player’s head and hands are tracked in near-real-time. It’s far from perfect – there is no one-to-one motion control device currently available to consumers – but it is reliable nonetheless. Having your physical presence in the videogame directed by your hands as opposed to an analog stick will always be the preferable solution for virtual reality (VR) even if it’s not faultless. In the case of The Castle Demo, that’s two limbless hands coated in pristine armour.

Moving these hands you are directed to the swords by your side. Simply pushing the trigger will lock you hand closed either around the handle or in such a fashion that it pulls the sword towards you in some sort of odd Jedi style use of the Force. This is to overcome the lack of precision of the PS Move of course, as are the generous cut points of the dummy you can then carve into pieces with your new weaponry. It’s not all about progression however; the player is able to move the limbs of their stationary adversary by simply stroking their hands along it’s surface. It’s an impressive display of spatial awareness and virtual representation, one which we haven’t yet seen in VR with such impressive visual design.

This attention to detail goes even further as the player is able to grab the dummy instead of their weapon. VRFocus took great delight in showing the lifeless opponent it’s severed limbs before throwing them aside. Following this however, it was a more distant affair. Equipped with a crossbow the player had several targets surrounding another dummy positioned a greater distance away. The targeting was easy, however it was more fun to find the chinks in the dummy’s armour and continue to remove it’s limbs than actually engage with the stationary, traditional targets at all. This, however would only incur the wrath of a greater being. As the dummy was reduced to nothing but wood and scrap metal a dragon descended from the sky, fearsomely roaring directly into the player’s face before the demo fades to black.