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Preview: Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot for Gear VR

Originally debuted at San Diego Comic Con back in July of this year, Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot puts the player in the hot seat of the titular skyscraping robot. It’s an exercise in limiting expectations, as the interactivity offered is minimal-to-none, however it showcases the imagination that’s already being piled into this new wave of virtual reality (VR) outside of the independent development studios that have been championing the technology thus far.

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Here on Gear VR, Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot is the exact same experience that was presented on Oculus Rift. In fact, the introduction actually refers to the experience as being made for use with Oculus’ premium head-mounted display (HMD) in it’s introduction. The scale of the experience hasn’t suffered in the translation to mobile HMD, nor has the impressive visual quality.

Beginning mounted within the towering mechanical monstrosity, the experience takes a moment to get moving and does so with a clever invitation. Your co-pilot, sat to your right, calls at you and asks you to look in his direction. Immediately the user is pulled away from a traditional ‘look straight ahead’ viewing experience and given a new remit: there is something different to see in every direction. Only a few moments later a beast smashes through the front screen of the Jaeger and rips your co-pilot from his position. It’s sudden and shocking, and the fact that it’s delivered with such high quality visual design makes it an experience worth remembering.

Graphics aren’t everything of course. Lesser budgets can be spent to make something more appealing despite external limitations. But here in Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot it makes the experience all the more enjoyable. The crystal clear imagery on the monitor ahead of you and the terrifying nature of the beast are delivered so strongly simply because they’re so believable. Suspension-of-disbelief is a hugely important aspect of immersion in VR, and while some titles can do more with less, Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot is undoubtedly stronger because of it’s remarkable visual clout. If this is the kind of graphical quality that can be achieved so early in the Gear VR’s lifespan with the Galaxy Note 4, VRFocus simply can’t wait to see what the device will be capable of once developers have truly got to grips with mobile VR.

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