Rebellion Developments announced their intentions to become a part of the virtual reality (VR) scene at last month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Los Angeles, with a Project Morpheus demonstration of the forthcoming Battlezone reboot. Despite the impressive nature of this debut outing, the studio isn’t over confident in their position, recognising that VR still has some way to go to convince those yet to try it for themselves.
Steve Bristow, Lead Designer on Battlezone, acknowledged the issue in a recent interview with Push Square: “A lot of the stuff that people have tried on VR so far are really demos; we’re still asking people to imagine what the games are going to be like when they’re finished, so the scepticism is natural.”
He went on to explain an inherent problem in marketing VR experiences that traditional videogames don’t suffer from. That is, of course, the distribution of teaser assets via the internet. Traditional videogames are played on a 2D screen and so the translation from trailers is a simple step. With VR, that simply isn’t the case.
“VR does have a fundamental problem of selling itself through 2D video. You just can’t get the experience across in that way. You really have to try it for yourself,” stated Bristow. “I think that Battlezone is going to surprise people because if you’ve played tank games before, you probably think you know how it feels to sit in the cockpit of a fighting vehicle. But you put the HMD on and try the game out and you quickly feel the difference. It’s the difference between playing an FPS and going paintballing. They’re both cool but one of them feels more real, more intense, more close to reality.”
Battlezone is expected to launch in 2016 alongside the Project Morpheus head-mounted display (HMD). VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on Battlezone and other VR projects from Rebellion Developments.