The Astronauts, developers of The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter have previously mooted that their 2014 title was one that was seemingly made for virtual reality (VR), declaring in a post made at the time of the Playstation 4 release that it was ‘a perfect game’ for the medium. Although at that time, the team were unsure as to when or even if a VR version would see the light of day. Declaring that they would have to see just how long was required for a ‘proper VR experience’ to be made.
Today however saw the updated Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) release of the game make its way onto steam as a free upgrade for those who had already purchased the Unreal Engine 3 version and, though not listed on the Steam page itself, users have confirmed that support for the Oculus Rift has come as part of the upgrade to what is being termed by The Astronauts as The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter Redux.
Early reports from threads on reddit suggest it is, as you might expect, early days for the build. You can pick up items and examine them but there are no VR menus for instance, but there are a couple of troublesome issues regarding judder and visibility. However others are reporting that the game is working reasonably well for those using Oculus SDK 0.6 and above.
According to one developer from The Astronauts though this isn’t a full VR push, more a workable ‘prototype’. Commenting on a Steam Discussions thread, whilst acknowledging that the team would be working to fix the more severe field of vision (FOV) issues some were having, Game Designer Krzysiek Justynski responded, “Well, I admit that we were just experimenting with VR in Unreal Engine 4. And it was just left as secret – don’t tell anybody! “
Future buyers of The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter will get both versions for their payment, whilst the videogame is also currently selling as a Daily Deal on Steam at 40% off the regular price. VRFocus will continue to follow the development of the VR support and will bring you any news as we get it.