Recently, I have been getting more and more interested in Virtual Reality gaming. Up until now, it hasn’t really crossed my mind as something worth looking at, since it still felt like a gimmick, rather than the new way to play video games. However, last week I was invited to try out the various VR experiences at ImmotionVR in the inTu Derby shopping centre. After having a quick look at the ImmotionVR website, I thought it looked intriguing and decided to give it a go.
So, today we’re going to cover my thoughts on ImmotionVR and whether you should try it out as well! Let’s get to it!
Location, Location, Location
Rather than jumping straight in with the actual VR gaming, the first thing I wanted to talk about was the location of ImmotionVR Derby. As I already mentioned, they are situated within the inTu Derby shopping centre, which is great. But even better than that, I was pleasantly surprised to find them only about 2 minutes walk from the lifts to the car park. You see, the main car park that we use when going to inTu Derby is the one on the top of the shopping centre. This means that we have to take the lifts down and most of the ones connected to the car park only go down to the second floor.
Thankfully, ImmotionVR is on the second floor, in clear view as you walk down the North Eastern side of the shopping centre. You really can’t miss them! As you can see from the image above, their VR pods really stand out. Anyway, now that we’ve discussed the location, let’s get into the actual VR experience, shall we?
ImmotionVR Derby’s Setup
As you’ve already seen, ImmotionVR have a number of VR pods that you can sit in when trying out the various “rollercoaster” type experiences. These pods give a 4D style addition to the VR by tilting and leaning along with the rollercoaster that you’re on. It’s rather similar to having your own private simulator ride. The “in-game” music fills the pods so that you really can’t hear anything else, and with the HTC Vive headset on, you become fully immersed in the ride.
The rollercoaster experiences are also of very high quality. Yes, you can get free apps for your Google Cardboard setup that simulate rollercoasters, but they don’t match up. Trust me, I’ve tried them. The quality of the ImmotionVR experiences are infinitely higher, and with the addition of the pods, it’s an amazing ride! Whilst there, I was being given the tour by Meg (shout out to some great customer service from her as well) who suggested I try their Halloween ride. I can safely say that, whilst it didn’t scare me, it was one of my favourite rollercoaster experiences there. The only one that I preferred was a space simulator one that was very reminiscent of Star Wars (after all, I’m a huge Star Wars fan).
Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. We’re supposed to be talking about the setup, after all. Aside from the rollercoaster pods, ImmotionVR Derby also have racing simulators with a full cockpit setup; bucket seat, steering wheel with flappy panel gears and pedals. This setup also shakes and moves with the game as well, which is awesome. I tried out Project Cars on it, and the setup really makes you feel like you’re right in the car.
Another of the VR gaming setups that they had at ImmotionVR Derby was a big, circular platform that you stand on, with a giant gun on it (hence the “BFG” reference). This gun is directly linked to the game for this setup, acting as the controller. That was awesome, I have to say. The game itself is simplistic in design, but also incredibly frantic. It took me a couple of minutes to get used to switching between weapons, but actually holding the cannon with my hands, aiming it and looking around with the VR headset was amazing.
Free Standing Fun
The last game that they had at ImmotionVR Derby was a free-standing one. Basically, you have the HTC Vive headset and two controllers; one for each hand. You obviously use the headset to look around, but the controllers act as guns and shields. Plus, as you are standing up, you’re technically free to move around as well. I didn’t, because I was too scared of breaking something, but you could. I found this setup the most enjoyable, personally. Even though the fully immersive experiences of the pods and racing were wonderful, there was something far more immersive about being in full control with the two controllers. Apparently, according to Meg, I even reached a level she’d not seen before since I got into the game that I just kept going.
A Wonderful VR Experience
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the VR experience at ImmotionVR. It actually changed my mind about VR gaming entirely. As I stated earlier, I had just chalked it up as a gimmicked. However, after playing and trying out the various different experiences that they had, I realised that it truly is incredible for immersion. In fact, it changed my mind so much that my and I had now bought the PSVR for out PlayStation 4!
So yeah, if you’re not quite sure about VR gaming yet, can’t afford the PSVR or one of the other VR setups, or just want a fun time, I would highly recommend going to ImmotionVR. The one in Derby was great. The customer service from Meg was brilliant (and I hope her bosses read this and give her some recognition). You’ll love it, I’m sure!