An extreme thrill-ride turns deadly in this short but effective experience for the Oculus Rift.
Take Cyberspace, the classic Pendulum ride simulator for the Rift, update it visually then add a crazy twist to the end and you’ve summed up Ultimate Booster. Priced $3.99 and available in the Downloads section of this website, it’s a short but very effective theme park ride that instantly causes vertigo and motion sickness. The good kind of motion sickness that all thrill-riders enjoy.
Developed by Gexagon VR – a small Russian development team with a penchant for virtual theme park rides, Ultimate Booster is set within a packed city. After loading the experience you find yourself sat front and center on the ride, with digital arms holding firmly onto the safety strap above you. Positional-tracking is used well to let you lean and look around, but cleverly it’s locked to a certain angle, preventing you from moving your digital head through your virtual arms and chair. After the press of a button the safety strap comes down and the ride begins.
This is an extreme ride. The pendulum arm swings fast and hard, pushing your seat high above the city below until the ride peaks through the wispy clouds above. Seconds later you’re falling towards the ground with your virtual legs and feet pressed hard against the chair, and as the ride thrusts back into the air the seat flips upside down as the pendulum arm begins to rotates the other way. It’s dizzying, fast-paced fun, and the sense of motion and gravity is eerily captured in the Oculus Rift headset, as demosntrated in this gameplay video:
That’s not where the ride ends, however. After the third rotation the pendulum arm begins to creak and whine, then on the fourth swing it breaks apart in spectacular fashion, sending your seat flying through the air on a destructive path through a billboard and down to the streets below. Yikes.
This is a brilliantly effective experience, and one that will shock and thrill anyone trying the Rift headset for the very first time (Rift veterans have probably played Cyberspace already). It’s full of little details that bring the ride to life, such as a virtual body that responds to gravity, cars that drive along the city streets, distance cranes and buildings to check out while you’re upside down and lots of debris when the ride breaks apart. Is it worth $3.99, however? Yes if you’re planning on demoing the experience to lots of people, but perhaps not if you’re only going to ride it once.
Short but dramatic, Ultimate Booster is a vertigo-inducing thrill ride for the Oculus Rift. A great demo piece for those new to VR.
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Oculus Rift Experience