Thankfully, the day of obligatory overpriced movie tie-in video games came to a halt in recent years. Now we get cheaper, downloadable titles and mobile apps instead. Still, most of them aren’t very good. Even 2013’s Guillermo del Toro film Pacific Rim got one from Yuke’s and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment which released as a downloadable for PS3 and Xbox 360. It wasn’t good.
At Comic-Con International 2014 in San Diego last week we had a chance to try out something which may be offering a tease of something spectacular on the gaming front for Pacific Rim in the near future. A sequel to the movie is already panned to release in spring 2017, but Legendary Pictures had something different to show fans at the convention last week – a Pacific Rim Oculus Rift VR experience.
I’ve been sold on the potential and technology of Oculus Rift since first trying it over a year ago at E3 2013. The Pacific Rim demo didn’t take input and instead let users observe what it’s like to be a co-pilot of a massive Jaeger mech from the film. As I put the headset on I observed the heads-up display spill out some data and info and I could look around the large cockpit. The 3D depth and perfect 1-to-1 head movement made up for the slightly blurred resolution. To my right stood my co-pilot, voiced by Charlie Hunnam who came in just to record for this demo, re-playing the character of Raleigh Becket.
Just like the film, my character and Hunnam’s put hand to fist to symbolize their readiness for combat before beginning to walk forward. I could turn my head all the way around and see every bit of the room I stood in. The only thing missing was my ability to control the character who’s eyes I could see through.
Ahead through the cockpit viewing port we could see a massive Kaiju monster approach. After a punch and a few bits of combat the enemy smashed through the front right of the cockpit and pulled out Becket before the demo came to a close. It was intense, immersive and felt awesome. And I want more.
After that demo I had the change to chat with Pacific Rim creator, co-writer and director Guillermo del Toro about his next film Crimson Peak but took the opportunity to also ask about his thoughts on Pacific Rim with Oculus Rift.
Have you tried the Oculus Rift for the Pacific Rim?
“I have not only tried it, but… I’m not only a club client, but I’m also the president (laughs). The two attractions were designed under my supervision. This is my baby more, but the Oculus was something that I saw from the design, the storyboarding, the sound design, the beta version all the way to what you see.”
Is there potential for an Oculus Rift full-on Pacific Rim 2 video game?
“I think that’s something that I would full and wholeheartedly support. “
The only question for us is how players would control such a thing since using a mouse and keyboard or PS4/Xbox One controller is not the same as mimicking the physical actions of the robot. Perhaps something that take advantage of Kinect and the PlayStation 4 Eye cameras?
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Pacific Rim 2 hits theaters in April 7 2017.