The Oculus Quest Has Made Me a Believer in Virtual Reality
After being against virtual reality for so long, trying the Oculus Quest for the first time was some of the most fun I've ever had in gaming.
Ever since virtual reality hit the market for consumers in the past few years, I just haven’t found a reason to want to try it. From the initial versions of the Oculus Rift, Vive, and other VR headsets out there, it has always just seemed to me like a beta version of what I picture virtual reality to be.
When it comes to VR, I wanted to be encapsulated into whatever world a game brings me, and everything that I’ve seen so far just hasn’t spoken to me yet. Once it became more and more popular, specifically with PlayStation VR, I started to look into it: I wanted to give it a fair shot. After listening to podcasts about people explaining their experience with the first wave of VR headsets, everything sounded promising, except for one thing: wires. All I kept hearing about from other VR owners were struggles with wires and how they were annoying to deal with when trying to play VR games. There were points that I really wanted to bite the bullet and get into VR, but never did because of that one reason.
Recently the Oculus Quest released, which is a completely wireless headset, and that aspect of the headset definitely caught my attention. While at E3 last month, I finally was able to try virtual reality for the first time with the Oculus Quest, and it was beautiful. It’s clearly the first step to what VR was supposed to be, but it was also exactly what it was supposed to be all along.
Going into the room where I tried VR for the first time, I knew exactly what game I wanted to try: Beat Saber. As I put on the headset, it surprisingly fit my head comfortably, as I have an abnormally large head. As I was looking through the headset, it took about thirty seconds for my eyes to adjust so I could see clearly, but once it did, I was rushing to get started.
The demo only had two songs available for play, “Believer” and “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons. I ended up picking “Believer” because it was the only one with a normal difficulty option and I didn’t want to fail my first time through. As the song began and I started slicing through brick by brick on the beat to the song, the experience immediately brought out the biggest smile on my face. I was yelling and commentating on what I was doing throughout the song. Honestly, it was the most fun I’ve had playing a game in years. I’ve wanted to play Beat Saber for so long because I have a musical background, and I was very good at Rock Band and Guitar Hero back in the day. The whole time it just felt exhilarating, and then things started to change.
In case you don’t know the game, in Beat Saber you carry two sabers and you cut through blocks to the beat of a song, but you also at times have to bob and weave around obstacles. Part way through the song the blocks moved left of me; I never experienced something like this whenever I watched someone play the game online. So not only did I have to duck and dodge my way through the song but I also had to rotate, adding a new layer to the game. After finishing the song, the assistant for the demo told me that this was a new 360 mode for Beat Saber. All I wanted to do for the rest of the day was to play the game, even when it was wearing me out.
Even if I played only Beat Saber, there are so many hours that one can put throughout the one game alone, but the experience of playing it in VR was what drew me into it more. I felt the immersion while playing Beat Saber and I want to experience that in other titles, such as Moss, which is another game that I have my eye on to play as soon as I can afford my own Oculus Quest. While normally I can get fatigued from wanting to put so much time into playing games, this experience recharged my batteries to maximum.
Despite my hesitations with it initially, the Oculus Quest was able to get me fully on board with VR. Even in the little time that I had with it, getting this hands-on experience made me want to immediately go on Amazon and purchase a headset for my own without hesitation. While it seems like it may not be at a level where it’s 100% comfortable to play with just yet, VR technology is advancing, if the Oculus Quest is any indication, and my hope is VR will become more accessible soon. If you were like me and against VR completely and just don’t want to be a part of it that is fine, but know that you are missing a hell of a good time.