The Walking Dead, Westworld, Creed – these are just a few games inspired by films and television that have come or are coming to VR in the near future. Add to this the promised Marvel Iron Man title, among others, and you’re starting to spot a real trend here. Needless to say, we like what we’re seeing. Not only is translating a classic film franchise to VR logical, it is what some of us have always wanted. And to give you some idea of just how far this trend is going, the sequel to the Bill Murray-helmed classic comedy Groundhog Day is out for VR. You read that right, and we can’t wait to tell you about it.
For those of you that might not have seen the film before, Groundhog Day is your basic Bill Murray comedy in that he plays a suave if cynical man moving through life one day at a time with about as much gusto as he can muster while everyone else bubbles and bounces around in contrastingly comical fashion. As these things go, it is a story about a man learning how to enjoy life and whimsy – or a man overcoming serious depress, or someone who died at the beginning of the film and the rest of it is his being trapped in purgatory. There are a lot of theories out there. The reason for these theories is that Bill Murray has to relive the same day, Groundhog Day, the same way, over and over again, no matter what he does the day before.
The comedy of the situation is in how he decides to take advantage of this unique life mechanic and learns more about himself – as well as falls in love – in the process. It’s kind of out there in terms of a romantic comedy concept, but it is unique enough that its translation to a video game makes perfect sense. Especially when you consider the inherent gaming mechanics in the premise.
The VR game will be much the same and will revolve around interacting with characters and solving puzzles. If you were expecting and action-oriented stealth thriller, sadly, that’s not what is on the books here. Playing as the protagonist from the first film’s son, Phil Connors, Jr, you, too, find yourself trapped in the town of Punxsutawney, PA on Groundhog Day. Sent to record a vlog, you become enmeshed in the town that your father (and mother) fell in love in so long ago. We’re getting a really whimsical, fun vibe from the game.
Senior Vice President of Virtual Reality at Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Jake Zim said of the game, “At Sony Pictures Virtual Reality, we are focused on extending beloved IP into new mediums and reaching new audiences…By continuing the world of ‘Groundhog Day’ in a VR game, we can introduce a new generation to the magic of the film and expand upon this universe.”