One thing that has always lurked in the background of the video gaming experience is the desire to replicate real-world – and a fantasy world – experiences with an intense level of fidelity.
Virtual reality helps us get there, but we’re not quite where we all imagine in our wildest dreams. What we imagine is something like the HBO show Westworld, where the simulation is so authentic and “real” that it is hard to distinguish between it and ourselves. Naturally, we want all of this without consequence, just like the characters who tour Westworld. But with everything there are consequences, and now you, too, can experience those ramifications in a VR version of the show that puts you in the heart of the action. If you’ve wondered what it would be like to venture into one of the most demented theme parks ever, now you can.
Westworld VR for PC VR headsets dropped this week and so far, so good. Of course, fans of the show will want to scoop it up immediately, but what about the rest of us? It seems like there might be a lot on offer here for those of us who don’t watch Westworld to check out. Beyond that, though, it looks like we could be riding a wave of film and television VR properties in the near future which is both an interesting and much-welcomed trend.
Officially titled Westworld Awakening, the game takes place during the second season of the show where the player is Kate, a newly aware host, who has to sneak around the Mesa facility and unravel the various mysteries about the complex. This includes using the Quality Assurance tablet that lets you adjust park goers experiences and host interactions as well as figuring out just what exactly powers the creepy, artificial environs of Westworld. It’s billed as a stealth action game with heavy narrative and puzzle elements. Part of the tension of the game is that a serial killer named Hank who has a penchant for aware hosts is constantly on your trail, forcing you to push ever forward while the world tells you more about itself at the same time. That sounds just about perfect to us.
Coming from HBO and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Westworld Awakening is not the studio’s first foray into a television or film property being translated to VR. One of their efforts in this area was this year’s Creed: Rise to Glory and the upcoming The Walking Dead Onslaught. Outside of Warner Bros, there is a Groundhog film sequel coming in VR format and a bunch of other film properties to virtual reality that has us wondering if the promised glory days of truly interactive movies are just around the corner.
What do you think? Are we moving towards interactive VR films? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.