A new free-roam, fully immersive virtual reality experience recently hit our shores, just in time for summer and it is set to get your adrenaline pumping and leaving you craving more. Local company, Ultimate Virtual Reality, have brought Zero Latency to the Gold Coast offering hyper realistic, mind blowing, virtual worlds, like nothing our city has ever seen before. Thanks to Managing Director Tristan Swasbrook and the rest of the team, some of the Gaming Australia crew got to try out what Zero Latency Gold Coast has to offer.
Eight players are free to roam around a 200sqm arena in the immersive virtual universe generated by Zero Latency. Participants are able to explore different worlds and respond to the other players through their avatar.
At the moment, there are six experiences on offer ranging from fighting a zombie apocalypse, rescuing a space station and walking through a fantastical dreamlike universe. For those who are more competitive, there is the ‘Sol Raiders’ game, which is a peer on peer team battle scenario where Earth is gone, and the last remnants of humanity combat each other across the universe in search of new worlds and wealth. If killing zombies is more your thing then you can jump in to 'Outbreak Origins'. Outbreak Origins drops you in the middle of a quarantine zone where you and your team must fight your way to safety.
Zero Latency guests, along with their friends, family or colleagues, get fitted with state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets, headphones, military-style backpacks and controllers and enter a virtual world together. Talking with Managing Director Tristan, he explained the experience as “One moment you’re living in your own world, the next you’re lost in ours, you know you’re just visiting, but your mind is convinced otherwise,” he said.
Whilst Zero Latency is fully functional and ready to entertain, one of the exciting points is that there is still plenty to come. Tristan informed me of his plans for the rest of the space they have available. The main reception area will soon double as a fully functioning bar, where players will be able to hang out, grab a beer and even catch up with mates, but will also feature 7 state of the art VR racing simulators and a full rotation VR Flight simulator. In addition, there will be function areas upstairs for corporate events, bucks parties, birthday parties etc. It's in these function areas that you will be able to watch your friends as they take on hoards of the undead; whilst you sip down a nice refreshing drink. Making Zero Latency Gold Coast the perfect place to hang out and have fun!
Having never experienced true VR before, I was intrigued and a little sceptical at how good this VR technology could be. I mean, up until now the only VR I have experienced was the free Samsung VR headset I received with my phone a few years ago. That technology, whilst a novelty, leaves a lot to be desired.
The Zero Latency experience however, is truly the best of the best. Their technology is second to none! Each pack contains a fully functioning, hyper powerful gaming laptop contained within the backpack and state of the art HP headsets, which seamlessly transitions players from reality into virtual worlds. Once you’ve strapped on a VR headset, a computer backpack and a VR gun, you and your friends are in for a reality-shifting, mind challenging adventure.
Once you're kitted up, you head on into the arena, lead by your game master (VR headset on). I was expecting to head on into a tiny little 3x3 booth. Instead our group heads into a 200sqm free-roam arena unlike anything I had seen before.
We got to play both Origin Outbreak and Sol Raiders and I have honestly never been more immersed or more focused on a game in my entire life.
Outbreak Origins pits you and up to 7 allies against unrelenting waves of zombies. Dropped into what appears to be a quarantine zone, your mission is simply to survive. Using a range of weapons and tactics at your disposal, it's up to you to communicate with your team and work your way to the evac point. At no point when playing this game did my brain snap out of zombie survival mode. The ultra responsive VR tracking, meant that every single turn of the head and every single movement I made was mirrored within the game instantaneously, achieving true immersion into this fantasy apocalypse.
Sol Raiders is more of a competitive game mode. Think Call of Duty's online multiplayer but in glorious VR. Sol raiders contains 3 different matches over 3 different maps, each having a slightly different objective to the others. Teaming up Blue vs Orange or in our case Boys vs Girls, the aim of the game is to kill the enemy team whilst capturing the objective. PVP is obviously much more fast paced and competitive than the PVE game modes of Outbreak Origins. I imagine relationships could be tested when killing your loved one in this robot filled VR bonanza!
Each game comes with your very own game master who stands on the sidelines and ensures that each player knows exactly what to do and advises the teams through their headsets.