It was time for another appointment at PAX, but this wasn’t anything ordinary. 505 games was shuttling me off-site to a movie theater somewhere in Boston. They were actually giving me the chance to sit back, grab a bucket of popcorn, and see something new. It was time to see Adr1ft in a way I have never seen a game before, on the big screen.
The demo begins with a first person view of an astronaut drifting through a space station with the sound of heavy and constant breathing filling the room. A corridor opens up and is filled with lush foliage along the walls and an electronic tablet floating in front of you. This continues as you make your way through the space station, finding oxygen and piecing together the story of yourself and the rest of the crew.
Eventually there is a point where the player goes from being in a room with a gleaming cherry blossom tree to having the choice to float through open space to another part of the station. The moment that the expansiveness of space is opened up from the ripped up station really made me take a deep breath and stare on in wonder. I wanted to get my hands on demo with the Oculus Rift and see how it felt to be immersed into the world on the screen.
As the demo concluded after a failed attempt from the developer of the game everyone knew it was time to try it for ourselves. I graciously offered to be the first to take my shot. Adr1ft was the first game I have played on Oculus Rift that allowed me to feel fully immersed into the experience put forth in front of me and not just playing a game with a gimmick attached. The feeling of not becoming some overpowered entity in space, but only pushing to maintain the status quo was a trip within itself. The main difference on the Oculus Rift demo over the Xbox demo was that the Oculus had full exploration with no limitations of finding oxygen while the Xbox demo was the same as what we had seen on the theater screen.
This would be a great killer app to put out with the consumer version of the Oculus Rift to give gamers a great idea of what the hardware can really do. I look forward to a full play through in both of its iterations when it launches and I can’t wait to get my hands on it again and dive deeper into the story. The game has an expected release date of sometime in September 2015 for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.