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Heroic Explorer


When I first saw this in the Oculus Home store I was elated!  This is what VR is all about - enabling experiences you'd never be able to experience in real life...  But, would it be any good for $14.99 on my Oculus Rift?

Chernobyl VR Project is what I'd call a "mixed medium" VR experience.  It combines:

1.  360 degree videos

2.  360 degree photos

3.  Narration and text

4.  3D-rendered explorable environments

So, first off I must say that the content is fascinating.  There are a lot of excellent facts I had no idea about, such as those about construction of ill-fated Chernobyl Theme Park (no spoilers).  The content is also tied together very well - there is an overhead map that allows you to select certain areas, and within those areas you can select certain items to trigger content.  Some of the areas are fully explorable, some are not.  The ones that are not explorable are often 360 degree photos with key areas you can warp to that triggers videos or other photos.

One criticism I have is the quality of the 360 videos.  While quality of VR videos seems to be low resolution across all experiences, the videos in Chernobyl VR Project appear especially low resolution - not quite up to the level of Discovery VR, for instance.  I am not sure if this is due to the camera used, quality reduction to accommodate the GearVR, or simply space reduction - currently the game clocks in at over 7GB which is the largest Oculus Rift game I am aware of.  I hope the creators of this have a high resolution version of the videos they could release when VR hardware becomes more capable - the subject matter demands it!

The 360 photos, on the other hands, are very good.  They do not suffer from the resolution issue of the videos and contain lots of fine detail similar to typical photos that are available elsewhere on Oculus.

In environments that you can walk around in, the 3D-rendered graphics quality is great, with some nice shader effects and attention to detail to really make you feel like you are exploring a fallout-poisoned environment.  Movement is handled via typical left stick/right stick gamepad controls, thus some may experience motion sickness in these areas - however, this does not make up the whole game, so it should not be a huge problem for most. Sound is atmospheric and fits the mood.

Overall, I recommend this project for the $14.99.  It is in Early Access and can only get better, plus considering with the subject of the content and the amount the price seems fair.  Remember though, this is an educational experience - not a game!


@DarthDisembowel, sorry you're still having problems

I have Unknown Sources enabled, just 'Start SteamVR when application starts' disabled and running Chernobyl from the normal Oculus Home icon, so something else is causing the problem on your case

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