The Martian VR Experience
Developer: Twentieth Century Fox Film
Release Date: Out Now
Controllers: Two Move Controllers Required
I enjoyed The Martian movie – I enjoyed it so much I almost forgave Ridley Scott for Prometheus and his incessant desire to push out sequels for that, rather than allow FOX to give Neil Blomkamp the go ahead with Alien5. But that’s a matter for another time.
The Martian VR Experience is something altogether different. For starters it costs more than a ticket to see the film in theatres and is shorter than an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
There’s very little gameplay here but it doesn’t really work as a VR film either. ‘Alumette‘ is a much better example of how short films can work in VR. In The Martian VR various scenes, taken straight from the movie, are played in front of you as if you’re in the cinema and then you get to “play” certain other scenes. Each scene, such as sorting large and small potatoes, take less than two minutes and are almost completely pointless.
The quality of the VR seems to shift from feeling like a 360˚ video to actually feeling like you’re in a dust-storm on Mars. The graphics are nothing to write home about but they didn’t make my eyes bleed either.
It’s not all doom and gloom though; for science and space geeks such as myself actually being on Mars is very cool. For me, looking around the dead and lifeless world but knowing it’s based on somewhere real, somewhere not so far away in the grand scheme of things, is absolutely fascinating. It makes me yearn for for a fully fledged Solar System VR simulation.
You also get to drive a vehicle around the Martian surface, but just as you start enjoying it the scene ends, which is a problem the ‘experience’ as a whole shares as well. If they wanted to showcase that VR can be for more than just VR they failed, as it fails as a game also. I can’t even suggest it for die-hard fans of the film, as it doesn’t really offer anything new but rather retreads parts of the film that weren’t that interesting to begin with.
If this was less than £5 I might think about recommending it but it’s not and it’s worth nowhere near as much as something like ‘Until Dawn: Rush of Blood‘ – which is currently on sale at the same price.
Verdict: 3/10 – It’s just not worth the money.