One minute I was in Shoreditch; the next I was roaming round a small island, the sea lapping below me. I was of course still very much in Shoreditch, but sat on a wheely chair in the corner of the Ustwo offices it certainly didn’t feel that way, ensconced as I was in a large virtual reality headset and thoroughly enthralled by the strange new world around me. This world was that of Ustwo’s new game Land’s End, a virtual reality game launching at the end of October that sees users work to “awaken a lost civilisation” through a series of beautiful ever-changing landscapes.
It’s a confusing but wonderful experience; and one that I’m keen not to spoil for anyone hoping to play. Even for a non-gamer (I’ve only ever played Street Fighter, very unsuccessfully) the interface is hugely intuitive. The design of the landscapes takes cues from different sites around the world, “from the soaring cliffs of northern Europe to the harsh beauty of the Sahara, and neolithic sites and artefacts such as Stonehenge,” according to Ustwo.
Through five different levels, the user draws on nothing but the power of their mind to further their journey using a gaze-based mechanic that feels fluid and dizzyingly real. Rather than having the experience of playing a video game, the experience is more akin to something therapeutuic – forcing the user to slow down and take in what’s around them before being able to move elsewhere.
Land’s End has been in development for over a year, and is Ustwo’s first complete VR game, and can be played using Oculus Home headsets. Ustwo Games technical director Peter Pashley says: “The most powerful thing about wearing a VR headset is the sense of presence, so with Land’s End we’ve been able to create a world that invites you to enjoy its surroundings and discover its possibilities.”
- Podcast company Gimlet’s new identity by GrandArmy is designed not to be too “slick”
- Utopia and dystopia collide in Bysanz Baisen Zhou’s other-worldly creations
- Who are the people with the power to design the system we live in? Digital artist Peter Burr investigates
- Design studio de_form on its exhibition identity for Erik Kessels’ latest show
- Traditional fashion photography, fine art and 3D renders combine in Olya Oleinic's portfolio
- Cabeza Patata on finding the right way to represent the diversity of the world around us
- Led By Donkeys is crowdfunding £50,000 for “honest” No Deal Brexit ad campaign
- Taschen’s recent release celebrates “the greatest cat photographer of the 20th Century”
- Introducing the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019!
- Suzy Chan’s portfolio boasts original graphic design, animation, typography and so much more
- A logo costs $1200 in 2019, according to Folyo’s graphic design pricing list
- Juuso Westerlund’s tender photographs of his sons capture the essence of childhood