Rather than pressing ‘A’ to enter cover, one developer, Teddy Lipowitz, has created a setup which requires you to physically duck down and hide to avoid bullet spray. He’s done it by combining an Oculus Rift VR headset with a Hydra controller from Razer.
He’s released the software combining the two techs for free. If, like me, you don’t have either bits of kit then you can make do with the video of him showing it off.
It looks like an engaging setup, taking advantage of the Rift’s perspective – you’re blind firing because you actually can’t look over the cover for fear of being shot – and the Hydra’s positioning information. While it works well for a shooter, it could be a great system for a stealth game, too. Maybe not one that required you to be as athletic as Sam Fisher, but ducking from cover to cover while actually ducking could be great fun, particularly if you had to edge yourself round corners to spy on the guards.
The Oculus is becoming something of a unifying technology; the past few years has seen the release of a lot of new controllers, each hoping to provide more precise input and more accurate feedback from our games but, till the Oculus, they seemed a little out of place next to the perfectly functional mouse. With the Oculus they work much better: a mouse requires you sit at a desk, facing forward (something Oculus actively opposes) and a gamepad doesn’t seem like a good reflection of your actions in the game. These more obscure control methods are much more appropriate. (I mean, see it at work when combined with a treadmill.)
You can read about Lipowitz’s software here and also download the demo if you’ve an Oculus and Hydra.