Full Disclosure: Before I go any further, it is very important to note that this was only my second time experiencing VR, and first time on the HTC Vive. After about 15 minutes or so of playing Fallout 4 VR, I immediately became dizzy, felt the strength drain from my body, and had to rush to the bathroom.
The reason behind this unfortunate occurrence is currently unknown. It could be due to my inexperience with virtual reality, personal sensitivity, Fallout 4 VR‘s design itself, or a mix between all of them.
Though that did happen, I will not hold anything against Fallout 4 VR, as the time before everything went downhill was positive. My only prior VR experience was with a random selection of concept demos on the Oculus Rift before its initial release.
The most stark realization that came to me upon leaving the real world and traveling to post-apocalyptic Boston was that the entire game is really there. I was set just outside the starting area and allowed to do whatever I wanted. I took a moment to familiarize myself with the controls. Using the Vive motion controllers, you control your weapon with one hand (left-hand controls is an option) and your Pip-Boy with the other.
Switching between the menu and the game was as simple as pulling my left arm up to my face just like your character does in the original game. Shooting with the weapon requires you to physically aim and pull the trigger. Because of the wacky, outrageous motions you will be doing with your arms and legs as you move and spin around, I certainly recommend making plenty of room and probably playing while no one’s around.
Once I figured everything out, I petted my doggie companion and set out towards the main quest marker to the nearby town. Upon arrival, I found the same battlefield you may remember, complete with raiders and a Deathclaw. I quickly switched through my weapons with the D-Pad to my Fat Man and nuked the guts out of all the enemies.
I then left the devastated town to explore the surroundings in absolute awe of feeling like I really was in the world. Though the graphics of Fallout 4 don’t lend itself well to VR, the entire preview build was a joy to explore. A new, teleport method of movement is also available, but I didn’t have a chance to try it out.
However, the traditional method of movement worked surprisingly well. Rotating myself around to look and move felt natural, but the actual headset was very sensitive. I consistently had to readjust the visor as even the slightest deviance from its tiny sweet spot would make Fallout 4 VR look insanely blurry.
This, too, could have added to my intense nausea experienced, so sensitive gamers should take note. It is unfortunate for me, personally, as this would have been a great way to go back to Fallout 4 since I never finished it in the first place. Regardless, Fallout 4 VR felt magical in all the right ways, giving me the – albeit brief – escapism I never knew I wanted.