Undercurrent was one of the three games at Rezzed to be showing off the Oculus Rift; it offered a completely different experience from anything else on the show floor.
Confined to a submarine, you are exploring under the sea, scooting around ship-wrecks, corals and a rocky underwater landscape. While other Rift games have simply tried to put you in the eyes of a character, as you slip on the Rift for Undercurrent, the claustrophobia from being in a real submarine feels tangible. In the demos shown off today you are sat down, someone helps you to put the Rift on comfortably, and then they ask you hold your hands out. You see, once you have the Rift on, you’re no longer able to sense your surroundings at all, as far as you’re concerned, you’re in a submarine. So once you put your hands out and grab the controller, your brain has to work overtime to deal with using a controller you can’t see; even if you look down all you’ll see is some shiny robot legs in the cockpit of the sub.
Exploring is surprisingly nippy as your submarine can dart around the rocks and wrecks, leading to a sense of genuine excitement at what you can find. We only had a brief time with the game but coupled with the Rift, the simple ability to explore with no real purpose or objective as far as I can discern is a complete pleasure. Being able to turn your head to look at different things in the environment, even the little things like being able to turn your submersible’s lights on and off gives you a sense of being a kid with a new toy, eager to see what else it can do.
Undercurrent is something genuinely new and exciting enabled by cutting edge technology, whenever you get a chance you need to go and try it out.
If you have a Rift and want to try it out, or are interested in the sumbersible experience anyway, the demo is at http://undercurrentgame.com/demo/