The game more than lives up to its name.
505’s Adrift is an experience that is awe-inspiring, humbling, and absolutely terrifying. Something has happened above the Earth, a disaster that’s ripped apart a space station. Somehow, some way, you have survived the initial catastrophe… but an even more daunting task awaits you: survival.
How much of Adrift did you see?
We saw a ten minute chunk of the game on the Oculus Rift.
What happened in it?
You start off in an intact room of a space station, the Earth visible through translucent windows. The first thing you notice is that when you look behind you, you only see the back of your space helmet, which gives your VR experience an uncharacteristically claustrophobic feel. The second thing you notice is that moving around in zero gravity via your suit’s retro rockets is not an exact science.
So, it’s hard to move around in zero G?
Very, but not annoyingly so. It makes sense in the context of the setting and the game gives you a bunch of controls to help you orient yourself. Nevertheless, it’s easy to bump into things… but watch out — hit your helmet on the wrong thing too hard and the glass of your visor will crack.
Can your helmet’s glass shatter?
We don’t know, but we weren’t eager to find out.
What happened next?
You enter a spherical glass section of the station slightly resistant of a smaller version of the battle room from Ender’s Game. You really get a good look at the Earth from here and some damaged parts of the station hurtling toward the planet. Then, you go through another airlock which sends you outside. Here, the damage from the incident that destroyed the station is very apparent. Debris is everywhere, as is exposed sections of the station’s inner hull. Particles of glass and metal litter the area, giving a fantastic sense of depth thanks to the Oculus’ 3D.
Unfortunately, you don’t have much time to linger on the depth or the majesty of the Earth from orbit, because you can only stay outside so long before you run out of oxygen a la Dead Space. Luckily for you, there are stray O2 canisters you can grab… which is easier said than done. Due to the imprecise nature of moving in zero gravity, I reached out to grab a canister only to miss it by a mere inch as I drifted away.
With some luck, I managed to make it to the last section of the demo, which was littered with floating leaves (the station was no doubt using plants to create an oxygen supply) as well as stray crew logs you could pick up. Opening the next hatch ended the demo.
Did you get sick at all?
There was definitely a sense of vertigo in places, especially when you went into space. Out of all the demos on Oculus at the show thus far, this was the most immersive. The helmet constricting your view, the rhythmic breathing of your character, and the challenging but not quite frustrating controls form a quiet desperation that creeps into your mind as you simply try to traverse the station. It’s the feeling you should have and we’re glad it’s there.
When will Adrift be out?
Adrift will be out in September 2015 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It will be compatible with Morpheus and the Oculus Rift when they are released. In the vent you don’t own a VR headset, Adrift will be perfectly playable the good old fashioned way: on a TV screen.