Oculus DK2: Titans of Space

Posted September 9, 2014 by in All

All Demos: ,
 
 
 
 
Developer: Drash VR
 
Demo Release Date: 14-08-2014
 
Version: 1.54
 
Type: Space Exploration
 
Platform: PC, MAC, Linux
 
HMD: Oculus RIft
 
Download: Click Here
 
Control Schemes: Xbox Controller, Keyboard & Mouse, Head Movments
 

Best Part:

The sense of scale is truly awe inspiring, Textures have been vastly improved.
 

Worst Part:

___
 
Bottom Line

Titans of Space for the DK2 is a fantastic experience. The soaring score still infuses the captivating visuals with a majesty unlike any other.

Rating

Graphics
 
 
 
 
 


Sound
 
 
 
 
 


Controls
 
 
 
 
 


Gameplay
 
 
 
 
 


Comfort Level
 
 
 
 
 


Immersion
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

4.5/ 5

by Edmund
Full Article

Titans of Space never fails to impress. It is one of the best loved experiences on the DK1 for good reason and one that I generally put all newcomers through.

titans of space dk2 2Developer, Drash, hasn’t simply updated the demo to work on the DK2, but rebuilt it with enhanced visuals and a variety of improvements that help to maintain its place as a one of the must-play experiences on either Rift.

The original was beautiful but new details like the sun’s corona and improved planet textures make this new version truly breathtaking. My favourite new additions are the relatively tiny Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, that you can now observe orbiting the red planet. I also particularly enjoy the new asteroid belt.

Your tour ship has been slightly remodelled, placing several UI elements on your console – allowing the game to be played without a keyboard or gamepad at all if you prefer. Drash has thoughtfully packed the demo with features that other developers would do well to include in their games – For example, the ability to toggle a display of the IR camera’s tracking boundaries is useful for initial configuration and optimising your comfort.  The ability to toggle your body, and the seating , on or off also allows for further customisation of the positional tracking experience.

titans of space dk2 3Drash has made concessions to users who may feel the original tour lasts a bit too long by adding a compact tour that skips the moons. Personally, I’ve been generally happy to sit through the full tour several times, but, particularly for showcasing to several people, I can see that this shortened tour is a helpful option.

At the other end of the spectrum, the experience can now be extended by orbiting the planets, although this does break the flow of the tour. This new version has been academically enriched as well. With the higher resolution screen of the DK2, it is much more comfortable to read the informational text provided, which in turn creates an opportunity to pack in more space facts – In addition to the old text, supplementary information can be viewed for many of the planets. A variety of language options are also now available.

My only real complaint about this new build of Titans of Space is that I don’t like the fact that most of the planets now only appear when they are the focus of the tour. Being able to turn around and compare the scale of the planets all lined up next to each other was a big part of the original’s power. Perhaps they were removed to improve performance, but somehow not being able to look back at planet’s you’ve just seen, diminishes the sense that you are really travelling between these worlds.

titans of space dk2Overall though, Titans of Space for the DK2 is a fantastic experience. The soaring score still infuses the captivating visuals with a majesty unlike any other. There is a teasing menu option of audio commentary, which, with the right vocal talent, could significantly enhance the experience’s educational potential. Hopefully we’ll see this added in time for the upcoming Gear VR version of the game. The improved visuals and new additions make it well worth a play through even if you’ve sat through the original a few times. Drash continues to prove himself a leading light in VR design, with lots of well thought-out and well-implemented features that display a great care for the user and demonstrate how things should be done. That being said, he still hasn’t fixed that fatal auto-pilot malfunction at the end though, which does border on the criminally negligent :p

Note from Developer DrashPlanets issue was addressed in v1.54 (v1.52 was the first release for the DK2, and v1.54 went back to address a few things, including keeping all the planets in place after you visit them).  But yes, this approach was generally put into place to aid performance for the GearVR )

Download Titans of Space Here

 

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About the Author

Edmund

Edmund Ward is a philosophy graduate who has focused on aesthetics and cultural critique in the information age. He grew up with 'the dream of the holodeck' and is prone to get very excited by new innovations in natural user-interfaces. Edmund is currently looking for volunteers to look after the glucose drip that will sustain his "fleshform" (as he insists on calling it) when he migrates permanently to VR.

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