Lunar Flight Virtual Reality Review

Posted March 26, 2014 by in All

Developer: www.shovsoft.com
 
Release Date: 14-11-13
 
Game Type: Flight Sim, Space
 
Platform: PC, Mac
 
HMD: Oculus Rift
 
Control Schemes: Keyboard & Mouse, XBox Controller
 
Download: www.shovsoft.com
 
All Games: , ,
 
 
 
 

Best Part:

The total immersion of feeling like your controlling the Lunar lander.
 

Worst Part:

Very steep learning curve with the controls.
 
Bottom Line

If you have ever wanted to join NASA and fly its Lunar Lander look no further. This is the game for you. Lunar Flight on the Oculus Rift is the closest experience you can get to actually flying a Lunar Lander.

Rating

Graphics
 
 
 
 
 


Sound
 
 
 
 
 


Controls
 
 
 
 
 


Gameplay
 
 
 
 
 


Comfort Level
 
 
 
 
 


Immersion
 
 
 
 
 


Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

4.5/ 5

by David
Full Article

If you have ever wanted to join NASA and fly its Lunar Lander look no further. This is the game for you. Lunar Flight on the Oculus Rift is the closest experience you can get to actually flying a Lunar Lander.

lunar flight oculus rift 3You’d be forgiven for thinking that this game was made exclusively for Virtual Reality as the developer has done such a good job in converting this game for the Oculus Rift. All the menus and text are perfectly readable and very easy to navigate. One of the unique features of this game is how you interact with the navigation settings for your vehicle. You simply look at the menu console in the cockpit and press a button on your game pad to interact with it.

Looking around the cockpit everything seems to be scaled perfectly and when you look down you can see that you’re wearing a space suite and holding an Xbox controller. This really helps with the immersion as it mimics your position in real life as you are sitting on a chair with a controller in your hand.

When you look around the cockpit you will see readouts and various screens and switches. All of them have a unique function and nothing is here just for show. Everything here has a purpose and you will rely on them all at various stages. This really gives a sense of authtentinsity  to your surrounds as the vehicle really feels like it was designed by NASA engineers and every aspect of the design and layout was mulled over for months by dozens of engineers.

lunar flight oculus rift 2

Looking further outside your cockpit you see the desolate landscape of the moon. Its various shades of gray contrasting against the pitch black of space. The only piece of real color you see is the blue of our home planet. The graphics overall for this game are not what you would call next generation but they don’t have to be. The sharp contrasts between light and dark areas give this game a realistic atmosphere as this is how the harsh light from the sun would look if you really were standing on the moon.  Little touches like dust kicking up as you get close to the surface and thruster flashes as you maneuver the Lander all greatly enhance the experience and completely immerse you in the moment.

The sound design for this game is also perfectly implemented as it uses real coms from NASA missions mixed in with ambient electronic background music. You also get audio messages when you’re running low on fuel and if your hurtling out of control towards the ground or about to crash the music will change to something a bit more manic to ramp up the tension.

Lunar Flight is a mission based game where you can choose what mission you want to do and you will receive upgrades and credits for successfully completing them. At various spots on the moon are small bases where you can land, make repairs and refuel

lunar flight oculus rift 3There are a variety of mission types involving transporting cargo, acquiring data at survey locations and locating lost cargo. In addition to missions there are time trial challenges complete with online leader boards and a globally ranked ‘pilots’ leader board, ranked by experience.

What makes this game really stand out is the control system. If you just go straight in and try complete a mission you are almost certain to fail. At first you will be a bit overwhelmed with the amount of control you have over the Lander as you control all six axis for the rotation of the craft as well as having full control of the speed at which its traveling at. Every button and direction on your controller is used in some way to send commands to the thrusters on the vehicle.  This can be a bit frustrating at first to gamers who are used to arcade style games but Lunar Lander is more akin to a Simulator then a game. If you spend 20 to 30 minutes getting use to just controlling the Lander you will start to really appreciate the thought and effort the programmers made to give you the feeling that what you are controlling has weight and inertia. This is the type of control system that is very intuitive and well thought out but extremely hard to master.

Lunar Flight comes with five maps of various degrees of difficultly. The first four are all on the moon but the final map is on Mars. The gravity is increased on mars and you swap your grey landscape for a more distinct red dusty plain.

Also included is a Multiplayer mode where you can go into deadly combat against other players. We would not recommend you attempt this mode until you have completely mastered the control scheme as newbies are lambs to the slaughter as rockets will rain upon you. The only defense you have is to fire off flares as a rocket comes close and pray that they fool the guidance system of the attacker.

Overall Lunar Flight is one of the best VR experiences you can get today. It’s certainly not a game you could give somebody a quick demo with but its an experience that if you take your time and have some patience with you will be rewarded with one of the most challenging and fun game experiences on the Rift today.

Lunar Flight Virtual Reality

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About the Author

David

David Whelan a professional web developer has been a serial early adopter of the latest technology. From an early age playing on a C64 he always dreamt of entering virtual worlds and exploring the endless possibilities that could be offered up by the platform.

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