Zero Latency VR have opened up a new venue in Sydney, so The Brag decided to rock up and review the place to see what the fuss about. And boy was it something else.
Virtual reality has grown leaps and bounds in the past few years, yet it still remains something of a niche that’s really only enjoyed by those in the comfort of their home.
Well let’s put that perception to bed because virtual reality has made a strong case for being the next big social activity for you and your mates, one that combines the adrenaline rush of an escape room with the giddy joy of blowing things up.
After opening its first VR venue in North Melbourne in 2015, Zero Latency VR has quickly established itself as one of the leading “roaming freely in a VR environment while in a bigarse room” experiences around the world, with 46 venues in 22 countries.
Now Sydney has its own Zero Latency VR venue and after getting a hands-on review session at the place, there’s only one thing to say about it: It is a bloody must-try experience.
Each session will last about 30 to 45 minutes, which is the perfect length in terms of getting up to speed on the available games (there are two playable games available to the public in Sydney at the time of writing), getting caught up in the frantic, adrenaline-filled mayhem, and having a much-needed breather at the end of it all.
During my session, my group got to try three different game modes – two co-op games, Singularity, Undead Arena, and a player-versus-player mode, Sol Raiders – and all bring something different to the table.
Singularity is set on a space station that’s been taken over by a rogue AI (as it usually does when it comes to sci-fi games) and involves fighting off waves of killer robots, culminating in a giant boss battle.
While the player avatars are unintentionally hilarious-looking – the avatars in our session looked like they were permanently squatting – the gameplay experience was pretty solid as the game does a good job at selling the whole “dangerous space station” setting.
You cover a surprisingly large amount of ground as you make your way through this virtual space station environment and there’s a decent arsenal of different weapons at your disposal.
Singularity doesn’t go much beyond the standard VR shooter experience but that’s not necessarily bad thing as the waves of robots keep you engaged throughout and the weapons throws up an extra element of strategy.
Just a heads up for VR newbies, there are a few sections in Singularity where you have to go down stairs, go up elevator wheels, and across thin walkways. All these can wreck havoc with your sense of balance if you’re not used to VR so just remember that it’s all fake and in your head – literally.
If a slow-burn experience isn’t for you, then Undead Arena is perhaps more your speed. As the title suggests, you and your mates are thrown into an arena where zombies come after you in waves. Whereas Singularity involves methodically making your wave through the level and beating the boss at the end, Undead Arena is a chaotic game of survival and teamwork.
With an arena that has a range of vantage points and environmental hazards you can use to your advantage, Undead Arena will get the adrenaline pumping while keeping you on your toes. There’s nothing like a zombie sneaking up behind you while you’re trying to save your teammate to really get the heart rate going.
There will be screaming, shouting, and tensions could flare up as you gradually get over overwhelmed with zombies, but that’s what makes Undead Arena so bloody good.
After a sweaty finish to Undead Arena in which many metres were covered – you move around a lot more than you realise and you don’t feel it until the game finishes – we got asked to try out the player-versus-player game Sol Raider, which isn’t available to the wider public yet, and it may be the highlight of our session.
Your team is split into two and both go head-to-head in trying to achieve a common objective, which is to get some big ball into a goal. Oh and you get to shoot your mates in the face so there’s that too.
Between yelling out orders to your team and trying to prioritise completing the objective with killing the other team, Sol Raiders is utter chaos in the best possible way.
All in all, I had an absolute blast at Zero Latency VR Sydney and there were several times where I had to remind myself “this is a review so don’t get too giddy.” Yet it’s hard not to get giddy when you’re shooting at zombies and/or your mates in a VR environment.
So if you’re in the mood to try something out something new and exciting in Sydney, head on over to the new Zero Latency VR venue in Mascot, Sydney, and get ready for a session of robots, zombies, and a lot of excited screaming.