IMAX, the larger-than-life movie experience, has joined ranks with virtual reality to create a futuristic union of enormous fun. Here's what you need to know and where you can try out IMAX VR for yourself.
What is IMAX VR?
If you've ever visited an IMAX theater, you know how intense the experience can be — an enormous screen is stretched out in front of you, and sound pounds your chest. It's arguably the best way to watch a movie. If you've tried VR, you understand how immersive the experience can be, and how it really makes you feel like you're anywhere other than your living room.
Combine IMAX and VR, and you have one hell of a ride. Theaters hosting VR have an entirely new, futuristic lounge created to host room-scale tracking, head-to-head multiplayer, and devices with haptic feedback. Whether it's the kick from a rifle, the swing of a sword, or the thrum of a bow-string, you're going to feel it.
You enter your VR area — called a pod — strap on a headset, and enter a new world. HTC Vive and StarVR headsets, both amazing devices, are available depending on the experience you choose.
Which experiences are available?
These aren't just any old VR experiences — these are some of the best, most recognizable titles released so far. Experiences include:
- Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine — It's up to you to repair the Millennium Falcon, but pesky Stormtroopers are on their way. Grab your lightsaber and block shots as you and R2 save the day.
- John Wick Chronicles — If you loved the film starring Keanu Reeves (who didn't?), you'll love this experience. You start atop the Continental Hotel with a high-powered sniper rifle, and it's your job to eliminate waves of enemies.
- Raw Data — Somewhere along the line, Eden Corp's androids turned homicidal. It's up to you to investigate what happened and, in the process, eliminate as many bots as possible. You can join a friend, or you can go alone.
- Eagle Flight — One of our favorites over here at VRHeads, Eagle Flight lets you soar high above an overgrown Paris. You can sit back and relax with wind in your ears, or you can take on other eagles at high speed.
- Rabbids VR Ride — This is a wacky, wild rollercoaster ride set in the world of Rabbids. If you like speed and a little bit of weird, this one's for you.
- The Walk — Based on the infamous tight-rope walk by Philippe Petit in 1974, you'll find yourself somewhere between the towers of the World Trade Center. Afraid of heights? This might be the cure.
- Escape! VR: The Basement — Escape rooms have become a bit of a fad lately, so why wouldn't VR have its own version? Move around your entire pod as you find keys, uncover clues, and finally escape the basement.
- IMAX VR Sampler — Try out a bunch of bite-sized VR games, including The Lab, Job Simulator, Island 359, and Affected: The Manor.
Where can I find IMAX VR?
As it stands now, there is only one IMAX VR Experience Center in the entire world. If you live in Los Angeles, you're in luck!
The IMAX on Fairfax Avenue is all ready to host one of the eight available experiences. Check out their website to see showtimes and to book tickets ahead so you're sure you get the experience you want.
When are more IMAX VR centres opening up?
More IMAX VR centers are coming in 2017, and we'll keep this article updated as they're released.