Scale The Alps In The Climb’s New VR Trailer

Over the last year or so, you might’ve spotted Crytek’s lovely Back to Dinosaur Island VR demos. The Climb [official site] is the Crysis devs’ latest project – a virtual reality climbing simulator that charges players with scaling treacherous cliff faces in idyllic locales scattered across the world. The latest trailer visits the Alps.

Exclusive to the Oculus Rift – although without a release date and price for now – The Climb relies on either the device’s motion controllers or an Xbox gamepad to shuttle players up and down each mountainside. In first-person view, similar to the aforementioned dino demos, only the player’s hands are visible. Look, see:

Given how spectacular the sun-bleached vistas and knife-edged drops look there, I’m not quite sure how I feel about the floating hands. If virtual reality is about sensory deprivation and total immersion, I find it hard to imagine myself buying into this wholeheartedly or believing that’s actually me up there tackling the Alps or the likes.

The most credible VR games I’ve sampled so far have been the ones that have you in a natural seated position – EVE Valkyrie, for example – however I’ve also enjoyed walking simulators, such as Dream, whereby movement is dictated by the gamepad. The Climb strikes me as a game that will force you to adapt quickly, and it looks great, but at this stage I think I’d prefer to see my arms in doing so. I might be wrong and I hope I am. Personally, I’m not too fussed about seeing my legs, but that’s another story entirely.

Again, no release date for now, but here’s Crytek on the basics:

“The Climb is the first free solo rock climbing game, and it gives you a sensation of really climbing that could only be achieved in VR. But as much as we want you to explore and enjoy the view, at its heart, The Climb is a racing game. You’re scored on a few things, including your climbing ‘flow,’ but the most important metric is your time and how quickly you can ascend each of our stages. You’ll be competing against the rock face, against yourself, against your friends, and ultimately against players around the world as you attempt to get the quickest time possible.”

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  1. Kefren says:

    The Beast with Five Fingers Simulator, 2016 edition.

  2. Clavus says:

    Devs learned that showing your arms actually feels less natural if they’re not dead-on accurate with how your actual arms are positioned. You see a lot of floating hands in VR games that use hand controllers because of that.

    The Back to Dinosaur Island Part 2 demo (free to grab on Steam) shows the early version of this system. Works quite well.

    • perilisk says:

      Curious to see whether any software will be able to use chaperone data either to splice the player’s body directly into the game, or else extract pose data to map to an avatar. Seems like it would be nice as a built-in capability for developers to access.

  3. Blackrook says:

    I can see why they went with the armless thing but what I can’t forgive is the grunting and ‘wah hooo’ at the end.
    If it feels that good in VR , I expect to make my own grunting noises and definitely don’t need canned ‘wah hoos’ to tell me what I’m looking at its meant to be impressive.

  4. Anthile says:

    Ah, so this is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.

  5. Tetrode says:

    “Exclusive to the rift”

    Hopefully it can make it over to the Vive at some point. I really don’t understand exclusivity with VR devices, it’s so dumb.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      I think it’s mostly a funding thing: Oculus are pouring quite a bit of cash and collaborative effort/attention/guidance into “Oculus Studios” titles, which this game is. This article gives a decent picture of what’s on Oculus’s mind with the exclusivity. Theoretically, it’s not so much a “hogging marketshare” thing as return on investment and “hopefully they’ll learn to make good, interesting VR stuff after this” things. Still annoying from the consumers’ perspective, of course, but that’s the reasoning.

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        particlese says:

        Doh…meant to italicize “theoretically” rather than anchorify it.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Marclev says:

    I’d imagine, much like consoles, it simply means that the manufacturer pays the developer to keep the title exclusive.

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      Marclev says:

      That was meant to be a reply to the previous comment.

    • Clavus says:

      Absolutely not the case. More often than not, and especially with Oculus right now, exclusivity is here because the one paying is paying for the game to exist in the first place. They’re not paying for the developer to build in support for other platforms, because that would be wasted money for them.

      And it’s not like Oculus forbids devs to support other platforms, they’ll just have to find funding for it elsewhere. EVE Valkyrie is also coming out for PSVR because Sony pitched in.

      Valve is simply taking a different approach to the VR launch. They’re focussed on building a different set of games (room scale) with a different set of developers (mainly indies, small teams). They’re not throwing around a lot of big bucks to bring more titles to their platform, instead they expect the community itself will build the value over the coming years.

      So I’m not blaming Oculus for having exclusives, because that would be stupid. Those games wouldn’t have existed if it was just Valve in the race.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Marclev says:

    Can someone answer a question for me with these VR devices? Are the completely immersive, i.e. I still see “the screen” towards the top/bottom/left/right or my vision, or is it more along the lines of just having a monitor in front of one’s eyes, and you just see black bars in your peripheral vision?

    If the former, I’d nearly be tempted by one.

    • Clavus says:

      They are completely immersive, which is why everyone’s talking about it. See if you can get a GearVR / Rift / Vive / PSVR demo some time, it’ll explain itself within seconds.

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      particlese says:

      If you pay attention, you can easily see the edges of the screen and the inter-pixel void. That said, the screen edge is usually pretty deep into your peripheral vision (I really have to struggle to look nearly directly at it in the DK2), and you won’t notice either limit once you’re enjoying the game. That’s my experience, at least. Others will be more readily annoyed by that stuff, so definitely get yourself a demo at some point, as Clavus suggested, and I’d say give yourself at least 5 minutes to sink in if it doesn’t click immediately.

  8. Cleave says:

    Gear VR has a fairly narrow field of view so the screen does’nt fill your vision but it’s still a pretty good experience, it just feels like you’re wearing a diving helmet or something. I’m hoping the Rift will be quite a bit better, I’ll let you know in a month or so.