Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Get Your Virtual Feet Wet in Vertigo Games' World of Diving




I've got to hand it to some video game developers. Just when you think that video games have become little more than a series of beat 'em up, shoot 'em up and blow 'em up excursions (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course), someone comes along and uses the available technology to create something beautiful, elegant and mesmerizing. In this case, it's World of Diving by Vertigo Games. Check out the gorgeous teaser trailer in the video window below.




At its core, World of Diving is a scuba diving simulator for the PC, Mac, and the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. Players can swim through a virtual ocean alone or with friends, find and interact with different kinds of marine life, and explore submerged ship wreckage. This game follows in the footsteps of Endless Ocean and Endless Ocean: Blue World, two diving simulators that were developed by Arika for the Wii. Even though World of Diving is not a sequel to the Endless Ocean games, I'm glad that someone is taking what Arika started and pushing it into the latest generation of video game technology.

I'm fascinated with how World of Diving aims to be an exploration experience that's rooted in the real world, as opposed to a hyper-violent military campaign or a magical quest into a world of fantasy. Appealing to gamers' desire for high-octane action is the most obvious way to generate profit, but I think it would be a waste of potential if video game developer didn't use modern high-definition technology to create immersive experiences that encourage players to marvel at the detail of well-crafted virtual environments and explore them in depth. Then again, I've always been intrigued by video games that are willing to recreate and put a unique spin on mundane environments and situations, such as island resorts (Go Vacation) and adolescence (Bully: Scholarship Edition).

That said, with such impressive graphics and game play provided in World of Diving, why hasn't anyone developed a deep sea survival horror game yet? At the very least, one could be made based on Jaws, a blockbuster franchise that has yet to see one worthwhile video game adaptation. (Jaws Unleashed had some fun ideas, but it was largely mediocre. The rest of the Jaws games were even worse.) I think that being stuck underwater with a 25-foot long monster shark would make for a terrifying video game experience, so why hasn't anyone made one by now?


Just when you thought it was safe to play video games ....


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