EGX 2014: Starters Orders 6

I have an admission to make. At the disservice of the developers of Starters Orders 6, my initial interest in playing this was due to the Oculus Rift. My intrigue was high and this was the first opportunity I'd had to use the headwear. I left with mixed feelings about both the game and the Oculus.

Starters Orders 6 is a horse racing management and jockey game. In the demo I only experienced the jockey part; participating in a single race. The effect of the Oculus was immediately strong. In the enormous Earl's Court, surrounded by thousands of people, all I could now see was the horse I was sitting on and the track ahead of me. The equipment's head tracking meant that I could look around the stadium, taking in the crowd, other horses and their jockeys and the blue sky above me. The gates opened and the race began.

Starters Orders 6

After about five seconds into the race I felt a little dizzy and nauseous. The sharp rocking as the horse sprinted thrusted my vision forwards and back swiftly. This feeling passed quickly as I became accustomed to the sensation. I was still controlling the game with a controller, one that I could no longer see, and pressing up would keep the horse's speed at a competitive level and double tapping 'A' would allow a brief boost in speed. I must admit I got a bit confused with the controller while using the Oculus but that comes with inexperience.

I finished the race in first, though I'm not entirely sure what I did right. It was a very interesting experience, the head-tracking allowing a realistic camera in-game along with the fact that the game was the only thing I could see were the most memorable parts. The single race demo of Starters Orders 6 seems an unfair measure of the quality of the game but it was solid. If the management aspect of the game is strong I can imagine it being enjoyable.

Starters Orders 6

My main criticism of the Oculus Rift was the quality of the screen. I could see a black grid appearing between pixels and this was highly distracting. The technology and potential is certainly impressive, I just feel that the quality of the image needs to improve before I could seriously consider frequently using one in gaming.

I downloaded the playable demo in order to take screens for this article and decided this game isn't for me.

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Posted at 6:58am on Friday 21st July 2017

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