Virtual reality is an incredible experience. I’ve been dipping in and out of it for the past few years, testing out everything from Samsung Galaxy Gear VR to the amazing HTC Vive. Naturally, when I spotted Zero Latency was coming to Dublin, I got a little
What is Zero Latency VR
In testing out quite a few VR platforms and have found most to be fairly cool. Stepping into an immersive virtual world has gone far beyond being cheap and tacky with most experiences now capable of tricking your mind. Even expensive gear like the HTC Vive comes with one massive limitation. You need to stay within a very limited space.
I get it. In order for systems to fit into your gaff, they need to be designed to work in a small space. I live in a one-bed apartment and would love a Vive system. Still, to really experience a virtual world, you want to be able to free roam. That’s what Zero Latency VR gives you.
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In 2019, a crack commando unit was sent to Sandyford by @goosed_ie for a VR experience with @zerolatencydublin. These men and women promptly killed a rake of zombies. Today, still wanted by the tech companies everywhere, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The Goosed Team + some mercenary testers 😂
Based in Sandyford, Zero Latency VR is a 200 square-meter virtual reality gaming arena. The Zero Latency brand is the gold standard globally in VR gaming on an epic scale with 29 venues in 18 countries.
Within the arena, up to eight players can join forces to explore visually stunning worlds and solve puzzles, search a space station for survivors or stand side by side facing wave after wave of zombies.
It’s all made possible by the Zero Latency system which is the usual VR headset, a Razer gaming headset and a backpack filled with lots of VR tech. The setup means you can free-roam around the full 200 square-meter arena without being limited to a few square meters.
Me wearing my Zero Latency VR gear
All of this takes place within a large dark room in Sandyford.
But is it any use?
I test drove a few games with some friends and I’m delighted to say it’s worth every penny.
Zero Latency Games
When you arrive at Zero Latency, you’ll need to pick a game to play. Games include:
- Engineerium and Zombie Survival
- Outbreak Origins
To try get a taste for everything a trip to Zero Latency has to offer, we strapped in and booted up the Engineerium and Zombie Surivival combo.
Engineerium and Zombie Survival
If it’s your first trip to Zero Latency, it’s probably a good idea to give this combo run a try.
Engineerium drops you and your friends into a fantasy world where you explore and solve various puzzles together. Nothing too tough though. It really does feel like something you can let the kids play or the kind of game that lets you get to grips with being in a virtual world.
I’m still in Sandyford, I’m still in Sandyford
With that said, don’t let those words make you think it’s easy. I found myself hesitating to walk off cliff edges and struggling to stay on curving pathways. The people running the game even caught me mumbling into my headset, saying “I’m still in Sandyford, I’m still in Sandyford”. Having enjoyed many VR experiences which were just ok, the ability of Engineerium and the Zero Latency VR system to make you feel like you’re really in a fantasy world surrounded by flying
15 minutes in, the first game was complete. Our world went dark and the games master spoke to us through our headsets. We were asked to stand still and informed there would be a tap on the shoulder where a “runner” would handover our guns.
It’s zombie killin’ time.
Zombie Survival is probably why you’re here. This is a classic style wave game. Classic expect for the fact you are standing on the ground and can clearly see the zombies coming straight for you.
You build up barriers by shooting at lights around you, can walk around the space to get the best vantage point for killin’ zombies and even take a lift up a level to get a better angle for some headshots. Wave after wave of zombie rolls towards you as you and your squad takes ’em down, one by one.
My honest to god first reaction was: “the graphics look ok”. That lasted for about five seconds before the total immersion of being suffocated by zombies took over. There’s also a practical aspect to the slightly simpler graphics. This keeps the game running smoothly and reduced lag. This is actually essential to ensure people enjoy the experience as smooth VR experiences mean you avoid motion sickness.
I’ll let you in on one little secret. The game is also scored, so you’re against fighting for your life with your teammates while also trying to top their score. Headshots are the key along with blowing up parts of your world. Just saying.
Because of the scoring, I’m already looking forward to getting back into the game to try again, giving the whole experience a great replayability factor.
Outbreak Origins and Singularity
The Engineerium and Zombie Survival combo are a great intro, but if it’s your second run in the virtual world, you’ll probably want to step things up a notch. That’s where Outbreak Origins and Singularity come in.
These are full on 30-minute sessions where you get immersed even deeper into two worlds, working your way through challenges and shootouts.
I didn’t get a chance to test drive these, but I can assure you I’ll be going back and I’ll let you know. For the time being, there are some other really important questions I need to answer about Zero Latency VR.
Is Zero Latency VR Expensive?
My first reaction to the price was, yes. It’s a bit on the pricey end of the entertainment spectrum. At €39 for a thirty minute session, I totally get how people might think it’s an expensive trip out.
But really, it’s not and here’s why.
I had to draw a natural comparison between this and paintballing. Paintballing lasts for a couple of hours and costs about €30 per person too. When I compared pricing here, I could see you do get 300 paint balls included here, but I remember paintballing before. I was back and forth to the paintball desk more often. I spent a fortune.
Paintball is also weather dependent, virtual reality is always dry – once we choose to keep it that way. I’m not knocking paintballing by the way, but more putting a premium VR experience into a position that makes sense. All that gear ain’t cheap you know.
I can also see quite a few people ending up in Sandyford on work trips where the office is paying, so get on to your sports and social club rep.
There’s one more thing I noticed too. I first thought the half an hour was a bit short. That was before I entered the virtual world. It’s not exactly easy being in there and when you take the headset off after 30 minutes, it’s a small bit of a relief. You could probably do an hour tops but would be wrecked after it.
Zero Latency VR Review: The Verdict
It’s fantastic. Sure, it’s not cheap, but you’re looking at a premium VR experience here. Zero Latency is a global standard in VR gaming and now you have a chance to get a piece of the action in Sandyford. Grab a few mates and get yourself out there and enjoy it.
Zero Latency VR launches to the public on 6 March in Sandyford.