This VR game convinces me that mixed reality is the future
I took a little peek into the future with Blaston: the game shows the great potential of Mixed Reality.
Last month, an update was released for the duel shooter Blaston, which gave the game a mixed reality mode.
In Blaston, players face off on raised pedestals that restrict their physical movement to a relatively small area. Futuristic weapons appear around them, which have a wide variety of functions and projectiles.
The goal is to drain the opponent of all life energy by hitting him. The projectiles move so slowly through the air that you can physically dodge them. This fact, along with the wide arsenal of weapons, gives the VR game a strategic component.
An amazing mixed reality experience
The new mixed reality mode hides the virtual arena and instead shows the outline of your surroundings. This is brought into virtual reality through Meta Quest 2's camera image. The own and enemy platform, the avatar of the opponent, the weapons, projectiles, and game displays remain unaffected.
The result is a mixed analog-digital reality that helps keep track of the physical environment. Does this sound like a gimmick to you? That's what I thought, too. Until I tried out the mixed reality mode with fellow MIXED user Jan. And was pretty gobsmacked.
Seeing the game and reality at the same time was a big aha moment that I haven't experienced like this in a long time. By artificially coloring the normally black and white Quest camera image, the analog background harmonizes with the digital gameplay, resulting in a relatively coherent overall impression.
When game world and living room match
The visual integration of the physical environment is also a tremendous relief. In Blaston, you move around a lot, and despite the Guardian system, there's always a residual uncertainty whether you'll get too close to the wall or hit an object in the heat of battle. The mixed reality mode, on the other hand, gives you a reassuring feeling of security and orientation in physical space.
Also handy is that I can perfectly adjust the game world to my spatial circumstances by repeatedly recalibrating the view. My gaming space is between two sofas. Thanks to mixed reality mode, I was able to place my battle platform between the two pieces of furniture with perfect fit. Wow.
Mixed Reality will soon be standard
You have to try the Mixed Reality mode yourself to understand the strengths of this new form of presentation. Nothing should stand in the way of Mixed Reality's success, as it will soon become widespread.
Not through AR glasses with transparent optics, which are still expensive high-end technology that you get to see as an end consumer at trade fairs at most.
I'm thinking of Meta Quest 2 and especially devices like Cambria, Lynx R-1 and the first Apple glasses that will make Mixed Reality the standard from 2022 onwards, with high-resolution color cameras that will hopefully render the physical environment lifelike and without delay.
I, for one, am excited about the possibilities this technology offers, and that's despite having only had a glimpse of this new world so far.