Zero Caliber VR is a VR-based military FPS that is due to be released in early November, but we were able to get a few minutes of hands-on play. Our play time was pretty much limited to the tutorial sections, but it was enough to get a feel for the weaponry, how it is used, and a taste of the overall environment.
The menu system is disguised as a very large hangar with smaller, special purpose rooms surrounding the outer periphery. From here you can select your weapons and missions. We didn't spend a lot of time looking around, mostly due to impatience to get our hands on some of the weapons.
The moment we walked out of the hangar for the first time, a group of three massive Chinook helicopters flew over, low and loud. You want to talk about ambiance? There it is, in spades. In fact, it completely surrounds you. It all feels very military, and very serious.
Our first assignment was to run through a short obstacle course, the intent of which is to familiarize you with the motion and grabbing techniques. Motion is via the left stick (Rift) and rotation on the right. The "sliding" forward motion is a recipe for motion sickness, but repeated attempts to find a "teleport" style of locomotion proved fruitless. Being touch as nails military types, though, we powered through.
The next stop was a target range where we would try five or six different types of weapons. Weapon handling is similar to the methods used in other games such as Gun Club VR, but we did have trouble with some of the guns when it came to racking in a new round after reloading. It was quite common to drop the new magazine right back out of the gun while trying to find the bolt or arming handle. Some VR-based shooters distinguish between the "grip" button and the "arm" button on the hand controllers to avoid confusion - if that is the case with Zero Caliber VR, we were unable to find it.
That little problem on the range became a big problem in the battle simulation hangars, which combined the motion practiced in the obstacle range with the shooting required on the shooting range, but with some pressure applied. That pressure was sufficient to make quick and efficient reloading a very real challenge, although enough practice will eventually erode those rough edges.
Zero Caliber VR is scheduled for release on November 9. If the game is anywhere near as fun as our experience in the tutorials, this should be a good one!