Ubisoft announces a bird-sports VR game, Eagle Flight
Ubisoft demoed several VR games at their conference today, and perhaps the strangest was Eagle Flight, a kind of bird-combat-sports game starring a bunch of birds who have decided to play a game with rules in the ruins of Paris, France after all the humans have died and left for some reason.
The demo involved a pair of folks from Oculus, including Palmer Luckey, Oculus's chief. They played a match onstage, and frankly, screenshots don't really do it justice, so take a look at the video above. It's got a pretty simple artstyle, but when everything's in motion it looks pretty cool, and I'm willing to bet that the tree-dodging low-to-the-ground bird gameplay feels intense. There's a sense of realistic embodiment VR provides that's impossible with traditional flat screens, and flying around convincingly like an actual bird is one of the most basic embodiment fantasies we all have for VR, right?
The sport itself was a little harder to get a sense of in the demonstration -- it seems like you can pass the ball, drop the ball, steal the ball, and shoot other birds with some kind of bird bullet. You know, the kind of bullets that birds shoot naturally? Those bullets! The matches are three-on-three, six players max, and the match we saw was a pretty traditional three-round affair.
To be honest, "bird sports" is not a bad pitch. It's a pretty incredible pitch, actually.
Looks like you can also do low intimidation-flybys on runaway giraffes and zebras and scale the entire Eiffel Tower. Society has collapsed, there are apparently no humans left, and the streets of Paris are choked with trees and bushes. I am pleased with the suggestion that the moment humans leave, animals will immediately repurpose our structures for use in ballsports. I am also pleased with the suggestion that our heirs will be powerful eagles who force girrafes to quake in terror.
Eagle Flight releases sometime in 2016 on "virtual reality devices."