Virtual Reality (VR) has taken gaming to the next level by transporting you into a whole new world where defying gravity and fighting off zombie hordes is a norm.
Zero Latency has just landed in Singapore (Suntec City to be exact) providing a free-roam multiplayer VR world to the masses.
Hyper-immersive, there are three gaming worlds to choose from, Engineerium (15 minutes), Zombie Survival (15 minutes) and Singularity (30 minutes) – each come with its own set of unique experiences.
Engineerium is the perfect introduction to VR, set in a family-friendly fantasy alien world, it combines Mayan-looking floating platforms and puzzle challenges which will give you a taste of weightlessness.
Zombie Survival is set to a medium intensity, where you’ll hunker down in a fort and try to survive wave after wave of zombies. Try to stay alive and repair the fort until the rescue team arrives. Guaranteed to keep your adrenaline pumping, knees weak and palms sweaty.
Singularity transports you and your team into a secret military space station that has gone dark, where your objective is to investigate and wipe out the enemies.
The most hardcore in terms of game difficulty, how do you think you’ll fare against killer robots and rogue drones in zero gravity? Survival can only be achieved through strategic weapon choices, good teamwork and precise timing.
The team at Zero Latency hosted us to a session of Engineerium and Zombie Survival. Each session will cost you a cool S$69 and last 30 minutes, with bookings done in advance on the website.
Make sure to come 15 minutes earlier to give yourself ample time to complete the e-waiver forms on-site.
Upon entering, you’ll be directed to register through the iPads mounted on the wall on the left. Basic particulars are standard procedure but feel free to go crazy with your display name like we did.
Chill in the reception area on the right where you can get drinks, and trust me, 30 minutes in the VR world is way more tiring than it sounds so you might want to grab some munchies to fuel up too.
Each session can accommodate eight players simultaneously. The 30 minutes of gameplay exclude a short 10-minute briefing, during which the gamemaster will go through the safety procedures and game objectives.
Safety rules include no running and no jumping on the game floor, as with only 2,200 square feet of game area you’d cover that in no time if you’re sprinting from point to point. And the gamemaster’s word is law, so follow it at all costs if you don’t want to risk getting evicted! Yes, you’ll be thrown out if rules are broken.
Treat the equipment with immense care – these babies are not cheap. So, keep your hands on them at all times!
If you’re wearing spectacles, do take note that any eyewear is prohibited! However, you’ll be able to adjust your vision with the tabs under the VR headset or just come with your contacts on.
After the short briefing, we were asked to keep our belongings in the locker and were quickly introduced to our equipment.
The military-grade backpack carries a high-performance Alienware PC gaming computer, that is connected to others in the game space, allowing the free-roaming experience.
Razer’s integrated headphones allow seamless team talk (although I did find that I wasn’t able to hear myself speak at times), and the OSVR HDK2 headset gives you 2k resolution.
Zombie Survival required extra tech in the form of the Raven Rifle, a custom-made simulated weapon. It has four interaction points: Mode, Trigger, Pump and Reload. The mode changes your gun type, the trigger does what a trigger does, and pumping is required for certain guns (Shotgun & Sniper). Reload is obsolete, as the reloading in-game is automatic (yassss).
A quick tip, if you’re looking to aim for the high score; headshots are the way to go.
After suiting up, you will be brought to the grid-marked game floor where the games begin. We began with a session of Engineerium that presented us with a set of puzzles, which required us to walk into portals and go through mind-f*cking routes.
Although it looked a little glitchy, I did find myself gawking at the fullness of these imaginary worlds, I could even hear the birds whizz by.
A black screen will signal the end of the game, and we were told to put our hands out for the rifle before starting the next session. The Zombie Survival put us all together before getting us to disperse to complete different objectives.
The zombies were unnerving in their pursuit of our brains, I even died once when the shutters closed on my partner, and I was left isolated on the second-floor platform.
I won’t divulge much but it was a very different experience to put it lightly. In a good way of course!
Exhausting is an understatement. We were huffing and puffing after the session, leaving some of us even on the floor, after having lost all the strength in our legs. I remember faintly hearing the gamemaster call out the top three scorers but we were too tired to notice; some of us were just glad the whole ordeal was over.
We were then led into the debriefing room where we returned the equipment and were promptly led to the reception area where we could view our scores displayed on the television screens on the wall. For a bunch of scaredy cats, I’d say we fared pretty well.
I loved that Engineerium was designed as an introduction to virtual reality while including trippy elements of fun. Without that brief warm-up, I can’t imagine what playing Zombie Survival would do to the VR virgins that we were. They’re also having an introductory price of S$59 instead of the usual $69. You gotta love discounts.
If you’re looking for a TLDR, we agreed that it’s worth every single cent especially if you’ve never tried VR before. We are already planning our next visit! Zero Latency was immersive, intense and the best fun I’ve had in months. I hope new games come out quick and fast.
Prices: S$69 (30-minute session) , S$59 (Introductory Price)