Trapped in a broken-down mansion, with endless hordes of flesh-eating zombies hiding behind every door. How would you escape? That’s exactly what we had to try to do in the hyper-realistic VR experience: Deadwood Mansion.
Presented by GloStation, a virtual reality play space in Causeway Bay, the game begins with you and up to three friends first getting geared up with a backpack containing the processing console, a VR goggle headset with immersive headphones and microphones, and motion sensor bands that go on your wrist and ankles to track your movements in real time.
Next, we were given the choice between three “military-grade” weapons; one of us wisely chose an assault rifle for its power and accuracy. However, Kunal just couldn’t resist the cool factor of wielding a repeating shotgun, even though it was noticeably lacking in range. This would come back to haunt us in a crucial point in the game.
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After a brief tutorial on the basics (how to move, shoot, reload, and revive each other), we were off as part of an elite team of agents to investigate a deranged doctor who had been conducting illegal experiments on live subjects in a secret lab hidden inside an abandoned mansion.
Before putting on the goggles, we were basically just in a room with bright green walls (just like the green screens that make CGI in movies possible). But once the game began, we were instantly transported into a creepy, large hall, and we received audio hints from our commanding officer on what to do next.
It began easily enough, as we had to destroy some power boxes to disconnect a security system. But then the zombies came. Some were the “normal” slow zombies you see in a typical zombie movie, which we got rid of pretty easily. But not so much the dreaded “runners”.
These speedy zombies charged us at full speed and it was too much to handle when the laser traps started activating. Beams of searing hot lights came in our direction, as we tried our best to hold off the oncoming zombies. More precious time was wasted when we had to bring Kunal back to life, as we didn’t immediately realise the lasers would harm us.
Then came a “mini-boss” which was ironically named given how large the hulking giant of a zombie the mid-stage boss turned out to be. Kunal’s short-range shotgun did almost no damage to the monster’s armour, and neither did Justin’s rifle, until we figured out the glowing yellow fungi all over the zombie were its weak points. Sadly it was too late by then, as the gigantic beast cut us down and our game came to an end.
Reflecting back on the game experience, our equipment didn’t work as smoothly as we had hoped. There were some minor, yet noticeable, glitches, such as the gun response lagging slightly and the arm sensors not registering some movements.
But overall, the exciting blend of VR technology combined with escape room puzzles was quite enjoyable. The game is also a good team-building exercise, as everyone must work together to complete the objectives while watching out for enemies from every direction.
It’s this type of friendly and cooperative play that GloStation CEO Steven Zhao envisioned for Deadwood Mansion when he founded the company in 2016.
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“We wanted to build a shareable experience where players solve a common goal while merging the physical world with VR as they grab physical props, and see and interact with their friends.”
His company also has more in store for VR fans and is currently working on two new games “in stealth”. With the horrifically realistic and unique adventure of Deadwood already gaining many fans in Hong Kong, this could be the start of a strong future for VR.
Where: GloStation, 16/F, Allways Centre, 468 Jaffe Road
Cost: HK$160-HK$180 per person for a 45-minute experience
How to book: GloStation website or call 37059338
Edited by Jamie Lam