Developer / Publisher – Immersive VR Education Ltd
Price – US $11.99 / EU €11.99 / UK £9.49 / AU $17.95
Release date – March 1st 2017
Move Support – No
Pro Patch – No
Digital only – Yes
Reviewed on – PlayStation Pro
“One small step for man…one giant leap for mankind”. Immortal words uttered my NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong as he first stepped foot onto the moons’ surface. I was there to witness the whole scene, observing and taking part in one of earth’s greatest achievements…well kind of. Thanks to Immersive VR educations’ VR experience, Apollo 11, it sure felt like I was there.
Not so much a game (although there are some game elements), but a scene driven story of the expedition commencing July 1969; complete from watching JFK’s speech in a TV lounge about researching the stars and exploration, to shuttle takeoff, moon orbit and eventually re-entry. Made up of 11 Scenes, each takes an important step in the journey to the moon and back with whole experience taking roughly an hour and a half to complete. These scenes do vary in terms of graphical, interest and interactive quality but more on those later.
Upon start up, you are presented with the options of a cinematic guide where you just sit back and relax, while the interaction option has you (at various times) attempting to manually dock the shuttle mid-flight and trying to land the lunar shuttle on the surface of the moon. I found both to be incredibly tricky with precise maneuvering needed and after many futile attempts I gave up, instead opting to let the program software do it for me. The other game elements were far more forgiving as you progress on your moon walk, take photos and collect samples.
The introduction advises that headphones be worn to fully appreciate the experience and it certainly does add greatly to the immersion factor as interviews, orchestral music, historical audio of recorded chatter and radio communication from the astronauts and NASA complement the visuals.
Regarding the visuals, it seems like an experience of two halves, the cockpit views in the shuttle/lander and upon entering the launch pad where incredibly detailed and realistic. The myriad of dials, buttons and readouts on the dashboard coupled with the views out of the side windows highlighting your ascension into space are breathtaking. On the other hand, your copilots sitting next you in comparison are rudimentary models. It’s also a disappointment that while you can view your own body and arms you cannot move your hands around, flick switches, press buttons etc. which would have added to the immersion.
Similarly, the outside scenes of the shuttle are crisp and complex while the earth and moon look flat. Though the interior views had me gasping in awe. The exterior views, on the other hand, just felt drab and uninteresting.
It’s an experience which I can’t imagine too many repeated viewings once completed. You are given the option of replaying any of the 11 scenes again so for anyone wanting to show off their VR headset then this is ideal just to watch your guests reenact the best scenes and be awed.
For anyone who has even a passing interest in space travel and exploration, they will fully appreciate the attention to detail, the interesting facts and the thoughts of the astronauts as they journeyed into the unknown. It’s a filmic simulation and one which provides an entertaining evening, a valuable insight into history and the nearest that anyone can feel what it was like to be in the shoes (or moon boots) of Armstrong and Aldrin.
What would I pay? At £9.49 it’s a couple of hours of entertainment, and although does not possess much in the way of replay value, it’s quality entertainment and a great way to experience a pivotal moment in history.
I want to go to the moon. Not sure I would want to come back though.
Sweet review! Would love to be an astronaut!
Took my nephew to the Kennedy Space Center last month and he loved it. This looks like a great way for him to learn more about the space program while experiencing it from an astronaut’s perspective. Love it, thanks!
This game has been on my wish list since the PSVR confirmation announcement. Looking forward to playing.
Been hanging for this. Cannot wait.
I want to watch my Dad play it. He has been a fan of the space program since he was a kid and watched these missions live on tv with wide eyed wonder.
This looks interesting. Thanks for the give away opportunity!!
I love the VR Grid. This is the best educational title so far made for the Vive in my opinion. The cuts from an experience to an actual game are often enough that it makes it engaging. I could dock, but have yet to land successfully. Unlike many experiences, that is enough though to have me repeat this experience several times. I do think the interactive elements are a bit too hard, especially for the target audience. But they are enjoyable and you do feel you have control. And best of all, I even learned some things from this game. So yes, without a doubt, it is educational. Therefore, I highly recommend Apollo 11 too.