It’s a good time to be a webslinger. Insomniac Games’ PS4 game based on everyone’s favourite awkward super hero was one of the highlights of this month’s E3 presentation. Marvel Films have finally got access to Spider-Man for their cinematic universe, and the resulting movie, Spider-Man Homecoming appears to be a lot of fun. Best of all for us at VRS, the film is getting a virtual reality experience all of its very own.
Spider-Man Homecoming, the Virtual Reality Experience is coming from Sony Pictures’ Virtual Reality division to Playstation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift for the grand price of nothing. It is being developed by CreateVR, makers of previous Sony Pictures VR experiences The Walk and Ghostbusters VR. Expectations should obviously be tempered at a free VR experience, so it may be best not to expect Batman Arkham VR. The trailer looks fairly impressive though, and captures the tongue in cheek wisecracking tone of the film, even having Tom Holland himself appearing in the trailer and begging you to bring the suit back clean.
With Great VR comes great VResponsibility
In terms of content, it looks to be a rather short series of experiences, introducing the player to Spiderman’s new high-tech talking suit and all the powers it contains. Spiderman actually isn’t a bad superhero to do in VR, as most of his powers are very visceral and arm based. At least in theory it wouldn’t be too crazy to make a VR experience featuring the webcrawler himself. The first part of the game is putting on the mask, before you engage in a number of “field tests”, which is basically grabbing on to things with your web and swinging them around. Suddenly. you see an explosion in the distance and have to put your skills into action against the villainous Vulture.
Interestingly enough, the VR experience will be released on 30th June, a whole week before the film itself gets a wider release. In a similar release step to The Walk, Sony Pictures are setting up in select cinemas a Spider-Man Homecoming VR experience booth, ensuring that people who can’t afford a tethered VR solution can also enjoy it. This is a great idea, although only a limited release, so it will be just as interesting to see if VR experiences in cinemas is something that also receives a wider release.
Sony have been putting a lot of stock into virtual reality. This isn’t just through their support of Playstation VR but also through the Sony Pictures VR experiences we have already seen. They are not the only one, with Ridley Scott committing to VR, as well as Vince Gilligan and Steven Spielberg planning VR experiences.
Hollywood is currently very enthusiastic about VR and it looks like we are entering a time where the tie-in VR experience is becoming increasingly important.