Disney and The VOID have been cooking up something epic for Star Wars fans. A new VR adventure that blows away any other VR experience you have ever had. A claim like that comes with a lot of questions, so we've put together this quick FAQ in order to better explain what it is you're getting excited about.
You ready? Here we go!
What is Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
Put simply, it's a new fully immersive VR experience from the folks at The VOID, the folks behind that incredibly cool Ghostbusters VR experience. As the name suggests, this new VR experience is in partnership with Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB. It's a Star Wars adventure in VR, and The VOID describes it like this:
Under the orders of the budding rebellion, your team will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission is to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion's survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team's orders.
This description tells us a couple of important things. First, this experience will be multiplayer just like the other VOID VR experiences. Second, you are not going to be lightsaber-wielding Jedi during this experience. If that's what you are looking for, there are already options available from both ILMxLAB and Disney. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire is all about being a part of grittier part of the Rebellion, which sounds a lot more exciting.
Is this just like VR I can set up at home?
Nope! You won't be able to play Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire at home, no matter how cool your set up is. The VR experiences created by The VOID, which they call Hyper Reality, are unique in a few really important ways.
For starters, you're not standing still for any of this experience The VOID is all about moving through actual rooms and making the experience feel as real as possible. When you walk across a rickety bridge in VR, the ground beneath you will actually shake to make it feel more real. When you reach out to crouch behind a crate in VR, you will actually feel that crate in the real world. A lot of work goes into making that experience feel real.
You are also going to engage some of your other senses in Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, because that's what The VOID is all about. In Ghostbusters: Dimensions for example, you could actually feel the wind against your skin and smell some of the things happening in the virtual world. Expect those kinds of things to happen in this new experience, and be ready to be surprised by how bid a deal it is when you realize some of these things are actually happening for real.
What VR headsets let you walk around and experience this kind of thing?
Actually, The VOID has its own VR kit. It's called Rapture, and current forms of this setup are powered by a PC you wear on your back as part of the experience. In Ghostbusters, it looked like a Proton Pack when you looked at the back of your other players. For the Star Wars universe, it's not hard to imagine some other form of backpack tech.
For those fascinated by VR specs, Rapture features a pair of 2K OLED displays that create a 180-degree Field of Vision (FoV) with a nice set of headphones and a microphone in the headset. The microphone is important, because it allows your "team" to hear each other nice and clear when in the experience together.
Rapture is technically superior to the VR headsets you can buy and set up at home, and because the backpack PC runs on batteries the experience is technically wireless. Bottom line — you're not going to get something like this at home right now without spending quite a bit of money.
How do I try Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire?
Photo Credit: ThrillGeek
This experience is going to be available very soon at two different locations in the US, both nearby Disney theme parks. That means if you're in Orlando. Florida you can head to Disney Springs to check this out, and if you're near Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California you will also be able to join the Rebellion. You can already buy tickets to be one of the first to check this experience out for yourself at The VOID, or you can plan to make this VR experience part of your next trip to either park.