Valve are amazing at making games, we all know this fact. Every game Valve make is special and their entry into making VR is nothing short of spectacular.
The Lab is a series of what could be called ‘Mini Games’ or ‘Tech Demos’ which really showcase what the HTC Vive can do, which is why it comes bundled with it.
No doubt like most people, The Lab was my introduction to real VR and as soon as the Valve loading ‘room’ appears, you are lost for words. It’s impossible to explain the feeling of VR, you can read as many reviews as you want, spend hours watching videos, but until you experience it for yourself it’s impossible to understand the feeling of entering in a VR environment. The Lab takes you into this world and with it’s charm, polish and sheer beauty, leaving you with a feeling you will never forgot.
Inside The Lab
There are 8 activities when you enter The Lab;
This is a catapult game. Itself is great fun, however the ‘Valveness’ of it makes it special! You have to use a catapult to shoot little orb robots to cause as much damage as possible, however each one has it’s own personality and has dialogue which makes you believe it’s alive!
This is an Archery game where you have to shoot the little Valve ‘flat guys’ before they break down your door. You get bonus points for shooting balloons, obviously.
This is another one that give you that ‘wow’ moment. You basically have to hold a little spacecraft and move it around the room avoiding obstacles and aiming at the enemies.
This is the one you start with when you’re showing your wife. You’re basically put in a beautiful location where you can teleport around to different areas within this real world location, for example the top of a mountain. It really gives the feeling of being there, where looking over an edge physically makes your stomach go!
Human Medical Scan
There is a skeleton in the room and you can ‘slice’ it to see inside. Very detailed and could be very useful for medical students, or those that have an interesting in the human body. To be honest, didn’t spend much time on this one.
You’re in space, you can move the planets around. Sounds simple, and it is, but still mesmerizing.
Apparently this one is based on another Valve game, DOTA2, however I’ve not played it so didn’t realise this at the time. It puts you in a mythical shop where you can interact with items as well as other little surprises! It’s different from all the others as it’s more fantasy, which is a really nice touch. It also provided my first ‘jump scare’ moment in VR!
This is probably my personal favorite in terms of VR experiences in The Lab. I’m not going to talk much about it as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone yet to try it, but let’s just say it is probably the most ‘wow, this is amazing’ inducing section within The Lab!
If you own a Vive you have no reason for not trying out The Lab. It’s a free showcase of what the Vive is capable of and even if it cost a tenner or more, it would still be worth it. It’s a must play game.
Title: The Lab
All images are borrowed from the Steam pages for The Lab