Virtual reality motorbike games have burst on to the scene this year with the release of the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR and more. Gamers can now live the game instead of just play it which is pretty exciting! Horror games have been taken to another level, VR headsets can drop right into the middle of a zombie apocalypse or a haunted mansion and it’s truly terrifying (if you don’t believe me just watch this video of a young lady playing “The Brock Haven Experiment” on the HTC Vive.)
But it’s not just a bit of technology for action or horror gaming, the immersive VR experience is a great way to enjoy biking in your living room. There have been some great motorbike games in the past like Road Rash on the Nintendo 64 and Ride from Namco Bandai and let’s not forget the numerous arcade games that for me are a part of my childhood now. So when I learnt about the few motorbike games available on VR I was extremely excited to see what they had to offer and if they could stand up to the likes of games from my childhood. So we have delved into the internet and found some examples of biking games that throw us into the next generation of gaming, from realistic next gen VR games from the likes of Nextwave to games you can play in your living room with your phone. Sadly there isn’t a massive demand for motorbike games at the moment so most of the VR games we found are in early stages and aren’t that well known, but you still get a great kick out of playing them.
TVS Racing Aces
At the Auto Expo 2016 Nextwave created a 3D VR racing stall using real TVS RTR bikes rigged up to the controls that gave the rider an extremely realistic effect. Riders got the choose from two environments, Dirt Ace where you can tear up a super cross track or Hill n Dale where you find yourself testing your skills racing against the forces of nature. To someone who can’t afford a motorbike, can’t ride their bike or just wants a bit of indoor fun this sounds pretty exciting, to add to the realistic feel the player wears a “gaming jacket” that will mimic the vibrations and other sensations of actually riding on a super cross track or across hills and dales. Using an Occulus Rift it allows the player to look around themselves seamlessly just like you can in real life! TVS Racing Aces won’t be for sale any time soon and might never will, but you never know what the future of tech holds and this is a pretty exciting leap forward!
This game for Google Cardboard is still in its early stages (like most VR motorbike games) and has a long way to go before its full game as it still needs some expanding and updating. It has 18 levels where you race through city streets of Paris using different gestures to speed up slow down and dodge traffic. It isn’t as realistic as TVS Racing Aces but it does look extremely fun to mess around on. One of the big advantages to this game is the price of the Google cardboard compared to the likes of the Samsung Gear VR. I wouldn’t recommend this game for people who are looking for a realistic virtual motorbike experience, as it’s pretty far from being anything serious. However if you’re purely looking to mess around with VR and have fun zipping through streets its great cheap way to do it.
Strictly speaking this isn’t a video game however it’s a really cool bit of motorcycle tech. If you’ve dreamt about taking a motorbike ride down winding mountain roads or off roads through the desert but you can’t afford it then don’t worry. There are hundreds of companies using VR technologies to make more and more realistic motorbike simulations, this one from Victory Motorcycles allows you to take ride through desert roads and admire the scenery.
Taking it one step further companies have used drones and go pros to create a VR motorcycle simulation using pieces of real video. You can find yourself riding though desert sand dunes in a 360 degree real life environment.
VR technology is still relatively new and the motorbike world has yet to jump on the band wagon of VR games. There is very little in the way of quality motorcycle games that are available to the general public but the technology is still pretty new so who knows what could happen? Will we see games like SBK X: Superbike World and MotoGP 2016 get VR support in the coming years? Will a whole new type of motorbike video game be born out the VR generation? All I know is we can’t wait to see what the future holds and you never know, this time next year you could be sat in your living room in Manchester and riding through Tibet at the same time!