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The Getaway in VR feels like an arcade throwback

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The London Heist remains little more than a slick piece of evidence for Project Morpheus' potential on the PlayStation 4.

First shown off during the Game Developers Conference earlier this year, the virtual reality heist simulator uses the PS4's camera, two Move controllers and the Project Morpheus headset to drop players fully into the experience of riding shotgun in an escape car, giving them one-to-one control of a set of gloved, disembodied hands.

A player holds the twin ice-cream-cone-shaped controllers, one in each hand, and usesthe trigger button to open and close the virtual hands they see floating in space in front of them within the world of The London Heist. Twisting, turning and shifting the controllers around moves the hands.

For the E3 demo, which included the words "The Getaway" in the title, all of this takes place while the player is seated in a chair in the real world. Meanwhile, the character is seated in the passenger seat of a vehicle speeding down a highway, apparently in the wake of some sort of robbery.

Before playing, the team behind the demo handed me a sheet of cardboard that featured pictures of the inside of the car I was set to be a passenger in. Different things were marked in red to denote that I could interact with them. Looking at the sheet, I noted that I'd be able to mess with the visor, the drink sitting on the dash, the radio, a bag, the air conditioner vents and the glovebox. And that's what I did for the first few minutes of the game, flicking the sun visor up and down, smacking the cup off the dash, generally being a nuisance.

heist

Once the game got going and cars started chasing us, each loaded up with gunmen, the driver tossed a gun on the dash in front of me. Once I grabbed it, it locked to my hand so I could release the trigger and pull it to fire shots.

The glove box, it turned out, was packed with a supply of clips. When I ran out of ammo, I had to grab a clip with my other hand and slap it into the gun by making the same motion with my hands.

After a few minutes of play, I came to realize that I could hold a spare clip in one hand while shooting the gun with the other. This made reloading a much faster process. It also sort of made me feel like a badass.

Before started, I noted that the page filled with illustrations included images of a man on a motorcycle and a car. Certain objects, like the man, the tires and the gas cap, were all colored red. This, I was told, showed where I had to shoot to do away with my enemies.

It was a fun experience, but one that felt more like a quick quarter's worth of play in an arcade, than something I'd sink any large amount of time into.

It did a good job of illustrating the potential of combining Project Morpheus with Move, but didn't feel as spectacular or unnerving as some of the other experiences I tried.