It takes a lot of skill to get really good at Space Pirate Trainer for the HTC Vive. And there is an interesting physical component of that skill that makes the game stand out, even among other virtual reality games.
This amazing run — which doesn't break any records, but does show what's possible with the use of only one gun and no shields — puts those physical skills on display. You may look a bit goofy when rolling around the floor or dodging fire, but who cares? You're dodging bullets. At some point you don't play the game as much as you feel the rhythm of it, and begin to react almost because you know why.
That sort of preternatural ability to sense when things are dangerous is built into the game by design.
"One main feature is that bullet-time kicks in automatically, when you're about to get shot," Dirk van Welden, founder of I-Illusions, told Develop Online. "This even allows players to dodge fire when they did not see the incoming fire, since you can hear the time slowing down gradually. It's like having some sort of spider sense, which feels really good."
It's fun to watch top level players while paying attention to how they use their body and the physical space inside the game to both avoid enemy fire and put themselves into a good position to fire back.
You can watch our own session below to see the difference between an amazing player and, well, us.