Showing posts with label Pointe Orlando. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pointe Orlando. Show all posts

April 21, 2019

REVIEW: Game-Changing VR Experiences at Nomadic - Pointe Orlando


I confess - I'm not the biggest fan of virtual reality. My family collectively represents the scope of issues and gripes that people generally have with VR. It's either cheesy and not truly realistic, or it causes headaches or motion sickness. One way or another, it's just not quite THERE yet. It's not what we expect, or want, it to be. If you can relate to any of this, have we got something to share with you! Dare I say, this is the game-changer!

Nomadic is a location-based VR entertainment facility located at Pointe Orlando on I-Drive. Currently, they are beta-testing a new VR experience - Arizona Sunshine: Rampage. Rampage is a spin-off or "next-level" to Nomadic's original co-op multiplayer shooter, Arizona Sunshine: Contagion Z.  Both games are extensions of the Arizona Sunshine series by Vertigo Games for at-home play, and they are custom-built and designed specifically for Nomadic's 1,200 sqft game space.

Nomadic offers a mixed-reality experience, where players wear VR headsets and backpacks to transport them into digital worlds. You start your journey by gearing up after being introduced to your game guide. Though you only spend a few minutes with your guide, this is where you will receive all the vital details, tips, and encouragement for your mission - so be alert and pay attention! We were prepped for battle by our very capable and informative guide, J.C.

Once your guide gets the team settled into the briefing room and the door closes, you are left to your own collective efforts. Though the guide will be monitoring your mission, they're not actively involved with your game play. I'm not sure if I'm just easily amused, but I have to admit that watching the briefing room go through a digital transformation around us was really cool - and nothing was even really happening at this point! Your inner-Trekkie will go giddy over this little stage-setting, holodeck-esque moment. After our mission instructions were detailed, the briefing room melted away, revealing a train we were to board to find our weapons and begin our adventure.

All in-venue images and renderings: Nomadic VR

This is one of those experiences that doesn't lend itself to a play-by-play review. Much like an escape game, too many reveals and in-depth detail would ruin the mystique - and that is the last thing we want to do here, because you deserve this experience! Here's what we can tell you...

Nomadic's mixed-reality nature integrates physical objects with the VR environment. This means doors, drawers, levers and more that you see in the digitized world can really be interacted with in the physical world as well - and some even hold clues and bonuses to enhance your game!

Contagion Z and Rampage are basically "siblings" to each other. Both are about 15 minutes to complete, but they're essentially self-paced. In other words - much like a haunted house - if you freak out and run through, you may complete your experience quickly. If you linger around a bit and really take advantage of the experience, it can last longer.

Rampage is essentially a level-up version of Contagion Z. Much like Contagion, you are tasked with facing a refinery in the throes of a zombie takeover, but this time you're entering through the sewer system, at night. As J.C. warned us, this level was more intense and certainly more challenging.

Both games offer a summary of accuracy, kills, and rank as you return to the briefing room at the mission's end, so you just may walk away with bragging rights, and a certain spot as the leader of your own group in the event of a zombie apocalypse. What? It could happen... right?

Without delving into the "spoiler zone", there are a few standout details that warrant mention. After all, isn't it usually those little details that combine to make an experience something special? So, what makes Nomadic a venue that shattered our expectations?

The things you practically only realize on a subconscious level are the aspects that make Nomadic real. When you encounter certain scenes and situations, your brain expects certain elements to be present. When you're near an explosion - you should feel the heat. When approaching a helicopter - you should be met with strong wind. If you're walking across an unstable plank of wood, high in the air, you expect it to wobble. And THAT is where I realized that this was a convincing VR experience. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but when we came to said plank, I froze. As my husband and son stood in front of me on the other side, I simply said, "I CAN'T", with a nervous giggle - only making it across when my husband took my hand and I hugged the wall. Truth be told, I know this was just a little board on a flat floor in an open, empty room... but my brain didn't want to convince my feet of that fact because all of my senses were totally immersed in a reality-contradiction that worked as it should.... as we have always wanted it to.

I won't admit to the full extent of my hysteria when zombies started hopping fences and falling on us - but do be advised that smart teams will position themselves to keep watch on the entire perimeter - even above. These are not The Walking Dead zombies. Think more along the lines of Z Nation... they're eating their Wheaties and training for Iron Man out there! This becomes much more of a concern in Rampage, where players can actually "die" in game play.

Something else that is worthy to note, at the risk of upsetting our own I-Drive-loving apple cart, so to speak... This may be one of the greatest values on International Drive. We are big fans of the collection of unique attractions on I-Drive, but truth be told, you're generally paying $25+ for a 15-minute attraction anywhere you go for amusement on I-Drive, and this doesn't always sit well with guests who feel short-changed as a result. Making it worse, most of these attractions suffer from one-trick pony syndrome - once you've seen/done it, you have no real reason to go back. Nomadic not only offers a higher quality experience than some of the less-interactive, exhibit-style attractions onI-Drive (for the same price), but they have great return potential as game experiences vary. In fact, you certainly can't justify playing Contagion and not doubling-back for Rampage, and the more you play, the more you'll notice, and naturally - the better you'll get. Who only plays a game once, anyway?! When weighing your I-Drive options in that standard $20-$30 range, this one easily climbs the list to be your first choice. The Pointe Orlando location also affords the opportunity to make a day of it, with plenty of options to keep the fun, food, and drink going long into the evening!

Currently, Nomadic has one location here in Orlando, with plans in motion to open venues in California and Las Vegas soon, and additional locations to come. For more information on the Nomadic VR experience, or to book your visit, click here - or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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