As much as I love virtual reality, there aren’t that many must-play VR experiences just yet. Sure there are hundreds of apps and games and many really cool ones, but Google Earth VR is one of the first that you feel the need to show everyone. Freely available on Steam, it gives you unlimited perspectives on the entire Earth. That’s a whole lot of content.
The app lets you travel literally anywhere on Earth. You can investigate Pyongyang in North Korea, fly over the Sahara desert and dive between buildings in rich metropolis all over the world. You have complete control, so can fly around like a superhero, or drop down to man-scale level and look up at the giant world around you.
Of course this being Google Earth the most extreme zoom does leave you looking at blurry or misshapen textures, but this is entirely forgivable considering the scale of what’s on offer. Plus important landmarks and cities have much better resolution renders, which makes flybys down the Thames look pretty impressive considering the draw distance and lighting.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCrkZOx5Q1M’]
If you don’t fancy giving yourself a tour of the Earth though, you can let Google do it for you. There are built in tours that take you to various important locations around the world, focusing on cities, natural landmarks and everything in between. There are also featured locations, letting you jump to specific spots which are thought to be of particular interest or beauty.
The only downside to this really is that it’s an HTC Vive exclusive as it stands. However considering the inputs via motion controllers aren’t complicated, it would be surprising if this didn’t add Oculus Rift support sometime in the future when its Touch controllers are released.
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KitGuru Says: I meant to only play this for a few minutes but ended up getting way behind on the news schedule. Sorry guys, blame it on the VR.