Gam­ing goes to an­other level

Virtual real­ity arena opens its doors in Bris­bane for se­ri­ous shoot ’em up play time with fam­ily or mates

Maroochy Weekly - - LIFE - Sherele Moody

IF FIGHT­ING hordes of zom­bies, solv­ing com­plex puz­zles or ex­plor­ing space sta­tions tick­les your fancy, have we got the sum­mer hol­i­day ad­ven­ture for you.

Virtual real­ity gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence out­fit Zero La­tency has opened its sec­ond Aus­tralian gam­ing arena and this time it has cho­sen Bris­bane.

At $66 for 30 min­utes per per­son, the “epic-scale free-roam mul­ti­player virtual real­ity” ex­pe­ri­ence might be a great hol­i­day op­tion for those who like to shoot things with their mates.

The im­pres­sive New­stead arena is a hop, skip and jump from the Bris­bane CBD.

While park­ing is lim­ited, there are paid op­tions a short stroll from the venue and there is also a nice lit­tle cafe next door and other eater­ies nearby.

The Zero La­tency ex­pe­ri­ence is tar­geted at peo­ple 13 years or older.

There are three gam­ing op­tions – Zom­bie Sur­vival (a clas­sic shoot ’em up); Sin­gu­lar­ity, a space sta­tion-based free-roam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence; and Engi­neerium – a fam­ily friendly puzzle game.

The 400sq m gam­ing arena is big enough to ac­com­mo­date 16 play­ers at any time.

The arena floor is marked out in squares while elec­tron­ics and lights criss-cross the ceil­ing.

An im­pres­sive gam­ing ter­mi­nal takes pride of place at the front of the arena where a game mas­ter con­trols the ac­tion and en­sures ev­ery­one plays safe.

Be­fore join­ing the fun, a su­per friendly Zero La­tency guide walks us through the gam­ing process.

This in­cludes a quick health and safety brief­ing with spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion given to preg­nant women.

Be­cause there are no strobe light­ing ef­fects, the ex­pe­ri­ence can be en­joyed by peo­ple with epilepsy.

The brief­ing takes about five min­utes then we are loaded up with a back­pack con­tain­ing a state-of-the-art Alien­ware lap­top that has enough power un­der its lid to ren­der a smooth semi-re­al­is­tic gam­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

Weigh­ing about 3kg, the kit con­tains an Ocu­lus Rift VR head­set that is cen­tral to the ex­pe­ri­ence and head­phones with mi­cro­phone to com­mu­ni­cate with other play­ers.

While the equip­ment is im­pres­sive, it is the games, and the chance to team up with friends, that make the ex­pe­ri­ence worth­while.

Zom­bie Sur­vival is a sim­ple hor­ror game.

Our team is trapped in a fort as zom­bie chaos hap­pens around us.

A res­cue team is on its way, but we have to keep the zom­bie hordes at bay as help ar­rives.

We use our guns for ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing killing en­e­mies and rebuilding bar­ri­ers.

I can shoot at fuel and gas cans for deadly ex­plo­sions. We earn points and the high­est scores are awarded for head kills.

In Sin­gu­lar­ity, the team in­ves­ti­gates a mil­i­tary re­search space sta­tion where the only signs of life are au­toma­tons.

Play­ers must fight off ro­bots, killer drones and gun tur­rets as they ex­plore the cor­ri­dors and lifts.

Match weapon modes – scat­ter, beam, pulse ri­fle, or rail gun – with the cor­rect en­emy to kill them.

Hold­ing the gun side­ways de­ploys a force shield that pro­tects you from en­emy fire.

Engi­neerium is a “walk­ing ad­ven­ture and puzzle ex­pe­ri­ence” set in an an­cient alien world sus­pended above an ocean.

Grav­ity turns the world up­side down and in­side out as fly­ing whales and par­rot fish fly by. Con­nect plat­forms be­fore pro­gress­ing through the puzzle. This game fea­tures colour­ful char­ac­ters and cheery mu­sic. You need to work with your team to win the game.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Zero La­tency has opened a new gam­ing arena in Bris­bane.

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