Bleeding Cool was fortunate enough to take part in a fairly wondrous experience last night at the Legendary booth at San Diego Comic Con in an exclusive sneak preview of two virtual reality experiences that are now available to fans through an interactive app.
Legendary Entertainment announced during our press event that they had partnered with Google to give away to Comic-Con attendees 50,000 new and improved Google Cardboard viewers in Google's biggest ever partnership of this kind. This platform enables viewers to transform their smartphone into what they describe as "a simple, easy to use mobile VR device". And in this instance, using the lightweight and easy to use cardboard viewer, I was able to enter the world of the upcoming film Warcraft: Skies of Azeroth in which fans can experience a virtual ride on the back of a gryphon, and also Beware Crimson Peak which was ornate, detailed, and terrifying. In that virtual experience, the viewer encounters the haunting ghosts of Allerdale Hall, a sequence inspired by Guillermo Del Toro's new film, Crimson Peak. Last year, Legendary launched a VR experience for Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot in which you can pilot a 250-storey mech and that is still available as well.
So what was it like, trying out these experiences? Firstly, I was totally caught up in the extreme detail and impression of distance in the city building and aerial views of Warcraft: Skies of Azeroth. In fact, I replayed the experience because it took me awhile to realize that I had a great deal of physical guiding freedom in my view. If I turned my head, I saw new elements of the city zooming by beneath me, and not only that, the images mimicked the dilation of pupils in zooming into greater detail the longer I looked at a particular section of the imagery.
I found the same feature was prominent in the Beware The Crimson Peak experience. I took what I had learned from viewing Azeroth and plunged right into studying my surroundings by looking more closely at near objects like wallpaper and statuary. As a fan of horror and gothic stories, the castle-like but artfully decorated interior really caught my interest. That is, until the denizens of the place commanded my attention.
In short, I was totally wowed by this VR experience, and when the staff at the booth explained to me that the app is available widely to fans to have the same experience, whether using viewing goggles or without, I was pretty enthused. If there's one thing that makes a great story you're telling to your friends about something high-tech and cool that you've experienced, it's being able to actually show them so they can take part too. Find the app here.
Note: 50,000 free new and improved Google Cardboard viewers at its booth (#3920) on the show floor, at its Hall H presentation and at Petco Park in partnership with Legendary Digital Networks (Nerdist, Geek & Sundry, Smart Girls)