Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot lets you use the Oculus Rift to fight kaiju

Andy Chalk at

The list of things you can do with the Oculus Rift has grown by one—a very big one—as Legendary Entertainment and Oculus VR debuted Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot today at the San Diego Comic-Con.

There's not much to see in this Comic-Con trailer for Jaeger Pilot, which is far more movie than game, but it sure does have a catchy slogan: "Get ready to drift with the Oculus Rift." The game is apparently being developed in-house by Oculus VR with the Unreal Engine 4, and will put players behind the wheel of Gipsy Danger in a battle against the kaiju called Knifehead.

The prospect is exciting, but will it run up against EVEL Valkyrie producer Owen O'Brien's belief that virtual reality is a poor fit for first-person gameplay? The Oculus Rift headset will undoubtedly make for a visually immersive experience, but unlike the jaeger pilots in the trailer, body movement isn't going to correspond to body action in the game. Will this somehow work out to be better than conventional FPSes in VR?

It's worth noting that it's unclear to us whether Jaeger Pilot is a fully-realized game that will be released publicly, or more of an interactive demonstration of the Rift in the context of the film. If it is a game, it'd be a challenge to represent the two-pilot requirement for jaegers in the film. That seems like an extraordinarily difficult experience to design, not to mention one that might border on being a rhythm game. One thing that encourages me is that cockpit experiences have been some of our favorites on the Rift so far. Whatever form this Jaeger Pilot takes, despite Hollywood's mixed history with games, it's nice to have a beloved action film that natively features VR showing up on the Rift.