I can honestly say there has never been a point in my life where I wanted to spend $600 so quickly. That's a big deal as my birthday has come and gone and I still haven't given my wife a straight answer on what gift I want for my birthday. I'm sad to say an Oculus Rift won't be on the list.
I've done VR prior to Minecraft, and prior to this demo was more than confident that I could wait until some prices dropped or there was a clear and decisive winner to the VR war. Now I'm not so sure.
When I first put on the headset and the demo is booted up, I'm sitting in a Minecraft style room playing Minecraft on a TV.
Instantly I'm like "well this is some bullshit", and then I realized there's a button for "full immersion" and it was like I was plugged into another world.
You wouldn't think your perspective would change all that much from regular Minecraft to VR. The first thing you'll notice when you get in the game is the sense of distance and scale. You see yourself beside a hill and you have to arch your neck to see the top! I also found myself saying "damn that's far away" as though I'd actually have to walk that distance as opposed to using the controller.
It's a surreal feeling being in Minecraft VR. On one hand, you're very aware that you are in a video game, but occasionally your mind drifts and you'll notice your body instinctively react to the things it's seeing. For example, an unexpected fall from a large distance may give you a slight drop feeling in your gut or cause you to twitch your legs in response to what's happening.
Having your head as the operating camera for the game is super convenient, although it takes a little bit to get used to. There were times I was hitting a block and I turned my head because something else caught my eye and I immediately started hitting in that direction! Once you get the hang of it though you'll wonder why you ever compromised with two joysticks.
Speaking of which don't use the second joystick while you play! You can use it but it jerks the camera in a forced perspective a couple turns to your right or left. Moving that way instantly gave my eyes a freak out moment and I felt a bit nauseous. The other two people I was with said essentially the same thing. Luckily with the way you turn your head you don't really need a second joystick to move around.
Minecraft is the perfect game for VR as it allows for a lot of experiences that you can experience from the comfort of your own home. Want to sword fight in a giant palace? Put on the VR. Want to build a 20 story tall block tower and jump to your death? Put on the VR. Want to hang out with some friends and explore a cave? You see where I'm going with this.
The fact of the matter is even in beta, Minecraft is the coolest experience I've had in VR and I would ruin my life playing it all the time. Even today I'm fighting the urge to drop $600 on an Oculus just to get ahold of that Beta!
If you get a chance to play it do it. It'll either change your perspective on VR or get you even more pumped for the future.