April 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM ET
Bethesda Softworks announced rather unceremoniously last week that it had finished making new content for "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim," to free up space for the studio's "next adventure," the survival horror game "The Evil Within." But that doesn't mean that "Skyrim's" many players are done exploring its massive open world, or that enterprising modders are finished tweaking the game to unlock even more of its dormant potential. Less than a week after the game was pronounced finished, one fan has already posted a video showing how he took "Skyrim" to the next level with the help of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
YouTube user Chris Gallizzi posted a two-minute video of gameplay footage using the Oculus Rift over the weekend, calling the experience a "dream come true."
He added that the game's setting "take some adjusting depending on your sight" to match perfectly with the in-game action. Seeing as this is a home-brewed modification, these kinds of tweaks are understandable. This kind of personal modification is made possibly by Vireio Perception, a piece of open-source software that allows Oculus Rift users to customize games to become compatible with the headset.
Vireio has already been used to make popular first-person games like "Left 4 Dead," "Mirror's Edge," and "Half-Life 2" VR-compatible. But what's really exciting about the prospect of using a VR headset for an open-world game like "Skyrim" is it promises to augment all of the immersive qualities that truly bring such an expansive world to life. Companies like Bethesda are well-known for making gigantic worlds (like "Skyrim's") for players to romp through but scrimping on some necessary details like varied voice-over work and interesting storylines to truly flesh out the world. A VR headset like the Oculus Rift won't solve that problem, but enhanced immersion will at least make a developer more aware of its own shortcomings.
Watch Skyrim's Oculus Rift-powered gameplay below.