The Reality of Mockingjay Virtual Reality

The Mockingjay Part 2 virtual reality experience debuted this weekend at New York Comic Con, which is really cool in theory. We’ve found that in practice, standing around waiting for a VR experience for ages makes you way less enthusiastic when you actually get to it but that is besides the point!

Early reports told us it was a 6-minute walkthrough of the books that doesn’t give away the end of the series. It takes fans through the major moments, but still keeps you waiting for resolution. And thanks to the beauty of the Internet (via Quarter Quell), you can watch an example now.

We realize the experience is way more immersive at the screening booths with a shaky chair, goggles, and headphones. It’s probably much more entertaining that way, because you can feel everything as if you’re really there. But we’re really surprised at how this was put together.

Even Jena Malone tried it!

Even Jena Malone tried it!

In most VR experiences, you’re PART of the action, interacting with the surroundings and the characters. In this baby, it seems like the users are just following a recap with animated characters, not taking charge of the journey. Yes, they can look around, but when the user in the video above does so, it becomes pretty obvious that there’s only one focal point in each scene.

And the animation? Well, we’re a bit spoiled nowadays. We know CGI and animation can be so realistic that this feels a bit like playing an original XBox.

Hopefully, the fans who went through the experience loved it. Whenever The Hunger Games is involved, fans wanna love it, after all!

We Just Want The VR To Be Good PR,
The Girl With The Pearl


One comment

  1. To be honest, I don’t think there are any actual publicly-released (like this) VR experiences which do allow you to take control and interact with the environment, in fact the vast majority are just looking around as you are taken on a tour – this is probably due to lack of publicly available technology which enables you do really do that. I think the closest is something Sony did for The Walk where you actually walk along the tightrope across the Twin Towers, but then they needed extra, more powerful equipment to do that. Quite different from a 1-2GB 360-degree video released on mobile phones.

    I do agree on the videogame aesthetic though. In an interview they mentioned that they only had 10 weeks to put this together, and the cast I presume was unavailable hence they couldn’t integrate recordings of them into the environment like the Insurgent VR. For what it is though (especially when actually viewed through a VR device, that aspect doesn’t throw you as much) it’s quite great, in my opinion anyway. I wish it was more photorealistic, but given they decided to save time and money by re-creating all these moments in a game engine, it’s understandable. With interior sets it isn’t quite a problem but with characters and outdoor sets it definitely is something very noticeable.

    Anyway here’s the interview with the makers of this experience that’s well worth reading:

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