Disunion: Heads Will Roll On The Oculus Rift
Games have been labeld as murder simulators by the media, politicians, and concerned parents alike for years now, but this game really takes the cake (insert Marie Antoinette joke here). Allright, so it's not a game technically, as there's no real controls, or any way to win. And as executions are legally defined as state sanctioned capital punishment, sheltering parents can cry about how "murder" is involved either.
To "cut" right to the point, Disunion is more a virtual experience than anything. With an Oculus Rift strapped to their heads, the player is sent to the seat of the condemned, their heads forced into the lunette of a guillotine. See where this is going? Yep, dead man walkin'...
Like the sentenced of old, the player can't move, but are free to have a look around and try to figure out just what's going on. By the time the look up to see the blade and put two and two together, that thing comes rocketing toward them, their virtual lives about to be snuffed out in a matter of milliseconds.
An Austin Powers judo chop to the neck as the blade launches toward the player completes the experience, decapitating the player before they can say "let them eat cake." Just don't let these guys make an electric chair simulator and hand them a box of cattle prods, I don't think the testers will be quite as enthusiastic.
Definitely jarring to say the least, and as far as the VR experience goes, is almost as scary as actually playing the Virtual Boy. only time that you're put in the place of someone hopelessly condemned, the experience in which can translate to a very real show of raw emotion to a completely simulated world.
Now I don't feel so bad about getting a little choked up while watching the opening montage of "Up."
Disunion was one of the more hotly discussed features as this past Spring's Exile Game Jam, a laid back celebration of gaming in Denmark. Despite the obviously brutal nature of the game, it illustrates the type of atmospheric experience that can be had with the proper amounts of dedication, creativity, and proper equipment. It also shows that you don't need a massive budget, huge development team, or even a lot of time to create something that can have such a lingering effect. Disunion was developed in only two days by a total of three people: Erkki Trummal, André Berlemont, and Morten Burnjberg.
At it's worst (and perhaps most honest), it's an execution simulation. At it's best, it's a straight to the point demonstration of what developers can be capable of when they apply their talents.
Disunion is available for download at Unicorn 7 to those with Oculus Rift units. You'll still have to ask a friend to smack the back of your neck at the right time though.