Hands on with Scraper, a virtual reality game designed on Long Island

Hands on with Scraper, a virtual reality game designed on Long Island

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BUSINESS

Hands on with Scraper, a virtual reality game designed on Long Island

A reporter dons an Oculus Rift visor and tries out a new immersive game technology, exploring a science-fiction world filled with deadly robots.

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Labrodex Studios in Jericho created a virtual reality game called Scraper: First Strike due out later this year.  Newsday reporter Victor Ocasio got an opportunity to test out the game on March 15. (Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

By Victor Ocasio

victor.ocasio@newsday.com

Updated March 28, 2018 7:10 PM

Labrodex Studios’ Scraper: First Strike is a science-fiction video game set in a dystopian metropolis. Unlike most games on the market, Scraper — set to release later this year — puts players in the middle of the action with virtual reality technology.

To dive into the digital world of Scraper, I put on an Oculus Rift visor, which covers the eyes like a scuba diver’s goggles, and adjusted it to fit snugly over my head. With the view of my surroundings blocked, the visual and audio input of the visor gives me the sensation of being in the game’s futuristic setting, even though I sat in a desk chair inside Labrodex’s small Jericho office.

I began my mission — helping the Human Resistance Force rid Reactor Building 3 of its evil “Humech” robot infestation — by flying over the Blade Runner-esque landscape of New Austin in the year 2076. From the ship’s loading bay, I could look out — simply by turning my head — onto the glistening towers of the city below.

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I used two handheld wireless controllers to maneuver the position of my character, Casey Maxell, and aim my weapon. When I’d point my index fingers, Maxwell’s gloved hands followed suit, allowing me to interact with the floating computer readouts on my display.

The game’s lead developer, Victor Matos, guided me through the first level of the game and got me familiar with its mechanics. He also warned me that moving your in-game avatar excessively or turning your head to view your virtual surroundings too much, can give first-time players “virtual realty sickness,” a condition similar to motion sickness.

As far as game play went — well, let’s just say VR takes practice. Despite having access to a variety of weapons — blasters, missiles, electromagnetic pulse waves — I barely managed to cleave my way through robot hordes.

Eventually, Matos used his developer cheat codes to take my character to the level’s final challenge, or “boss” in gamer terms. Suffice it to say, I was unsuccessful in my attempts to defeat the lumbering robo-giant.

Still, Scraper offers an incomparably immersive experience.