Reporting from VR Park Dubai and Starbreeze

VR Park Dubai – an important step for Starbreeze!

A week ago, we told you that Stockaboo would visit VR Park Dubai and Starbreeze. Now Mathias and Christopher have been there! VR Park Dubai opened on March 1st and is the first amusement park of its kind, where all attractions are VR-based. There are 18 attractions in total and of these, Starbreeze are involved in eight. Of course we tried all of Starbreeze’s attractions and also most of the others. We will reflect our thoughts on the different experiences in this blog post. The focus is, of course, on the attractions that concern Starbreeze, but we talk a bit about the others as well, to create a full picture of VR Park Dubai.

VR Park Dubai entré side

It is worth mentioning that we have done this on our own and not on behalf of Starbreeze. Our thoughts and reflections are our own. Both Mathias and Christopher are currently shareholders in Starbreeze and have been so for several years. Both have written their own texts about the different attractions so that you get different perspectives. Mathias has tried StarVR earlier and is more of a gamer than Christopher, who has only tested VR on two occasions and then simpler variants of the type usually found in malls.

In addition to trying out the various attractions, we also met representatives from Starbreeze’s management, which we interviewed. Bo Andersson Klint, Sebastian Ahlskog and Emmanuel Marquez got to answer our user’s questions. You can soon see the interviews in their entirety. The same applies to the ”15 questions with Stockaboo” that you will see here (although in Swedish), where you can also see our previous interviews with other companies. They will also be transcribed and posted here in the blog (just in Swedish though), which may take a few days. We also have a video report on the go (Swedish here as well…), where we clipped a selection of the questions, along with some other interviews and some area images. We had a short talk with Almir Listo and Ann Charlotte Svensson from Starbreeze and also with Carl Armfelt, manager of Swedbank Robur Ny Teknik and Starbreeze enthusiast. This blog post will be updated with links as soon as the clips are done!

Intervju Starbreeze

Wednesday, March 7, was a media day where we could conduct interviews and we also had a tour of VR Park Dubai which included a test of the attractions. After lunch, we had free time to play around and also try the attractions that are not related to Starbreeze. We had a tour with investors from Swedbank and Nordea. Anna Herbert (Global Director, VR Operations) showed us around and enthusiastically told us about each attraction. It was a very interesting and intense day and the representatives of Starbreeze took care of the visitors in the best possible way! Something we reflected on was how proud Bo Andersson Klint turned out to be. He told us about the project and was interested in hearing how we experienced the park.

Our general view of VR Park Dubai

The entrance is impressive and you have probably seen pictures of it online. It is a natural place for taking selfies, so it will surely spread well in social media.

VR Park Dubai entré

Service levels are generally extremely high in Dubai and VR Park Dubai is no exception. There are plenty of staff and they welcome you when you step in and explain how each attraction will work in a good way. What they need to work on is the speed at which they make milkshakes in the cafe. We took a break and had to wait for 20 minutes before we got our milkshakes and then it was barely any queue for the cafe. With more visitors in place there will be a problem. However, they will open another cafe on the upper level and this is certainly something that will be fine by then.

VR Park Dubai café

There is no entrance fee to VR Park Dubai. Tickets for the attractions are bought in the vending machines, and you pay by card or cash. The price is 100 AED (dirham) for the silver package and 200 AED for the gold package. That equals to about $27/€22/£20 for the silver package and $54/€44/£39 for the gold package. The silver package includes 100 credits and each attraction cost between 18 and 45 credits each. The gold package gives you seven attractions, so depending on what you want to try, this is significantly more affordable. The Arena is also included in the Silver Package without any credits. The movie Construct is also free. More about it further down!

VR Park Dubai betalautomat

Hygiene is a question that comes up when using a headset that lots of other people have been wearing. After each use, they dried off the contact surfaces with bactericidal agents, so it definitely felt fresh and nice.

Starbreezes different attractions in VR Park Dubai

Here are the information and our comments about the various attractions in VR Park Dubai. Mainly those related to Starbreeze, but also the others. Each experience is first described objectively and then followed by our subjective comments.

The Raft (HTC Vive)

In The Raft there are four people playing together. You are standing in a room, on an open floor, with a backpack containing a computer connected to a HTC Vive. You hold a controller in each hand. In the game you stand on a raft that goes through a big swamp. There are monsters that look like something taken out of Stranger Things that attack you and the goal is, of course, to kill them. There are various weapons available and also fire extinguishers that you need to use to extinguish the fires that arise in the fleet when you are blowing up an enemy who is too close to the raft.

The Raft figure

The experience is about 10 minutes long and definitely has high replayability because it is co-op and you have the opportunity to succeed differently every time you play. On the way in and out of the actual playground, you go through a built-up variant of the swamp. There are models of monsters deployed, which provide great opportunities for photography and selfies together with them.

The Raft

Christophers comments

The Raft was the first game we got to try and my first real experience with VR. It was a big difference compared to what I’ve tried earlier in shopping malls, with poor graphics and bad resolution. Of course, it becomes completely different when you are active and playing compared to sitting in a rollercoaster simulator that is very unreal. I really felt physically in the body how the raft moved forward and when it turned, though I stood still on a floor. The graphics and resolution were good enough for the experience to be good and intense. I saw my fellow players in the game where they stood true to me in the room we were in. Something that would enhance the experience even more would be it there were speakers in the room instead of headphones, because then you would be able to communicate with each other while playing. A microphone would also work.

The peripheral vision is missing with HTC Vive, so you have to turn your head a lot to perceive everything that happens. With StarVR, The Raft would be even better and it will have StarVR in the future. According to Bo Andersson Klint, Emaar thought the game was so good right away that they demanded launching it with a worse headset instead of having a later release. I think it’s good enough with HTC Vive. It was a really fun experience that I would definitely like to try again! A highscore board would increase the replayability even more.

The Raft in action

Mathias comments

Here we have an experience that is almost perfect. Four players on a small surface and yet they do not bump into each other. Superb intro that exposes Starbreeze and RED games as you start sliding down the river. Vive’s field of view is a limitation when you always have to turn your head to see if the boat is on fire. Raft is definitely my favorite of the experiences. Communication is where it lacks when the sound in the headphones overwhelms the sound in the room, which means that you can not communicate with each other. By the way, the sound image was super in the game. Very large replayability!

Ape-X (StarVR)

Imagine King Kong, but in the future in Dubai. You are a cybernetic giant ape (Big Mike) who climbed up in a skyscraper and you have to defend yourself from attacking enemies. You stand on a ribbed platform next to a pillar that you can walk around and in the game this pillar is the skyscraper and the robot ape of course moves around the skyscraper as the player walks around the pillar. StarVR is the headset that is used and you also have two hand controllers that are large cylinders in which you insert your arms. You hold a handle at the front, there are also buttons for shooting. You can also use a shield by crossing your arms and you can hit around you to destroy the enemies that are nearby.

Ape_X scenografi

Christophers comments

I’m not quite comfortable with high heights and I admit that I took a big breath and backed half a step when the game started. For a moment, I felt lik I did not want to play anymore, but then i got a grip and confirmed to myself that it’s not real. The fact that the platform you are standing on is ribbed and that it’s a little elevation up from the floor that you can feel with your feet makes the experience really realistic. It’s the small details that make it! I made sure I could feel the pillar with my back throughout the time I played and took small steps towards the sides as I walked around it. That the vertigo would turn out to feel this realistic in a computer game is something I could’ve never imagined! I see an opportunity for cognitive behavioral therapy to fix various phobias here!

Ape_X Christopher

Before you start, you have to put your hands in two heavy duty hand controllers, which then represents the monkey’s arms. With these you can shoot by pushing the buttons, blocking the shot by holding your arms in front of you and even hitting enemies who are nearby. The controllers are made out of metal, which adds a lot of authenticity compared to if they had been made out of plastic. One disadvantage, however, is that you get tired in your arms towards the end of the game. I can imagine that it will be really hard for children and generally weak people and that it will deprive them of part of the experience. However, lighter versions are soon to be available. Having two different options to choose from will be good!

Here you noticed what a huge difference there is between StarVR and other headsets. The peripheral vision is in place and it really enhances the feeling! It would be really fun to try The Raft with StarVR, which would further enhance the experience. StarVR sits comfortably, but sometimes you get a bit disturbed by the cable, even though the solution with it being connected from the top is quite ok. A wireless headset with these specifications would be great, but it’s only a minor disturbance as it is today.

Mathias comments

Another favorite! Here all of your senses are being fooled. The height felt real even though you are standing on the ground and I think we all pushed our backs against the pillar that was behind us. It gave us a false sense of security. The size of the controllers makes you feel like Big Mike, but the current version felt too heavy. You were really tired in your arms after playing this experience. Anna told us that there will be lighter versions and that there is also a smaller model for children coming.

Ape_X Mathias

The Mummy Prodigium Strike (StarVR)

StarVR används även här. Man sitter eller står i en plattform som rör lite på sig. I spelet flyger man helikopter och skjuter på zombier som rusar fram mot ens kollegor. Man ska försvara dem och en ambulans som kraschar. Plattformen har ett rör att ha fötterna på, som ska föreställa helikopterns ena med. Antingen sitter man ned eller så står man upp på meden och håller sig i taket med den ena handen och har automatgeväret i den andra. Grafiken är något sämre här, det märks att spelet är rätt snabbt framtaget, som fallet ofta är med spel baserade på filmer, men det är absolut tillräckligt bra för att inte förstöra underhållningsvärdet. Efter en stund får man hoppa ur helikoptern och stå på marken och spela.

StarVR is used here as well. You are either sitting or standing on a platform that moves around a little. In the game you’re in a helicopter and shoot at zombies rushing towards your colleagues. You must defend them and an ambulance that has crashed. The platform has a pipe to have your feet on, which is supposed to be one of the helicopter’s landing skids. You either sit down or stand up on the pipe and hold on to the ceiling with one hand and have the automatic gun in the other. The graphics are slightly worse here, you can tell that the game is quite fast developed, as the case often is with games based on movies, but it is definitely good enough to have great entertainment value. After a while, you have to jump out of the helicopter and stand on the ground and play.

Christophers comments

The Mummy Prodigium Strike became a personal favorite for me! The fact that the platform is moving increases the sense of authenticity big time! Of course I got up and held on to the ceiling, to truly feel like being an action hero. Preferably I would have played with no shirt on and fully war painted like Rambo, but we had a schedule to hold, so I felt it was not the time for such preparations. Next time maybe.

The Mummy Prodigium Strike Christopher

Mathias comments

Here you will shoot undeads in lots! The Mummy is a shooter experience, but what an experience at the beginning when first the cage vibrates and then you realize that you actually can stand up and hold the ceiling and look around the edge and shoot these undeads. At the end of the experience, the helicopter lands and you jump out of it and stand on a hill and shoot undeads like a madman. The actual gaming experience I think was just ok, but from an immersive VR perspective with the vibrating cage it gets the top rating.

The Mummy Prodigium Strike Mathias

John Wick Chronicles (StarVR)

The action hero John Wick is being attacked by waves of enemies coming from all directions shooting at him. The goal is, of course, to kill them all. Here too, StarVR is used and you are holding an automatic rifle. There are two sceneries to choose from. You are on a yacht or on a rooftop. There is a VIP booth that you can play in, so your friends can stand and watch you play.

John Wick VIP

Christophers comments

I started playing on the boat and thought the game was getting kind of boring after a while. There was wave after the wave of enemies and you do not die, no matter how bad you are. Games that people pay to try can not, of course, be too difficult. If you were to die after 30 seconds and the game was over, you would not feel that you got value for your money. Mathias thought I would try the rooftop too, so I did in the afternoon and it was actually much more entertaining! I thought The Mummy Prodigium Strike was so fun that I guess it was partly that that made me a little disappointed with John Wick Chronicles, as I played it right after. With a highscore board, the replayability here would also be higher.

John Wick Christopher

John Wick Chronicles was by the way the attraction where I felt that the cable attached to StarVR disturbed the most. However, it is not a major disturbance.

Mathias comments

I have tested the yacht before (www.stockaboo.com/blogg/stockaboo-testar-starvr, Swedish text), so this time I chose the roof top experience. What a difference! I thought that the roof top experience beat the yacht with a mile. It’s significantly calmer and you are more aware of what’s happening around you. Both have good replayability.

The Walking Dead VR Outbreak (StarVR)

The main attraction with decorated rooms that could have been included in the TV series. You are in a veterinary clinic with plenty of details such as corpses in body bags and blood splashed everywhere. Each room contains a number of wheelchairs that you sit in while playing. Of course it uses StarVR and you get a shotgun to shoot with. In the game, you get pushed around by your friend and you have to look out all around you and shoot the zombies that pop up.

The Walking Dead bodybag

Christophers comments

I could swear that the wheelchair was really moving! It was fixed, so it did not move an inch, but if I had not known, I would have been sure that someone was pushing it around in reality while I was playing. It’s fascinating how easily the brain is fooled. This was a cool VR experience, but as a game it was not very fun. It is of course completely linear and what you do does not really affect the outcome very much. I would guess that the game ends the same even if you do not shot a single shot.

The Walking Dead empty room

However, I think this is definitely a must try if you are to visit! It’s an experience you do once, the replayability seems to be low, but going to VR Park Dubai without trying out The Walking Dead VR Outbreak would be really stupid. I’d probably try it again if I went back after a while, but it’s not an experience you try twice in the same visit.

Mathias comments

Finally, after so many years, I have been able to try this experience! The whole area screams The Walking Dead. I went around looking at all the props and just smiled. This is probably nothing to bring small children to. This is quality.

The Walking Dead room from above

The actual experience is a minor modification of the old original experience from 2015. It was crazy: when the wheelchair started moving in the experience, I was 100% sure that I moved forward (the chair was firmly fixed to the floor). You move forward and stop in some places where you have to shoot the zombies to move forward. The whole thing was cool as an experience, but felt a bit ”meh” when you were ready. I would probably not try this experience more than once, as there is no competition in this experience.

The Walking Dead playing

Geminose: The VR Carousel (Samsung Gear)

This is obviously aimed at younger children. It’s a small room with soft pillows on the floor that you enter. The floor is spinning slowly, and in the game you go on a big bed through different rooms. It resembles the love tunnel in an amusement park, where you slowly move forward and look at nice things. The bed moves on a rail and the visitors look around in the various rooms where a lot of cute characters play instruments and dance. We saw children who experienced this and they were crawling around and moving their hands in the air in front of them.

Geminose

Christophers comments

Okay, here we have something quite different. It was a nice pause to sit in the virtual carousel on a comfortable pillow for a few minutes after all the other intense experiences. Geminose: The VR Carousel is so sugary that I almost got diabetes, but I can imagine that children in preschool age must love this! If I, as an adult, get absorbed by different VR experiences, how should it then be for a small child? Of course, it’s not StarVR here, because it’s not necessary and it’s too heavy for young kids to wear.

The fact that the carousel slowly spins enhances the experience of actually moving in this bed. For my part, I sat still and then I had to turn my head occasionally to see what was happening, but the children we saw play moved around and were active, so it works perfectly well if you do what you’re supposed to do. It has a very Disney like feeling and the upcoming Nintendo game feels like a given success for smaller children.

Geminose sitting

Mathias comments

Geminose has been so mocked and suddenly, it’s revealed as a VR attraction. Sit on a pillow, with a Samsung Gear, then go down a roller coaster for children. Here is no action, instead everything has a soft feeling to it. A heaven full of colors, sounds, music and visual impressions just about everywhere. There are cuddly characters that jump and dance and talk. There are chests that open. It is is completely, totally crazy. If they can make the Switch game feel like this, it’s a blockbuster. A reflection I had was that this world might be perfect for a platform game like Mario, Giant Sisters, etc. I also hope Starbreeze produces plush animals because my guess is it will sell lots. Set up a merchandise shop at the end of the carousel. It will make many parents poor! 😉

PAYDAY: The VR Heist (HTC Vive)

PAYDAY of course requires no major presentation. Here you enter a room designed as a bank. Each player enters their own bank vault, which is designed as they are in the game. Four players rob a bank together, just like in the game on Steam and on console. It uses HTC Vive and you hold a controller in each hand.

Payday the VR Heist entré

Christophers comments

This is obviously fun! The game starts with a tutorial, which is absolutely necessary to understand how it works. Since you are in different rooms there is unfortunately no way of communicating with your teammates, but this will change in the future, which will enhance the experience even more. I think it worked well with the controls and I think it would be even more fun after a couple of times when you get the hang of it properly. There really should be a highscore board, because this game has really high playability as it is, but of course you want to be able to join a top list, both individually and as a team. The image below is a photo of the advertisement that showed on the 60 meter wide screen above the ice rink.

Payday the VR Heist ice rink commercial

Mathias comments

This is a specially designed version of Bank Heist: it’s a simplified version of the Steam version. Here too, the Vive was used instead of StarVR. Here as well as in the Raft I missed communication possibilities, but this was truly an I-want-to-play-again experience. However, they definitely need leaderboards. As a curiosity, we were told that the day before, there had been a bunch of US marines in the park and they gave Payday VR the rating ”The best battle simulator they ever had tested.”.

Construct (StarVR)

Nozon has created Construct, a short film about robots working at a construction site. A robot sees something he should not have seen and a fight breaks out. The viewer is at the center of the events and has a 360 degree view of everything that’s happening and can choose where to look. StarVR is used here. This attraction is free for the visitors of VR Park Dubai and is located in the part that looks like a classic old movie theater, which also includes The Mummy Prodigium Strike and John Wick Chronicles. The film contains many different camera angles and you move quickly between different places at the construction site.

Construct cinema

Christophers comments

Okay, I had no high expectations. I thought that this would probably be a little boring because there is no interactivity, instead you’re just a passive spectator. I can say that this was one of the attractions that impressed me the most! The graphics are amazing and you really feel like you are at the construction site. Imagine the first time you experienced 3D cinema, it was quite impressive and a new type of experience. This is something completely different: a much bigger step!

Construct is a short film that basically only demonstrates what can be done with this technology. I look very much forward to upcoming movies that have more action and a deeper story. You will not only see your favorite actor in front of you but now suddenly stand next to him/her and hear their voice from different directions depending on how you turn your head. This has potential for really cool experiences! Then if you implement smells as well that Bo talked about, it will feel very real. Another use I see is concerts. Imagine having the opportunity to stand on the stage just next to Nergal and see what it looks like in his perspective when he spits fake blood on the audience! I assume that everyone is listening to Polish Satanist Metal. No? Hm, ok… Back to VR Park Dubai!

Construct

Mathias comments

PresenZ, PresenZ, PresenZ, what a movie! Robots fighting in a fight that would make any martial arts expert jealous. After a short intro where the main robot leaves his family to go to work, you are thrown into a 360-degree action movie where you can turn around and explore the scenes. I have never experienced anything like that! Imagine mixing a 360 video with a pair of 3D glasses and then moving around in that world, then you have PresenZ.

It was a really cool technology demo!

Other attractions

We did not try exactly everything, but almost! Here are our comments about the other attractions in VR Park Dubai, to give you a full picture. As mentioned, VR Park Dubai contains 18 different attractions, of which eight are related to Starbreeze. SEGA Republic was previously in the place where VR Park Dubai is now. Some of the attractions that were there are still there, but are now updated with VR functionality.

Dubai Drone (Samsung Gear)

This is a real roller coaster, inside a shopping mall. Nothing strange about that if you are in Dubai, after all, there is also a full-sized hockey rink and a giant aquarium, and in one of the other shopping centers there is a ski slope… What’s so special with this roller coaster is that you have a VR headset on your head while riding, giving the feeling of flying a helicopter between the skyscrapers in Dubai.

Dubai Drone

Christophers comments

I like roller coasters, but this was something new. You have no perception at all about what is happening in reality, but you are spinning and moving while swooshing between high-rise buildings in a helicopter. The roller coaster itself is probably not so cool compared to the ones at real amusement parks, but this was really fun. The VR bit really added something to the experience! I recommend this to anyone who likes roller coasters!

Mathias comments

I also like roller coasters. When I stood below and looked at this experience, I thought that it would be done in 30 seconds. When I went, I did not know how long it took. However, it is full action all the time. What I did not like was the low resolution and poor graphics on Samsung Gear. All 3D felt very lame. Higher resolution and better 3D graphics and this is a hit. VR and roller coasters are a super combination where you can change the ride experience without rebuilding the track.

VR Bus (HTC Vive)

In VR Park Dubai you can take a seat in a tourist bus and choose which famous city you want to go through on a guided tour.

VR Park Dubai VR-bus

Christophers comments

We went through Dubai. There was some technical trouble that caused a settings screen to hide the image at first, but when we told the staff they restarted it and it worked well after that. Well, what can you say? It’s a 360-degree film and you can look around while going on a bus and a boat and a guide tells you what you see. No more, no less. You could as well do this with a simple VR headset at home. It may be a nice break between the more intense attractions though.

Mathias comments

This is just a 360 video where you sit in a bus and get a 360 movie played in front of you. One of the worst experiences. The content was also outdated and information that was said about Dubai was incorrect.

Dune Bash (Samsung Gear)

Here you sit in an off road car that drives violently across the dunes in the desert and of course you run into problems, so you have to escape from giant spiders and such. The car you are sitting in moves around a lot to enhance the feeling.

Christophers comments

This attraction reminds a lot of those you can try in various malls. Bad graphics and you are bouncing around a bit. Do not put your credits on this, because you can have a similar experience in regular malls. After trying the other attractions, this is really bad. If you have not tried VR before, however, and are in some regular mall with some VR attractions or somewhere else where they have something like that, I definitely think it’s worth trying out. In VR Park Dubai, however, this is not worth it, instead put your credits on the other attractions. However, I have to admit that I thought the car actually went away at the beginning, but that feeling disappeared quickly.

Mathias comments

I liked this ride. Out to the sand dunes at fast pace. Here too, I thought the car actually drove away in the beginning. However, I lost that feeling fast and was just shaken about after that. But I thought it was a fun experience.

Plummet

Here, they have another carousel left in VR Park Dubai after the SEGA Republic, which they have equipped with VR. You are stuck in a chair that is at the end of an arm that spins around it’s own axle and also rotates the chairs 360 degrees at the same time. A classic carousel at theme parks. In your headset you can see Dubai as you jump out of an airplane. It’s a parachute simulation.

VR Park Dubai Plummet

Christophers comments

There will only be my comment, because some did not want to try this. 😉 I have a small case of vertigo, but here you can not see what’s happening in reality, so I’m happily unaware of how scary it was. You jump out of a plane and drift with the wind between the skyscrapers. It was pleasant and felt good. You feel the speed when it’s all spinning and blowing and you are looking out over Dubai as you plummet through the sky. You fall in a way that feels natural with how you move in the carousel. I liked this, but many did not dare to try it. It’s good that there is something that is seen as a bit more hardcore by some visitors.

RobocomVR

Here you sit in a egg shaped pod moving in all directions. You hold a joystick with both hands that control your spacecraft, both up and down and to the sides. There are also fire buttons on it, one for the gun and one for shooting missiles. You spin around and shoot everything that moves and you could easily get dizzy if you are sensitive.

Trading CFDs carries considerable risk of capital loss.

Christophers comments

This was fun, you’re moving around a lot when playing and it feels like it’s going fast. Certainly an attraction in my taste! I never really understood which spaceships were enemies and who were on my side, so I shot at everything. Here it would also be fun with a highscore board, which would increase the replayability.

Mathias comments

Wow, get in the cockpit, put yourself in a turret, become a space pilot! Here you were really spinning! I shot at everything that was moving and did not really know exactly what was happening. The biggest downside was that my headset and the actual cage were misaligned so I had to turn my head to look forward. I should have interrupted the ride and restarted it, but I didn’t. This was fun but they need to make sure that operators see when it’s wrongly calibrated.

Burj Drop (Samsung Gear)

The third real carousel that remains. You go up and down a big pole several times. You do not go all the way every time, so you do not know when it turns. What is seen in VR is that there is a window washer that is very high up on a platform. The wires that hold the platform in place brake, one by one, so the platform violently swings and falls.

Burj Khalifa and Burj Drop

Christophers comments

Okay, this totally sucked if I’d be honest. It was extremely jerky and unpleasant and it was barely possible to understand what was happening. What you see in front of you was not at all what you felt, unlike Dubai Drone and Plummet. The entertainment value was zero. It was neither fun nor scary, just uncomfortable.

VR Park Dubai panorama

Mathias comments

No, no, no, redo this, this was not fun at all! Up, down, shake, fall down … You donate have any idea of what is happening. The VR part did not feel like it was part of what really happened. Here I think they will probably need to change the experience.

Other attractions in VR Park Dubai

There are further attractions in VR Park Dubai, which we did not try. Arena is free to visit and is some kind of fictional zoo. VR Sports looked like Wii Sports, but with VR, of course. VR Balloon is simply an air balloon ride in VR. These were the only attractions we did not try.

Merchandise

When leaving VR Park Dubai you go through a shop with t-shirts, caps and the like. Almost everything there is related to Starbreeze. It’s Payday and Walking Dead merchandise that dominate in total. I guess they have a lot of Payday bills in stock because the ones that are spread out on the shelves will probably disappear when people pass by. 🙂 Mathias wanted to buy a Walking Dead t-shirt, but they didn’t have any in his size, which was a little bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, the staff was extremely helpful and offered to fix it by sending one to him. As mentioned, service levels are on a completely different level in Dubai!

Summary

No doubt VR Park Dubai is a cool facility and the first type of amusement park based entirely on VR having such a high standard. What we noticed is that the attractions that Starbreeze is involved in are really good and generally maintain high quality. The number of visitors was as expected according to the Starbreeze people we talked to. They have made a soft launch and the park is, in a way, an experiment for the future. It will continue to evolve and several of the things we mentioned as improvement areas we were told is already planned to be changed. The Raft will have StarVR in the future and highscore boards will be implemented in several of the attractions. Advertising for VR Park Dubai is featured on all screens in Dubai Mall except the giant screen that is located at the aquarium. For example, we saw advertisements for PAYDAY on the screen that are above the hockey rink. A hockey rink is 60 meters long and the screen is as long as the rink. At all information discs there where information sheets about VR Park Dubai. Something that was missing was directions to VR Park Dubai on the signs in the mall that tell you where different things are located, so you had to follow the directions to the cinema. Probably they will be updated shortly.

The Mummy commercial

There are major quality differences between StarVR and the other headsets. HTC Vive is definitely not bad, but having a full peripheral vision adds to the experience significantly. Partly because you get more absorbed by the world you are in, but also because you do not have to turn your head as much. Every time you took off your headset, it felt like it took a few seconds before you registered where you actually where. Immersive is a worn out expression when it comes to VR, but it really describes several of the attractions in VR Park Dubai that we tried. None of us experienced any nausea or other negative effects, but we where a little tired in the neck afterwards. Now we certainly had a very intense day with many attractions in a short period of time. This was nothing that bothered us while we were playing. The hygiene solution that they have, with cleaning every headset after each use feels fresh and practical. It’s probably a better solution than having some kind of disposable masks, which would also cost a little more.

If you are interested in Starbreeze, VR, theme parks or computer games in general, it’s an absolute must to visit VR Park Dubai if you are in Dubai. Most of course, never will go there, but do not worry if you live in Sweden at least: Enterspace will soon open on Sveavägen in Stockholm. 😉

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Stockaboo is a service for people that want to discuss shares and the financial market. So far we only have our service in Swedish and discussions about the Swedish markets, but remember the name Stockaboo. You will hear from us outside of Sweden in the future!