We tried the space experience “Eclipse” by Inoui, a space adventure in virtual reality developed during 1 year by Backlight Studio. On their website, Inoui claims to offer “the best of the virtual reality game in Lille”. Well, we will not make suspense for nothing : we can only agree with them !
Outside, the local of Inoui is not very different from a corporate office, with its small facade nestled between a restaurant and a department store. But hey, even 1 square meter could be enough to live a great virtual reality experience ! Just entered, the atmosphere changes radically : large clean room, neons… Time to have a drink with friends, to make bets on what awaits us, to sign a discharge (not really necessary for the scenario that we tested, but all the entertainment activities do it) and we are waved. Lets’ go !
We prepare to go into space
Two employees of Inoui tell us briefly the scenario that awaits us : you wake up from your cryogenic sleep aboard the spaceship Eclipse 2, in the distant Carthage 5 system. Your mission : to rescue the crew of the spaceship Eclipse 1, who do not respond since a long time… well, if there are still survivors.
We are equipped with sensors, a vest and a virtual reality helmet, it only takes a few minutes. The helmets are on, then we are guided by the hand to a large empty room, two people per room.
The pressure is rising
First shock : to see a room in virtual reality, even if this room is very simple, and especially to hear and see your friends costumed as astronauts of the future (one is in the same room and the others are in the room next door). The level of detail of the graphics, the fluidity of the movements and the comfort are breathtaking. We observe each other, we test different movements, we have fun… It has not even started yet and it’s already total euphoria!
The adventure begins… and what an adventure
Everyone is ready, the Eclipse experience is launched by the Inoui team. A short virtual briefing to get in the mood and we are cryogenized for a few virtuals years before waking up in a small room of the spaceship Eclipse 2. This room is quite simple compared to the incredible ones that follow, but it is already beautiful and we enjoy every detail !
You move physically in the large room without any constraint other than the walls, but no risk of bumping you unless you do it on purpose. Part of the room is a large vibrating stage, which provides hyper-realistic sensations at different stages of the scenario. Here, no ventilation or heating as in some 4D experiments, but the visual and sound immersion is so strong that you will be surprised to feel the heat of the sun or the freshness of the oxygen garden.
The adventure will take you to different floors of the spaceships, and even outside. Visually, everything is perfect and just admiring space is absolutely magical for any space enthusiast. Performing simple actions like grabbing objects in zero gravity provides incredible sensations, as if you were really there !
Your quest will consist of puzzles, very diverse manipulations and collaboration will be essential to give you a (small) chance to win. Because we must say that the first time you live this experience, you spend more time admiring the scenery and frantically touch everything than collaborate calmly. This may be an explanation of the low success rate of the mission : just over 50% despite the vocal advice given by the Inoui team when you are blocked.
The first day of the rest of your life as a space enthusiast
After 35 minutes, it’s over… We do not want to leave! The return to Earth is a bit difficult. Being able to touch other people’s shoulder without getting through is a bit disturbing. And we do not stop talking about what we have lived and felt, all the evening, and even the next day… The incredible freedom that virtual reality brought us has deceived our brain, as when you wake up believing very strongly that the dream you have just made was real, and that it takes a little time before you really wake up.
The Eclipse experience by Inoui, that’s it : taste new and addictive sensations, which make you want to start again as soon as possible. Inoui offers other adventures in virtual reality : hunting zombies, treasure hunt like Indiana Jones or frightening adventure in space. So, what do we try this week-end my friends ?
6 Rue de l’Égalité
59155 Faches-Thumesnil, France