The biggest contrast between G-Star and a western show like Gamescom, or indeed between eastern and western developers generally, can be found in the attitude towards VR.

I've spoken to several developers from the UK, the US, and continental Europe who are gaily betting the farm on VR, even expanding their studios to create content for this brave new technology, despite the fact that it has no record of commercial success whatsoever.

In Korea, however (and elsewhere in Asia, anecdotally) developers are generally being more cautious, with the result that there wasn't much to see at G-Star.

I had a go on a couple of polished VR tech demos (movement but no gameplay), played a basic but enjoyable VR Formula One game, and endured a terrifying VR rollercoaster ride on a moving mechanical chair, but actual games were relatively hard to come by.

I'll start with the most obvious. Sony had a booth in the consumer hall showcasing, among other things, its forthcoming PlayStation VR headset. The queues were enormous, but I somehow managed to convince the ttendees to let me into the VIP area, where I played the famous London Heist demo.

They wouldn't let me take a photo inside the booth so here the view from inside it

We've written about London Heist before, so I won't go into too much detail, except to say that I was probably better than Jake at it. Read his detailed account here.

Nvidia also had a large booth in the consumer area with dedicated cubicles for Vive and Oculus demonstrations running on its GPU hardware.

However, we've written extensively about both platforms before so I'll skip these too (note: this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I had been carousing until 6am and missed my hard-won 10am appointment. Ahem.)


Instead, I'll tell you about some of the more interest indie-developed games I came across, starting with Dim Light, which was among the games on display at the BIC indie games showcase area.

The surprising thing about VR development for me is that not all of the games being made are first-person. Dim Light for Samsung's Gear VR gives you a bird's eye view of a dark room littered with iron bed frames and other furniture. Your gaze is a beam of light, casting angular shadows, and with the gamepad you steer a line of disembodied shoe prints.

The aim is simply to find and use the door in each room. I steered my way through a three of four rooms before a ghoulish figure lurched out of the darkness and killed me. It was an inventive, creepy experience, and if you want to try it for yourself you can get the non-VR version for Android now (£1.49). A Steam version has also been greenlit.

Back in the B2B booth, I had a go an on altogether friendlier game called James's Legacy, a cute, blocky VR take on Animal Crossing in which you have to wander around on a little galaxy of planets solving puzzles and completing tasks for NPCs.

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Like Dim Light, it gives you a bird's eye view of the action rather than a first-person perspective. It's been in development for a long time and it looks perfectly adorable, but the most interesting thing about the experience was the fact that I was able to directly compare the Gear VR and Oculus versions, which were side by side on the booth.

Surprisingly, the Gear VR version actually looks a lot better, and swapping from that one to the Oculus version brings the latter device's pixelly display into sharp relief. The Gear VR version also runs smoothly, which can't always be said for VR games running on a phone.

However, it loses out to the Oculus version in terms of the all important body tracking. By now we've grown accustomed to being able to lean in and examines features of our virtual worlds in detail. When you reflexively try this in James's Legacy the world seems to slide disconcertingly away from you, as if coy.

The final VR game I played was the weakest by far. D3 (or Deadly Dangerous Dash) was a third person tediously generic cyberpunk Minion Rush-esque auto-runner in which you have to collect glowing orbs and duck and jump and change lanes and stay awake.

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It's not a bad game exactly, but there's no point in playing it with a VR headset on, as you have to look intently forwards at all times. As such, the existence of a rich 3D world all around you is just an annoying distraction.

One of the pleasing discoveries I've made over the last year or two of playing VR games at shows is that they don't have to be first-person shooters. In the end, your VR headset won't be a medium for playing a particular kind of game – it will be a device that makes ALL games more immersive.

At G-Star I discovered that this isn't necessarily true of third-person into-the-screen auto-runners.

Read about the games I saw in the B2C area
Read about the games I saw in the BIC indie games showcase area
Read about the games I saw in the B2B area (coming soon!)