The real appeal of monster movies like Godzilla is that they let you experience what it would be like to be a giant rage-filled monster stomping around a big city. But instead of just sitting in a theatre as a witness to the rampage, a new virtual reality experience lets you experience it firsthand — minus all the destruction.
City VR, developed by Amber Garage and compatible with the HTC Vive hardware, draws on satellite and drone-captured imagery of buildings and topographical data to turn cities into VR playgrounds. At release only San Francisco is available, including all of its skyscrapers, landmarks and monuments, but Chicago and New York will also eventually be explorable as additional downloadable content.
Users can shrink themselves for a more realistic walkthrough of the city, or grow taller than a skyscraper if they just want to feel grandiose and tower over the imaginary, cowering citizens. Various buildings can also be virtually touched using the HTC Vive’s controller.
Who knows, after spending a few hours walking around you might actually feel some sympathy for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, once you’ve experienced what it’s like to feel so out of place.