Anvio VR is designed to provide complete freedom of movement for the player. In our virtual worlds you can shoot, detonate, play football and do much more, all together with your friends. Our large play area and fully wireless system mean you don’t have to worry about tethers or running out of space, creating an incredible level of immersion. Erasing the line between the physical and virtual worlds, we aim to bring you an experience unlike any other.
I’ve experienced VR a couple of times but not for very long on any of those occasions and Anvio VR is a great introduction to what virtual reality can do. The London branch currently has 2 different game options – a zombie shoot em up called City Z or puzzle adventure game; Lost Sanctuary. I headed to West London last week with a couple other members of the Love Popups London community to try out the former.
It’s a post-apocalyptic city and to survive you need to reach the top of the building, on each floor is a power generator, hit the button to activate it and get your whole team into the green safety zone to progress to the next level but watch out, zombies about! Luckily for me you get unlimited ammo and a machine gun (you can swap to a single bullet shotgun if you’re feeling clever but my aim is totally not the one) with which to defend yourself and make it to the top alive.
The great thing about VR at Anvio is the space! You have a massive 2350 square foot room to traverse across which makes the experience much more fun and flexible than other games I’ve played where you have to use controllers to move around the virtual space. There’s a lot of kit to get into to give you this full body experience though, as well as your Oculus Rift headset and Zotac VR Go backpack to ensure you don’t run out of power tracking equipment is attached to your hands and feet, a headset is provided so you can communicate with you team and a replica gun with a proper trigger is used to shoot rather than an oddly shaped control pad. These make a real difference to the immersiveness of the game.
Obviously VR isn’t quite up to the standard of appearing like real life but my legs were definitely shaking with vertigo when looking out over the edge of the building and crossing a ledge even though I knew that I was safe and absolutely nothing could or would happen to me and I still took several steps back when zombies were attacking me even though I knew nothing was going to physically touch me. It’s such a wonderful experience even if it is a bit of a mindfuck at the same time.
The staff were all super enthusiastic and helpful ensure that we knew what to do in order to stay safe (after all, you are essentially blindfolded and at their mercy! I had an incredible time and really want to return to try the other game. The Whiteley’s shopping mall is due to close at the end of the year so you don’t have long to pop down and check Anvio out at their current location (the final bookable date on the site is the 23rd December) but the good news is that they are seeking new premises and will be back with more games in the future.
The only negative I have to say about the experience is the cost. I was there as a guest of Love Popups London but the full price is between £110 and £180 per session for up to 4 players for half an hour of game play which seems quite high to me. I understand the reason, the tech isn’t cheap, but it still feels like a lot when I can have several hours entertainment seeing a theatre show for the same price or less.