The Grand Theft Auto series has always had a certain detachment from reality that makes its trademark violence seem almost cartoony. With its over-the-top cast and obvious satire of famous brands and personages, playing a Grand Theft Auto title is like escaping to a fantasy world where the concept of subtlety was never discovered. But what if instead of a controller, you had to use your own two hands to steal cars and dispatch your enemies?
Developer Joseph Delgado has answered that question with an innovative mod that adds VR hand-tracking to the smash blockbuster Grand Theft Auto V. Writing about the mod on his personal blog he noted his discomfort with being inserted directly into the games cycle of violence. "I'm really not sure about this. I feel horrible about making this. You actually feel guilty," he wrote. "My mouth dropped the first time I shot someone in my GTA:V VR setup."
Grand Theft Auto V modders have been adding incredible stuff to the game since it's release, but adding a whole new control system is mind-blowing. The hand tracking is done with a Razer Hydra, and it's just one of the early examples of what we're going to be seeing from VR experiences in the coming years.
The resulting act, however, means that you feel vaguely responsible when you pull someone out of their car and gun them down in the middle of the street. Instead of being detached from the violence, it feels up close and personal, something both thrilling and mildly disturbing.
That said, I can definitely see how the act of having to replicate the actions you would to fire a real weapon makes gameplay more personal, and I can't wait to see how developers will be utilize this sort of VR mod for future games.