Truth be told VR fans have probably visited Mars by now; it’s the setting for a bunch of apps. Mars 2030 looks like one of the more polished experiences to feature the red planet, though, and it’s coming soon.
Developer Fusion Media Group this week announced that Mars 2030 will be landing on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR (PSVR) in July, with non-VR versions also available on both PC and PS4 too. Built with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, the app’s take on Mars was assembled using real-world orbital satellite data, allowing users to explore 15 square miles of the planet’s surface. The result is something that actually looks like Mars, arriving years before humans finally make their first landing on the real thing.
There players will be able to study the planet’s geology, explore terrain like lava tubes and frozen lakes, and see the weather conditions that take place on Mars. You’ll also be able to drive vehicles and interact with a robotic companion as you collect samples. The game uses position-tracked controllers like Oculus Touch, the Vive wands, and PlayStation Move.
We did get to see an early build of Mars 2030 at last year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest but, despite the impressive visuals, it was lacking in features at the time. Hopefully Fusion Media has made some big advances over the past year, as this one has some real potential to be memorable. Whatever happens, it’s almost certainly going to be better than The Martian VR. Please god let it be better than The Martian VR.