If someone asked you, “How would you like to walk around a dark room, blindfolded with a futuristic backpack on for 15 minutes”, what would you say?

No? Let me rephrase that. How would you like to explore a world where up is down and down is up, where the laws of physics are optional, where flying whales and parrot rays have replaced the birds and glowing blue orbs guide you ultimately to an ancient alien temple?

Zero Latency lets you do exactly that - right in the middle of town! It's described as a free roam, multiplayer, virtual reality gaming arena. Having never tried VR before, let alone Free Roam VR, none of us knew quite what to expect.

We arrived at the site at intu Victoria Centre. The black walls with the blue and white lights really did make us feel as if we were stepping into the future (and I suppose, in a way, we were).

On the TV screens in the reception area we got our first glimpse of what we were about to embark upon. There we saw two people creeping around in an empty room, aiming their plastic guns at invisible enemies. Very strange.

After signing in at reception and picking our on-screen names, we made our way to the “donning area”. Here we were given a quick safety brief followed by an overview of “Engineerium”, the (gun free) game we were about to play.

We were then introduced to the high tech equipment. This consisted of a back pack, a VR head-set, headphones, and a mic. The back pack carried the tracking equipment and the battery, the headphone and mic allowed you to talk to your friends while in the game, and the headset acted as our one-way ticket into the new world.

We stepped into the gaming arena and prepared for take off.

Entering the game was a very strange experience. We pulled down our visors and the world transformed; the room looked electric, my friends were blue. It felt as if we really had been coded into the inside of a game.

After finding our designated portals, we were transported. We materialised into the new world; a world suspended high above the sea. I was alone. Alone on a tiny platform.

“This feels so real!” I heard through my headphones. I looked to my left and there were my friends! Only they didn’t look like my friends any more, they were now Aztec looking alien robot people. We were still on separate platforms.

I had to remind myself that in reality I was still standing, feet firmly on the ground, in a dark room in Nottingham. It took me a few seconds to come to terms with the fact that no matter how hard I tried I could not fall off the platform.

I took my first step. As it did, sections of path floated up from below me and positioned themselves to form a bridge. Off we went to explore this new planet.

The game takes you and your friends on a topsy-turvy tour through the virtual world, leading you up vertical walls and over corkscrewing bridges. Past purple chickens and onto moving platforms.

The aim is simple, collect all the orbs and complete the puzzle. The more steps you take, the more points you earn.

If blue orbs and purple chickens aren’t your thing, you could always opt for the more action packed zombie shooting games. Considering the fact that my friend was stopped in her tracks by an augmented pink frog, I think we chose the right game for us.

Overall, Zero Latency offers (quite literally) an out-of-this-world experience and all from the convenience and comfort of intu Victoria Centre. With plenty of games to choose from, I’d highly recommend it to anyone whose interest is even slightly piqued by the world of VR. What are you waiting for?

This blog was written by guest writer for Visit Nottinghamshire, Alice Calvert.

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