Pre-E3 2019: Oculus wants you to paddle a stealth VR kayak—and it’s awesome

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Are you telling me you don't pack remote-detonation explosives, a dozen clips full of bullets, and a silenced pistol on <em>your</em> family kayak trip? <em>Phantom: Covert Ops</em>, a VR stealth game coming later this year to Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift, would like to have a word with your camping-trip organizer.

Enlarge / Are you telling me you don’t pack remote-detonation explosives, a dozen clips full of bullets, and a silenced pistol on your family kayak trip? Phantom: Covert Ops, a VR stealth game coming later this year to Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift, would like to have a word with your camping-trip organizer. (credit: Oculus Studios / nDreams)

SANTA MONICA, California—I could not stop giggling.

I had just watched a pitch for a new single-player stealth video game from Oculus Studios, titled Phantom: Covert Ops, and was intrigued. The video looked like an interesting game’s opening sequence, in which players slip into a defended terrorist compound by paddling beneath its steel belly in a very quiet kayak. That’s a cool, REI-style way to begin a VR version of Metal Gear Solid, I thought. I was sure we’d soon see a hero hop onto land and get down to VR-espionage business.

Then the 30-second video ended, and a producer for the game gestured to a series of Oculus Quest demo stations while talking at length about this “military kayak” system and how it enabled “free and comfortable exploration” within the confines of VR.

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