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Killer Aliens Are Pretty Darn Scary in Virtual Reality (Videos)

Oculus Rift owners find an easy way to play Alien: Isolation in VR.

Videos of people reacting to horror videogames are a dime a dozen in the world of “Let’s Play” videos online — because, let’s be honest, watching people get scared is pretty funny.

This week, though, the genre got kicked up a notch thanks to virtual reality. Videos of people wearing the Oculus Rift while playing the new game Alien: Isolation, based on Ridley Scott’s 1979 film “Alien,” have begun to pop up on YouTube.

How is this possible, you might ask, when a consumer launch date for the Rift hasn’t even been announced? Officially, it isn’t.

Alien: Isolation’s developers, a British studio called Creative Assembly, demoed a small portion of the game at the Oculus booth at this year’s E3 gaming expo, to much acclaim. At the time, though, they said this was just a proof of concept and that the game would not launch with Oculus support.

In the end, it appears the whole game is playable in virtual reality, requiring only a small and easy change to one file in the folder for the PC version of the game. Anyone with that version and a developer prototype of the Rift, including YouTube’s most-subscribed channel PewDiePie, has been able to take the big-budget game for a spin in VR.

In the main game, players assume the role of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Sigourney Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley, and are pursued around a retro-futuristic space station by the titular Alien. Early reports say that the already-scary game is even more frightening in VR, and a popular armchair theory is that it’s only a matter of time until a VR horror game manages to literally scare someone to death.

Until then, though, it’s still funny.

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