As consumer virtual reality headsets hit the shelves, experiences that were once limited to film festivals and tech shows are becoming at least a little bit more widely available. And the latest to do so is a tie-in project for Ridley Scott’s 2015 film The Martian, which will appear tomorrow on the HTC Vive and Sony’s PlayStation VR.
The Martian VR Experience is executive produced by Scott and directed by Maleficent’s Robert Stromberg. It’s an interactive take on The Martian that lets players inhabit protagonist Mark Watney during specific scenes from the film, doing things like driving a Mars rover and flying in zero gravity. We tried (and thoroughly enjoyed) an early version at this year’s CES, and it later appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, among other places. Now, it’s selling for $19.99 — a price roughly on par with other VR experiences.
This project is a more highly evolved version of the movie tie-ins that are common in VR, including a video experience for the Reese Witherspoon film Wild — the first title from the Fox Innovation Lab, one of the companies behind The Martian VR Experience. It’s also one of several space-themed virtual reality experiences, including the intense zero gravity simulator Adrift and the NASA-backed Mars 2030.