Pripyat, the city at the centre of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, has always been a place of morbid fascination for many. Some may have started scratching their heads about it after playing Shadow of Chernobyl. For many, Modern Warfare’s “Ghillies In The Mist” mission became a fondly remembered introduction to the ghost city, frozen in time. Now, with the power of VR, we can go there ourselves and satisfy that morbid curiosity like never before.
Dawid Biegun, PR Manager at developer The Farm 51 recently posted on the PlayStation blog, going into further detail on the Chernobyl VR Project. This title will be a strictly interactive and educational experience, filmed in live action with 360 degree and stereoscopic cameras. To help users better understand the 1986 tragedy, The Farm 51 have also included stories from those who lived and worked in Pripyat. They feel strongly that the exploratory / tour experience they want to deliver is only possible through the medium of VR. Stories activated in certain areas or by certain items will amplify the atmosphere and the user’s understanding.
The Farm 51 have worked passionately through trials and tribulations to make this VR experience a reality. They have made sure to scan the most famous areas of Chernobyl including the plant itself, the Azure swimming pool and the amusement park. More enticingly, we’ll also get the lesser known areas like the hospital, apartments and Primary School No 3. The tour will include rooms frozen in time, left as they were since evacuation day. Residents were informed they would be back soon. So many areas are literally frozen in time, untouched.
To film these areas, the team were in considerable danger for the duration. Geiger counters had to kept a close eye on in case of radiation hot spots. And one cameraman fell down a two meter hole! The Farm 51 promises a story around every corner and in every room. The fallout radius of Chernobyl power plant continues to fall into ruin. So it’s cool to think this VR tour may be an important historical document in a few decades time.
No specific release date or price yet. But the blog has stated “it’ll be available for PS VR in the near future”. Will you be returning to Chernobyl to uncover its secrets?