God damn it, San Diego Comic-Con. We can handle being away from the collectible toys, the incredible panels, and even Wonder Woman herself. But jaeger pilot simulations? This in untoward, Comic-Con! Do you hear me? This is not toward!
To remind people that Pacific Rim is still a thing and possibly drum up some goodwill for the upcoming sequel and animated series, Legendary has brought an Oculus Rift-powered VR simulator, which places you inside the giant robot head of Yancy and Raleigh Becket’s jaeger at the beginning of the film. Your mission? To punch that Knifehead guy in his dumb monster face.
Unfortunately you also don’t get a drift compatible co-pilot to help you, which is practical (you know, since the drift doesn’t really exist), but also upsetting. Can you even imagine the meet-cutes they could have facilitated if they asked strangers to partner up? “Wow, you two are so close! How did you become friends?” “By canceling the apocalypse together. You wouldn’t understand.”
Angela Watercutter from Wired got to experience the simulation for herself, and here’s how she recounts it:
You’re put in the mech’s head, given a neural handshake, and thrown into battle. Look back, and you’ll see the guts of the massive apparatus you’re in. Look down, and you’ll see the Jaeger’s massive humming energy core beneath your moving feet. (“This,” you might say, “is the closest I may ever come to being Charlie Hunnam and/or fighting a kaiju.”) Oh, and when you look forward, you’re looking right into the eyes (or mouth, or whatever) of a massive kaiju. It’s more immersive than even seeing the film in 3-D Imax, and—let’s face it—that felt pretty freaking immersive.
If you can’t get to Comic-Con this weekend, though, then you can do what I did during a holiday vacation this year to recreate the feel of being in a Jaeger: get on a star-climber located in a cruise liner’s fitness center, put on the Pacific Rim theme song, and stare out at the ocean like you’re the one moving the ship in search of kaiju to smash. You could also just find a regular stair-climber anywhere and just imagine you’re in the ocean, though, since cruise tickets are also pretty expensive. But probably cheaper than flights to San Diego right now, am I right? *sob*