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Do We Really Need a Groundhog Day Virtual Reality Game?

Not even Ned Ryerson can get me excited about this game.

Comedy fans know that February 2nd belongs to one perfect film: the Harold Ramis comedy classic Groundhog Day. Released in 1993, the film stars Bill Murray as jaded Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors, who is sent to Punxsutawney to report on the titular holiday. Phil, who is joined by his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell), is dismissive of the small town and their tradition, until he wakes up the next morning to find himself reliving Groundhog Day every single day.

Over the course of the film, Phil stumbles towards enlightenment and realizes that he’s been given the opportunity to be a good person. He sets out to right the wrongs of his previous incarnations and along the way finds love with Rita. The movie soon became iconic for its humor and its heart, earning its status as a beloved comedy. The Groundhog Day set-up has since been copied into the horror genre with Happy Death Day, the action thriller Edge of Tomorrow, and plays into the premise of Netflix’s new series Russian Doll. It even had new life as a Broadway musical.

Now, Groundhog Day is exploring an all new medium: virtual reality. Sony has released a teaser trailer for Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son, a new Sony Pictures virtual reality game developed by Tequila Works and available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR.

The Playstation synopsis reads: “In Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son, you’ll play the charming but arrogant Phil Connors Jr., who grew up in the shadow of his father — a man who spent a lifetime repeating a single day until he had made it perfect. But for Phil Jr., today is the worst day of his life. He’s trapped back home in Punxsutawney, the small town he thought he’d escaped — where he can’t even get a decent cappuccino — and he’s going to have to repeat the day over and over until he learns the true value of friends and family.”

Out of all the films to be adapted to a VR platform, Groundhog Day seems the least suited and inspired. I mean, is anyone really clamoring for a virtual reality rendition of Punxsutawney, PA? There are surely more interesting landscapes to explore. Furthermore, the game leaves out what is arguably the most important aspect of the film: Bill Murray.

There simply is no Groundhog Day without Murray and Phil Connors, and wedging his copycat son in there does little to entice me as a player. Sorry Sony, but not even a VR Stanley Tobolowsky can get me on board with this.

(via Ars Technica, image: Columbia Pictures)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.