The Lab

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The Lab
The lab1.jpg
Information
VR/AR VR
Developer Valve
Publisher Valve
Platform SteamVR
Device HTC Vive
Operating System Windows
Type Full Game
Genre Free to Play, Free to Play, VR, Action, First-Person
Input Device Tracked motion controllers
Play Area Standing, Room-Scale
Game Mode Single Player
Language English, French, German, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese-Brazil, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Swedish, Italian, Japanese
Review Overwhelmingly Positive
Release Date Apr 5, 2016
Price Free
App Store Steam
Infobox Updated 09/15/2016
The Lab is a VR App.

Review

Before I get too into all of this, I should say that this here is what could be as best described as an experiment on the extent that room-scale VR games could one day become. The Lab is a collection of small, yet replayable mini-games that makes use of the HTC Vive and is completely developed by Valve; all for the low-low price of completely free.

As previously mentioned, The Lab is a collection of a lot of little, mini-games that you can enjoy. Some of these games include defending a castle with a bow and arrow, knocking down structures with a catapult, and even playing with a cute and adorable mechanical dog. Each of these games do their best to reveal to you what VR can and will be in a number of years; and even at this early stage it’s looking good.

All of the mini-games are completely different from one another, so even if you have spent a couple of hours on just one game; immersing yourself into everything it has to other, when you decide to switch to something else you will be pleasantly surprised at the variation. What I find quite surprising, not only by the fact that each game is vastly different from each other, it’s the fact that each of these games has their own unique style of visuals and aesthetics. Even though one of them might go for a much more realistic experience for you to take part in; others, such as defending the castle are more aimed towards a silly, cartoony visual style, filled with bright and vibrant colours. So, not only does each of these games feel completely different from one another, they also look completely different from one another, allowing for different levels of immersion depending on what you’re playing.

You might have noticed that I did state that this game is a room-scale VR game, meaning that the ideal playing environment will be within a room with ample space around you, so you can play inside The Lab properly and without issue. The only downside to this is finding the space within your own home to play it properly and how the developers were originally intending. Some people might have their PC in a cramped corner of their room, so these collections of games aren’t going to be an easy thing to set up; and I’m pretty confident that I can say that no one truly enjoys moving their PC about the place, just to play a series of games. The counter-argument for this, however is the fact that you should go into this game, knowing that having ample room around you will be the best idea for your enjoyment and to avoid accidentally hitting your monitor or stubbing your toe on a piece of furniture you swear wasn’t there five minutes ago.

I’ve stated earlier that while the variety of mini-games that are thrown into this package is a lovely extra; this isn’t the type of game you spend hundreds of hours on. Valve created this with the full intention of having you play maybe 6-8 hours of gameplay, to allow the player the chance to sink their teeth into what VR can accomplish. So, with that, you should go into this game knowing that it is effectively a prelude into what VR can and will become, which is demonstrated with all of the VR games that have been released as of late. This collection is a taster of things to come, and it has managed to do it incredibly successfully, and despite the fact it is completely free to anyone who wants to play it, Valve have upheld its incredible quality.

Overall, if you’re jumping into VR for the very first time; I can’t imagine there would be any-other better way of starting than this. The Lab gives you the opportunity to see exactly what your new VR headset can do for you, all with a variety of games and visual styles to keep the enjoyment as high as it can possibly go. Obviously, The Lab hasn’t been developed as a game that you’re going to spend hours-upon-hours playing each and every day of the week, but as it can be considered a starter to your VR experience; I feel it’s done exactly that perfectly.

Description

Set in a pocket universe of Aperture Science, The Lab offers a wide range of ways to enjoy VR, all in one application.

Slingshot
Begin your career as a Calibration Trainee by recklessly destroying everything in the Aperture Storage Annex using the Core Calibration slingshot.

Longbow
Use your archery skills to defend your noble castle gate from a rampaging but adorable and equally noble horde of attackers.

Xortex
Are you a bad enough dude to become a Xortex ace? Relive the golden era of gaming -- only this time, it's all around you.

Postcards
Visit exotic, far-off locales from the comfort of your own head.

Human Medical Scan
Explore the intricate beauty of the human body through a highly detailed model created from a series of CT medical scans.

Solar System
Why watch shows about the vast majesty of space when you can jump in and see it for yourself? Have educational space-fun while putting Neil Degrasse-Tyson out of business.

Robot Repair
Can you repair a robot? Good, because Aperture Science's Human Diversity Outreach Program is now hiring.

Secret Shop
The fantasy equivalent of a twenty-four-hour convenience store is now open for business! Peruse artifacts, shop for familiars and cast a spell or two at Dota's Secret Shop!

Features

System Requirements

Windows

Minimum

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel® i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970, AMD Radeon™ R9 290 equivalent or better, Video Output: HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newer
  • Storage:

Setup Instructions

Images and Videos


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