With an Oculus Rift atop my head and an Oculus Touch controller in each hand, Wilson’s Heart suddenly put me inside a 1950s Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller. My virtual hands-on test drive of the macabre, black-and-white first-person spookfest began with each of my hands shackled to a rigging. I reached down and undid the bolts on each hand and then I was free to explore this mid-20th-century mental institution and wonder, “Where the hell did my heart go, and what on earth have the madmen here replaced it with?”
You navigate the hospital using an increasingly popular VR movement method: you look around, and when you see a silhouette of yourself appear, you press one of the Touch’s face buttons to teleport there. It’s an effective method of navigating the space in the absence of the Vive’s room-aware sensors, even if it requires a firm suspension of disbelief. I moved from hallway to room and back, stopping at one point in front of a mirror. Cleverly, you can crane your neck, lower your chin, and otherwise mug in front of the mirror, and Robert Wilson changes his facial expression according to the angle of your gaze. It’s a clever, immersive touch.