War Remains: An unforgettable VR experience on the Western Front of WWI
Dan Carlin narrates an immersive VR ride through WWI trenches and skies.
From developer, Flight School Studio, and publisher, MWM Interactive, comes War Remains: Dan Carlin Presents an Immersive Memory. It's an unforgettable history lesson and a horrific glimpse into life on the Western Front during the First World War. Whether you're a long-time history buff or have only heard the name Passchendaele in passing, this VR experience is worth your time, if you can bear it. Here's what you need to know.
History through VR
Take an unforgettable VR trip back to Passchendaele 1917 in this immersive history lesson narrated by Dan Carlin.
This is not a game
Growing up Canadian, I'm no stranger to the First World War and the role my native country played. There are names of locations in France and Belgium that ring out in my head whenever the period of history is recalled. One of them is Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres), where more than an estimated 500,000 casualties occurred over the course of fewer than four months. Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, and the German Empire all participated in this horrific conflict that ultimately achieved nothing.
The fertile land and careful drainage of the Flanders region had long been destroyed by millions of artillery shells, resulting in a landscape that more closely resembled the moon. That is, if the moon was covered in corpses, deep, sucking mud, chlorine gas, and worse. Seeing still photos and shaky, colorless video of some WWI battle is one thing, but what about being transported back in time to sit and watch it happen in real-time?
War Remains is not a game. It's an immersive experience intended for mature audiences. It's loud. It's brutal. It's informative. Dan Carlin, the host of the incredible Hardcore History podcast, narrates here, moving from growl to near-whisper in his usual style.
I've read plenty of history books, but that doesn't mean War Remains doesn't have something to offer. Never before have I been perched in an observation balloon above a battlefield. Never before have I been in a trench while soldiers go over the top, only to be mowed down by modern machine guns never before experienced in warfare. And never before have I sheltered myself in a bunker while drumfire artillery rolls overhead, shaking the rough-cut ceiling above me and knocking out the lamps. Whether you're a newcomer to or a scholar of WWI history, War Remains should be experienced.
Some things to consider
War Remains doesn't sugar-coat anything, and it is full of disturbing scenes and situations. Do not go in expecting a watered-down version of events. VR makes everything a lot more immersive, so those sensitive to violence or loud noises should likely steer clear. Carlin has this to say about the VR aspect:
The experience lasts just more than 12 minutes from start to finish. I wish it would have gone on just a bit longer, though I'm sure some will find the length is just right. At only about $5, it's still a high-quality experience that showcases the power of storytelling in VR.
It officially works with Rift, Vive, and Index platforms, so it should also work with Windows Mixed Reality through Steam. It can be experienced sitting or standing. There's no input required from motion controllers after a trigger pull to start the show; this is an on-rails showcase. I recommend using the best headphones you have available to get the best effect. Skywalker Sound did something great here, and the built-in speakers on something like the Rift S just don't do it justice.
History through VR
Take an unforgettable VR trip back to Passchendaele 1917 in this interactive history lesson narrated by Dan Carlin.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.