For many, very obvious and nauseating reasons, a Portal VR game isn’t likely to be a reality anytime soon. But this Oculus Quest clone scratches that itch quite nicely.
Cactus Cowboy Portal VR is a free VR puzzle game now available on SideQuest. It’s a sequel to Cactus Cowboyland VR (no, I can’t believe I’m writing these words either) and comes complete with dual-wielding portal revolvers and its very own GLADOS knock-off. Check out the opening 12 minutes below.
Clearly, Cactus Cowboy doesn’t have much concern for user comfort in VR, instead trading that in for more intense mechanics. Along with some basic platforming, you’ll be leaping into the unknown, occasionally meeting a fiery demise, avoiding being crushed to death and clambering up walls.
Impressively, placed portals reflect their destinations in real-time, meaning it’s possible to give yourself a wave with your weird cactus arms (though you can’t see the rest of your body). They don’t work quite as flawlessly as the genuine article; you can’t reach through a portal with one arm to grab an object, for example, but instead have to put your whole body through. Still, I’ve played the opening 15 minutes so far and the game does a good job of capturing — if never matching — Valve’s level of ingenious design (though I did get stumped on the puzzle right at the end of the video).
Developer Bernd L. says the game lasts about one to three hours based on your skill level. If you get stuck like I did, there’s a complete video guide here.
Valve itself once looked into making a Portal VR game, but said it didn’t get very far in that process. That said, the demo for Zulubo Productions’ Vertigo 2 gets slightly closer to the real thing with one awesome easter egg. That’s the best you’ll get for now.
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