Aboard The Cerberus: Virtual Tour

3-star rating
Education, Free, History
Comfortable, Roomscale, Stationary

Come aboard the HMVS Cerberus, an Australian naval vessel that served the country between 1871 and 1924. Fitted with twin rotating gun turrets and the first British warship to be propelled by steam, this ship was tasked with patrolling the southwest coast of Australia for her entire lifespan. Basing a VR experience on a warship that never saw any action or other notable event is something of a bafflement, but the experience does offer insight into what it took to operate a piece of late nineteenth century naval engineering.

Aboard The Cerberus is predominantly a hands-off experience, a 35 minute presentation that takes part in key positions around the ship with brief moments where you'll need to shovel some coal or winch a gun to continue. The interactive elements might add some fun for younger audiences and the script does provide meaningful enlightenment, but the story is told at slow pace that it struggles to engage. Graphics are uninspired for a 2022 experience, but they do illustrate enough detail to be educational.

Colorful but basic visuals for a modern VR experience.

Though this is mostly a stationary experience you'll need to be standing to see whats going on around you. Poor camera placement makes it difficult to enjoy as a seated experience, and the lack of snap-turning support is unforgivable for a modern VR production.

Overall Aboard The Cerebus is underwhelming in both subject and presentation. The basic interactive features and the limited viewing positions don't make for a compelling virtual reality experience, and if you're interested in the subject matter we honestly think you'd be more comfortable with the static YouTube playthrough that we've embedded below. Also, for an app that hopes to educate we were disappointed that the production team didn't seem to know the difference between the words naval and navel in the credits sequence.

Shoveling coal in the belly of the ship.

Revisit any chapter at your leisure.

✅ Detailed storyline with educational content.
❌ Slow presentation that's hard to engage with.
❌ Basic VR interactions don't add much value.
❌ Stationary but not suitable for seated experiences.

• YouTube: Full 35 minute experience (official site).
• Wikipedia: HMVS Cerberus
• Languages: English
• Facebook: Comment on this article

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