Virtual reality demo Back to Dinosaur Island is free right now on Steam

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The studio behind the smash-hit Crysis series has made its first virtual reality demo available on Steam for free.

Crytek’s demo is called Back to Dinosaur Island, and you can watch/play it in 2D as you would any normal videogame, or experience it in virtual reality by strapping an Oculus Rift VR headset to your noggin.

Since Crytek is known for its graphics (and less for any actual substance to their games, sorry Crysis), the demo looks incredible. Or, at least, the video of the demo released alongside the game does – since we don’t have an Oculus Rift headset in the office, we don’t know for sure how good it looks in VR.

To really see what Crytek is trying to achieve you’ll need a DK2 Oculus Rift headset, and hardware powerful enough to run the demo at the recommended settings. On Back to Dinosaur Island’s Steam page, Crytek very emphatically – yet politely – requests downloaders to make sure their systems are powerful enough to run the demo as it is intended to be experienced.

Doing that, though, requires a GTX 980 or a Radeon R9 290 graphics card, 16GB of RAM and a 64-bit operating system. Yikes. That’s pretty steep, as requirements go.

Just to be clear, this is not a game in the sense that it’ll let you do anything – it’s simply a three-minute demo that shows off the possibilities of virtual reality and just how far Crytek has come with its CryEngine tech, all seen from the perspective of what appears to be a dinosaur egg.

It’s pretty darn impressive even without a VR headset, especially when the T-Rex shows up. Take a look for yourself:

There’s no saying what Crytek is going to do with the demo; they may turn it into a full game at some stage and fulfil the potential of their dinosaur game concept, X-Isle, that was first shown off back in 1999, but for now all we have is a demo. A very, very impressive demo, so here’s hoping it goes somewhere.

[Source – Steam]

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.