Video Game Urban Legend Polybius Coming Soon to PlayStation VR

Video Game Urban Legend Polybius Coming Soon to PlayStation VR

Next up, Jeff Minter will genetically engineer the Loch Ness monster from DNA extracted from a mosquito in amber.

Video games have given rise to no end of urban legends — and why not? After all, when one of the most influential games of all time gives rise to the myth that you can skip past a warp zone to find a "minus world" where you're trapped forever in an endless underwater trap and it turns out to be true, anything seems possible.

Some of these legends have been more fanciful than others, and perhaps the most extraordinary of these has concerned a game called Polybius. Supposedly released in a handful of arcades in the early ’80s, Polybius is said to have been a mind-bending game featuring visuals far ahead of its time, prone to causing headaches or other ill effects in the few people who played it before it inexplicably vanished. The popular rumor suggests it was a secret CIA mind-control experiment, or worse. And now, more than 30 years later, it's finally coming home to PlayStation VR:

Well, OK, not really. Llamasoft's Jeff Minter — he of endless iterations on Atari's Tempest, including Tempest 2000 and TxK — has latched onto the Polybius legend as the premise for his PSVR debut. Presumably it will be a shooter similar to Tempest, since that seems to be Minter's life-long obsession, but his love for trippy and eye-melting visuals should mesh nicely with the lore surrounding Polybius. Ideally, he'll play up the spooky mythos around the name by incorporating weird, unexpected elements a la Hideo Kojima's abortive P.T; but honestly, even a straight Tempest clone sounds like it would make for a pretty intense VR experience.

The one downside to Llamasoft's cheeky claim on the name Polybius: If this adaptation doesn't pan out, it means the legend will have been spoiled for anyone who'd like to take a swing at it themselves. Then again, who can say with certainty that Minter himself isn't some mass hallucination...?

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