Sometimes promotion for a videogame can go too far, becoming overwrought and vastly inflating the value of what it is promoting. Other times it can be subtle, unique, maybe even truly interesting, and draw in a new audience that might not have otherwise have cared. Then there's the Wargaming approach, which seems to be: "make something that doesn't promote any of our games, purely because we can."

Thus, Virtually Inside Warships was born: a virtual, 360-degree video tour of the HMS Cavalier, made with virtual reality headsets in mind, but the kind of thing you can just as easily watch on a smartphone, tablet, or even (with some cumbersome mouse-swiping) your browser. It is a complex technical undertaking, requiring much preparation, technical know-how, and traditional documentary-making chops—and, if you didn't already know ahead of time, there's almost no indication that it was made by a gaming company.

This isn't uncharted territory for the Minsk-based studio, which is best known for developing the game World of Tanks. Its first VR outing was Virtually Inside Tanks, and it followed that with a 360-degree 1941 battle re-enactment, a neat proof-of-concept for where the studio wants its VR ambitions to end up. But Virtually Inside Warships sees a number of improvements to the technology used, including a far more experienced production team, and a level of ambition I've yet to see in any VR or 360-degree film to date.

Read 36 remaining paragraphs | Comments