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Exploring Watch Dogs’ Chicago map in REAL VR is an absolute treat for the eyes

I love a spot of virtual tourism, me. During the pandemic, I would scratch my travelling itches with some nice big sessions on Google Earth VR, where I would retrace my steps from holidays of old or explore new places I’ve always wanted to go.

But those little imaginary expeditions pale in comparison to being able to actually wander around fully realised virtual worlds as a tourist, which is basically exactly what I did in this week’s VR Corner thanks to a brand new update for Luke Ross’ REAL VR mod. By the way, REAL stands for ‘Reality Enhancement Augmentation Layer’ if you’ve ever wondered!

I’ve featured plenty of Luke’s mods on VR Corner before, but my favourite ones of his are always the ones with open-worlds that feel almost like real places. Thanks to the level of detail in the Chicago map that Ubisoft built for it’s open-world hack-em-up, Watch Dogs, it’s easy to imagine that you’re really there. There’s so much variety to the environments and buildings and so many lovely little details for you to lean towards and inspect. These range from the first person interiors of the game’s cars, through to some of the most delicious looking muffins I’ve ever seen and even Aidan Pearce’s teeth!


I really shouldn’t have recorded this episode on an empty stomach…

Luke’s R.E.A.L. VR mod for Watch Dogs can be found on his Patreon page and as always it’s incredibly simple to install and get running (it has to be if I’m able to do it!). There are a few wonky cutscenes here and there and, as you’ll see in my video, sometimes the light sources can be a bit bright, but in general driving around Chicago in a lovely sports car and then getting out to explore the scenery up close any personal is just so much fun!

Once you’re in there, bar a few UI issues, it really does feel like the game was made for VR and honestly, it kind of makes me sad that it wasn’t. Ubisoft has created so many amazing recreations of cities from the past, present and even the future over the years like, say, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s London. Many of these are now just locked away on discs, gathering dust on people’s shelves after new console generations have come in to pull players away from them. What Luke Ross is doing here then is freeing those worlds and giving VR owners the opportunity to explore and enjoy them all over again (or for the first time) in brand new ways. And you can watch me doing just that in the video above!

Alternatively you can watch the YouTube version here!Watch on YouTube

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