GDC 2019 Hands-On: Traffic Cop VR is Delightful

Monday, March 25th, 2019

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Traffic Cop VR | Logo

Publisher: Yes Productions
Playform(s): HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
Release Date: May 28th, 2018
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Set in the 1950’s, Traffic Cop VR is a game that shows the potential of VR as a game that makes what would be ordinarily a quite boring job fun to play as a VR experience.

The concept behind Traffic Cop VR is simple: You play as a traffic cop at a four-way two lane intersection who has to direct the flow of traffic. The controls are fairly simple: click the car as it pulls up to the intersection, look to see what direction it wants to go (to the left or right if the respective blinker is on or straight if no blinker), and then click the correct other lane for the vehicle to turn into.

What starts out as a simple point-and-click game quickly turns into a frantic VR title. Where there are only one or two cars to direct at first becomes numerous vehicles heading from multiple directions at once that have to be prioritized to go one after another in a way 1) to avoid crashes or 2) before the driver becomes so impatient that they speed through the intersection without waiting. This quickly makes Traffic Cop VR a time management and critical thinking exercise, and one that (again, much like Job Simulator) turns what would be a mundane real-life job into a fun VR experience. I found myself absorbed into this game, directing traffic left and right with growing comfort as I was frantically trying to avoid car crashes and angry drivers. Traffic direction is not all you’re doing though: between rounds in Traffic Cop VR, a bonus stage pops up that has the player shoot aliens (using a ray gun), bird targets (using a sling shot), and more. The bonus stages were fun as an occasional diversion, though I found myself enjoying the main traffic-directing game more.

Traffic Cop VR | Navigating Traffic

The gameplay mechanics of Traffic Cop VR are deceptively simple: Point at the vehicle and then point at the lane that the vehicle wants to go, and the vehicle will then go. Directing traffic in such a way to prevent crashes and get everyone going through turns out to be incredibly complex and fun. (Images courtesy of Yes Productions).

Traffic Cop VR | Navigating Traffic

There are a lot of 1950’s references in the intersection where Traffic Cop VR takes place, such as American Graffiti (with Mel’s Diner) to Psycho (Bait’s Motel) that players should look out for. The VR framerates also hold up well without a stutter on the Oculus Rift (which is what I played on), and I did not experience VR sickness at all, even with having to whip around multiple times to target the correct lane for a vehicle to drive into.

Traffic Cop VR | Bonus Games

In between traffic-directing rounds in Traffic Cop VR, there are bonus rounds to be played. I was only to experience the Aliens and the Birds bonus rounds during my brief demo of the game. (Image courtesy of Yes Productions).

In short, Traffic Cop VR is an experience that could only truly work in VR, and I am happy that I had an opportunity to experience it at The Mix at GDC 2019. I just wish that this game was out now for PSVR, so I could put my friends in a pair of law enforcement shoes to direct traffic.



What do you think of Traffic Cop VR? Have you picked it up yet?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

Likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. And video games. Cannot forget those video games. Anime too. Should not forget that either.