2016 was the year of Virtual Reality with the releases of the best iterations of the tech thus far. Out of the plethora of VR headsets that have been released, three are among the heavy hitters. HTC, Oculus and Sony put out mid to high end full on VR headsets that show the promise that the world of immersion could be. At the same time, immersion is something that has happened in games for a long time.
Maybe, because I’m a musician, audio immersion is one of my favorite experiences. One game that captured my ears and heart was last year’s ABZU for PS4. Once I put on a pair of headphones, I was transported into this new underwater canvas that was one of the best mix of gorgeous visuals with a score that perfectly meshes the world into a true immersive experience.
You may be asking yourself, what all this has to do with the Kor-FX. The answer is simple. It has everything to do with it because the key word here is “Immersion”. I’ve always been a fan of immersive experiences dating back to my childhood days of going to Disneyworld. The idea of having some type of physical experience at home seemed unlikely for a long time.
Now, technology has become a beast, that is forever evolving and allowing creators to design tech, that at times, were only seen in movies. Which is what brings us to the KOR-FX 4DFX Haptic Gaming Vest. This vest is from a company called Immerz that utilized Kickstarter to gain interest and support back in 2014. The company was successful in getting the KOR-FX the support it needed from over 1200 backers.
So fast forward to late 2016. I come across a Facebook suggested site for KOR-FX and was immediately interested. Being an owner of the PlayStation VR, I figured the vest would complement the immersive experience. I spent a majority of my time with the KOR-FX playing Resident Evil 7 back in January because why wouldn’t you want to get the crap scared out of you, not only from what you see and hear, but also feel.
To take my crazy immersion to the next level, I added the Resident Evil 4D candle. That’s a whole other level of immersion that I’ll be publishing a video for on the Gamer X Vault YouTube channel soon.
Let’s talk a little about what’s in the box. It’s a pretty straight forward package as you are given the vest, the wireless dongle, and some wires you will need to set it up. A couple things missing from the box, were required batteries and instructions on how to set it up. On the plus side, they make up for the lack of instructions with a note directing you to the company’s website where they have a video tutorial on how to set it up.
The lack of batteries (4x AA) in the box is a bummer but not a deal breaker. The setup, even with the video, can be a pain, depending on your entertainment center layout. For me, getting to certain ports almost had me give up. Once you have it all configured and paired, you should have no problems when coming back to it.
One of the biggest drawbacks for me with the vest overall, isn’t due to the product but my own body. I have a larger than usual chest for a man and it makes wearing the vest a bit uncomfortable. It’s short in design to begin with, so it makes me feel like “Fat guy in a little coat”. Don’t get me wrong, the vest works as intended, despite my bulky figure.
Let’s move on and talk about the functionality. I feel that even though the KOR-FX can be used with essentially any game, the real enjoyment for me was when using it with the PSVR. The haptic feedback isn’t intense so, if you’re expecting your chest to get tight when you get shot or attacked in general, this isn’t the tech for you. The feedback is more on the light side, but the intensity can be increased by using the buttons built into the vest itself.
The haptic feedback you experience is based off the audio from the game you’re playing. A recommendation for getting the best out of the KOR-FX vest is to play games that are shooters or survival horror. The reason is, since the games audio source provides when you feel the feedback, you want to avoid dialog heavy games as those frequencies will come through and may become a nuisance.
The original goal with my impression coverage was to do a Live Stream, while playing Resident Evil 7 in PSVR, while wearing the vest. That didn’t work out the way I intended and caused a major frustration due to a bad performing network in my home. At the end of the day, this is a piece of hardware that needs to be experienced in order to really get a grasp of how it works. The experience will vary from game to game and user to user, but the KOR-FX does what it sets out to accomplish.
Even though the KOR-FX has been available since 2014, it still works fairly well and if the right Gaming enthusiasts give it a chance, they won’t regret it. The KOR-FX is currently available online on their website with a price drop. You can snag your own vest for $99 bucks at http://korfx.com/