Today, the National Football League (opens in new tab), the National Football League Players Association, and StatusPRO, Inc. announced the launch of NFL PRO ERA (opens in new tab), a VR football experience. I recently got to play it at a special pre-launch event. The first-person VR game puts you in the helmet of your favorite team's quarterback. That's right; you get to be the quarterback, call the plays and throw the ball to your favorite players.
NFL PRO ERA is the first-ever NFL and NFLPA-licensed virtual reality (VR) simulation gaming title, and it is available globally on Meta Quest 2 and PlayStation VR platforms. NFL PRO ERA allows users like me to relive their glory days on the virtual gridiron. The game grants users the ability to experience the game from an NFL player’s point of view with a first-person 3D immersive football gaming experience. NFL PRO ERA features the NFLPA group license, which allows fans to play the current NFL roster in the game.
As someone who, in my youthful days, played the position, I can attest that it's the closest I have come to feeling like I was playing the game again. I literally rolled out and threw a touchdown, and it felt realistic, to say the least. I also almost rolled out into a wall, so make sure you've got some room.
In a statement released by StatusPro, CEO and former division one quarterback Troy Jones stated, “At StatusPRO, we are excited for football fans and anyone curious to know what it is like to be an NFL quarterback, to play NFL PRO ERA. We are offering a wide variety of gameplay modes for players of all levels to really experience what it feels like on the field."
During the demonstration, I went through several practice modes that allowed me to quickly learn the nuances of the game, most importantly, to hone my release so that I could throw strong, accurate passes. I also enjoyed playing catch with another player in the Sandbox mode and then moved on to the Two Minute Drill mode. There is also an Exhibition mode and a Season mode once you've learned all the basics and are ready to play a full season.
The gameplay is intuitive and natural. You look down to your wristband to select or even audible plays. Throwing passes is easy once you figure out when to release the trigger button.
NFL PRO ERA is available now for Meta Quest 2 and PlayStation VR, and based on my fifteen-minute hands-on experience I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to relive high school glory or try football for the first time without the threat of actually being tackled. Also, it is a lot of fun for anyone who likes physically active games that will get you off the couch and work out a bit. Just make sure you're not scrambling into a wall like I almost did.