Some days ago I read an article on RoadToVR about Gorillaz’s latest video: Saturnz Barz (Spirit House). But why one of the most important sources of information about virtual reality has talked about a song? Well, because it is the 360 videos making the most views at his debut on Youtube.

Youtube 360 video view Saturnz Barz music
Stats about Saturnz Barz views, compared with other 360-videos on Youtube. As you can see, they outperformed all the others (Image by Youtube, taken on Road To VR)

I got curious about this, so I decided to give a look to this video using DeoVR. And well, my impressions are pretty mixed.

The video starts with you on a train, looking at a video on a tablet. All people in the train are looking at you and that’s uncomfortable. After a while in the tablet you see people (The Gorillaz cartoon characters) arriving in a house by car. This scene is very static: the only things that change are the images on the tablet, all the rest is fixed… and I think that’s great to create a sense of discomfort and wait. You know that something else has to happen and you start craving it… I liked this idea a lot.

Then, when The Gorillaz characters inside the tablet arrive inside the haunted house, well, you enter the tablet too and you start living their adventure. From now on, the video becomes a true 360 experience.

The video has no clear plot: they enter this scary house and then some monsters pop-up… it’s something very onirical, because there are different scenes with monsters and they also find themselves in the outer space, inside the house and in some asteroids… didn’t get that very well. I think that the video is very visual: you have to look at it and let it conveys sensation, without thinking at it in a rational way. If you look it this way, the video is amazing: visuals are interesting, coloured, but at the same time scarying and disturbing. I liked that: as I always say, VR is made to convey emotions and this video conveys emotions, so it is good. Furthermore, some camera positions inside the video are very original and let you see the scene in an unexpected and very interesting way. Cool.

After all this mental trip, you return in the initial train and you’re looking on the tablet the Gorillaz guys going out from the house and going away with a car from that haunted place.

The downside of the video is that it highlights lots of problems I’ve told you in this article about 360-videos: there are lots of camera movements, so the motion sickness is huge; sometimes it’s hard to get where you have to look to get the main element of the scene; seeing a green cartoon guy with a pixelated penis in VR is highly disturbing :D. This is the reason why I’ve said that my impressions are mixed: the video is cool, but it has surely not been crafted good to be seen inside a VR headset.

Saturnz Barz gorillaz 360 video review
The disturbing pixelated penis guy… having him next to me in VR was a bad experience!

In the end I appreciated the video and its originality (and even the song: it’s not bad), so if you have your stomach empty and you’re not so sensible to motion sickness, I advice you to watch it. You can find it at this address and can watch it using DeoVR for instance.

If you’re not so strong, you can watch its standard flat-2D-version here below:

…whatever the case, please like and share this article!