There are several reasons why you might not be able to go out to practice your footballing skills in front of a real goal. You could be injured, the weather could be too bad, or there could be a global pandemic that has caused public training locations to close. But, in adversity, Virtual reality could help you bring the training ground home. And after spending a few days training indoors Rezzil player 21I can say it’s quite a workout.
It is made by Rezzil, a British developer who counts former Belgium and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany as an investor. Rezzil’s professional tools are currently used by clubs like Paris Gt. Germain, Manchester United and Liverpool FC. The tools include training and analysis software, including a set of virtual training programs that help players learn and practice specific skills. This includes head practice, rondo drills, and shooting tests, both to help them hone their skills and to help coaches identify a player’s weaknesses.
The company has now released Rezzil Player 21, which is a basic version of its training software for non-elite users. The title offers a basic finishing drill bit as standard and is currently only compatible with HTC Vive and Steam’s Valve Index headsets. You can also buy one – for now – an additional workout routine in DLC form, in which you hit a colorful ball with the side of your foot.
Usually, I would test this setup on my way to Rezzil’s headquarters, but COVID-19 gave me the wonderful opportunity to workout at home. HTC lent me a laptop, a $ 900 Vive Cosmos Elite bundle, and a single Vive Tracker for a few days to put it here. If you are a budding football superstar looking to spend some time with this kit, know that you will need to make a significant investment.
You will also need a lot of floor space when setting up your home. When you’re playing a full sports title, your natural urge to move to a ball you want to kick means you’re covering a surprising amount of ground. Yes, my friends, I managed to kick a cast iron radiator while trying to hit a ball in the top corner.
In order to track your movements, you’ll need to attach the Vive Tracker to your sneakers (or sneakers, if you have two). The Vive Tracker isn’t the most stylish thing in the world to slip into your laces, but it can be done. Fortunately, the game allows you to calibrate the position of your tracker so that it knows where your foot is in relation to the equipment. Then you can set the length of each challenge and you’re on your way.
The Basic Finishing Challenge places you inside a large indoor training ground, in front of a goal with a machine on each side shooting balls your way. A series of customizable targets are superimposed on the objective, offering bonus points if you can hit them. Naturally, the highest points come if you can consistently throw a ball into the top corners, out of the reach of the goalie.
You get more points by hitting the ball with the sweet spot on top of your foot and targeting areas that a goalkeeper would have difficulty reaching. But even if you lazily put the ball in the middle of the field, like a dad playing with his kids, you will still earn points.
Color Combos, the first DLC, pits you against four bullet machines that shoot wave after wave of bullets towards your feet. You have to hit each colored ball, almost simultaneously, with the correct side of your shoe. In my case, the outside of my right foot was red, the inside was yellow, and when a red and yellow ball hits you you have to hit both or lose points.
There are also traps, with rows of concrete balls that you must jump over or risk being kicked out of the game. And money balls, which help increase your score and extend your time limit. . Add some Defeat Saber-Electro pop and that would have the makings of a new hit rhythm game. It’s also quite a training since you have to keep moving to stay on top of what’s going on.
There will always be a gap between how the laws of physics work in the real world and their virtual counterparts. The point here is to get you to do more precise shots rather than hitting each one, but things are a bit bouncy. Part of this can be attributed to the setup since Rezzil says you need four base stations for the tracking to work properly – double what I was using.
I spent two days playing, sorry training, with Rezzil and can already see a big improvement in my technique. It’s definitely a simpler and more efficient way to do this than I could do on my own in a public park. And the fact that it’s gamified – you’re looking to beat your own score, rather than something more specific – makes it easy for amateurs to get involved.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to test my newly honed skills in the real world since the UK was bathed in heavy snowfall. But maybe when the time (and the pandemic) is behind us, my Rezzil skills will earn me a try at a club in the league. You never know: I can weigh the same as Adebayo Akinfenwa, but I’m two years younger.
Rezzil Player 21 is available via Steam or Viveport for free, with a version currently in the works for Oculus Quest that will focus on footless exercises. The Color Combos DLC will set you back around $ 15, while in the game you can purchase credits that can be spent to outfit yourself with real Adidas boots and balls. Eventually, the company says it will add more exercises to bolster your home training experience. This is good, because just two exercises alone would eventually exhaust their welcome.
It’s an intriguing type of extra training, but it’s unlikely to supplant the real world of muddy boots and crispy tackles, which we all know are. fun parts of the beautiful game.