A whole new (virtual) world
VR is coming to invade living rooms this year with the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, and HTC Vive just on the horizon, and each new headset has a full library of games coming at launch. The Oculus Rift headsets are going out to consumer's homes soon (if you managed to jump on the pre-orders early enough), but with so many VR systems on offer, how can you possibly decide which is worthy of your hard-earned cash?
Of course, the games that are compatible with each headset are a huge determining factor of a purchasing decision. So, to make things a bit easier, we've put together this list of our most highly-anticipated Oculus Rift games coming to the system close to launch. Be sure to check back often as we update this list with even more game announcements.
If you ever wondered what it would be like to be a starfighter pilot, like in Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica, playing EVE: Valkyrie is your answer. You sit in the cockpit of your own ship battling bogies, weaving between capital ships, and dodging enemy fire like you would in most space flight games, but playing EVE: Valkyrie with a VR headset steps up the experience. With the ability to look around the cockpit as you pilot the ship, you get the feeling that you're actually in the middle of a space battle.
Edge of Nowhere
Edge of Nowhere is an Oculus Rift exclusive developed by Insomniac Games (makers of the Ratchet and Clank series). The snowy adventure takes the main character through the Antarctic wilderness in search of a missing expedition. The gameplay seems to be inspired by the third-person platforming and climbing mechanics of the Uncharted series, forcing you to brave the hazards of the icy landscape. But there are more than just environmental dangers threatening your safety. There are monsters with tentacles roaming everywhere, and theyre probably keen on eating you for dinner.
Music games have always tried to give players the the feeling of actually playing a musical instrument and being a rock star. RockBand VR takes the effort a bit further, putting you on a virtual stage surrounded by your band mates and hundreds and thousands of screaming fans. RockBand VR looks to play like any other RockBand game, except you won't be able to see the buttons on the neck with the Oculus on your face. Time to start practicing blindfolded.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a party game, but before you start thinking you'll need to spend thousands of dollars on headsets for all your friends, good news, you only need one Oculus Rift. The way it works is, one person wears the Oculus and enters a virtual room with a ticking time bomb and needs to defuse it. But that single player can't do it himself, everyone without the headset must guide the bomb defuser through the process with a printed bomb defusal manual.
POLLEN puts players in an isolated, atmospheric, space-faring adventure in which they explore Titan - Saturn's largest moon. A research station on the moon's surface has gone dark, leaving no sign of the crew that was manning it. As you explore the journals and records left by the previous inhabitants, you begin to piece together the circumstances of their disappearance. From the looks of things, the missing astronauts didn't just up and leave. Something other-worldly is happening at the station.
Lucky's Tale is definitely one of the most lighthearted VR games we've seen so far. It's a basic platformer that plays like a 3D Mario game, challenging you to navigate the cartoony environments and enemies using Lucky's jumping abilities and tail whip. It looks like a by-the-numbers platformer, and it comes with every Oculus Rift purchased at launch, but it will still be interesting to see how game makers are improving the classic 3D platformer using full VR immersion.
The Zelda-like third-person adventures aren't getting left behind with VR. In Chronos, the hero must delve into a labyrinth filled with dangerous enemies and daunting puzzles in order to rid the land of an evil dragon. The catch is: the dungeon only opens once a year, so if you fail, your character will be forced to wait until the doors open. This causes your character to age, changing the gameplay as you transition from an inexperienced teenager to a battle hardened warrior. Needless to say, we're excited to see what surprises the former Vigil Games developers (Darksiders) have in store for the VR experience.
Here's your chance to be telekinetic, but instead of becoming a superhero or laser sword-swinging space wizard, you'll use your mental powers to solve puzzles for a psi-ops government agency. Though working for the government as a supernaturally-powered agent sounds like serious business, the taunts and quirky quips of your guides give the game a lighthearted tone. Your instructors aren't afraid of dishing out the insults as you walk around various 3D environments like test labs, ancient ruins, and alien dimensions attempting to levitate objects and manipulate the world around you.
Space exploration VR games already seem to be flooding into the VR scene, but Alice VR puts a fairytale spin on the alien-world adventure. You end up on a mysterious planet after your spacecraft malfunctions and crash lands on the surface. This is no barren wasteland. That planet seems to be inhabited, only there's no one around. You'll need to explore the empty villages and ruins solving trippy Alice in Wonderland-inspired puzzles to uncover what has happened to the planet's missing population.
You can pretty much get what this game is about just by reading the title. Bullet Train lets you grab a variety of firearms and gun down enemies using one-to-one motion controls provided by the Oculus Touch controllers. But blasting bad guys with shotguns and dual wielding high-caliber pistols isn't all you can do;. you also have time manipulation powers that allow you to slow gunfights down to The Matrix speeds and teleport to new locations. The trailer also shows the player catching missiles in mid air and throwing them back at flying robots, so it looks like you'll have plenty more tricks up your sleeve.