6 Best Virtual Reality Games
Virtual reality (VR) is officially a thing. Sure, it’s an expensive thing, but that doesn’t matter to gamers looking for the next leap in interactive entertainment. Plus, the VR industry, even in its nascent state, is offering a variety of options for those interested in stepping into the void.
For those who have money to burn, there are a couple of expensive VR systems that also require a high-end PC (think $800 and up). There’s the $800 HTC Vive room-scale VR system, which allows you to set up a space in your home and explore some pretty amazing experiences like ILMxLab’s Trials on Tatooine, which puts you inside the Star Wars universe, by walking around and interacting with lightsabers, R2-D2 and the Millennium Falcon. HTC is adding a $220 wireless system that lets you untether from the PC.
Facebook has the $600 Oculus Rift available, which couples with the $200 Oculus Touch controllers to bring your hands into games like Epic Games’ free pack-in Robo Recall, a humorous first-person sci-fi shooter that has you battling robots gone bad. The Rift comes with a Microsoft Xbox One controller, but the real immersion happens with the Touch controllers.
Sony has the $500 PlayStation VR ($400 if you already own the Motion controllers and camera that are required). The big plus here is PS VR plugs directly into your existing PlayStation 4 console (or the new 4K console, Playstation 4 Pro). This makes it the most affordable true VR experience out there, and there will be 50 games available by year’s end.
On the mobile front, Google has launched Daydream View, an $80 entry-level untethered VR headset that works with Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones (as well as upcoming phones from Samsung, HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, Alcatel, Asus, LG and Motorola). It comes with a controller that works with games like the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Below are six great VR games to jump into on multiple platforms.
Ever want to experience what Sandra Bullock went through in Gravity for real? This cross-platform sci-fi game traps you in space amidst the wreckage of a space station and dead crew with a dwindling supply of oxygen. Navigating through this first-person perspective thriller in zero gravity is a harrowing experience in VR, especially when you’re adrift with that sense of inertia with the Earth so far away. After all, in space no one can hear you scream.
This blast from the past takes tank-based combat into a Tron-like future. A reboot of Atari’s 1980 vector graphics arcade game, Battlezone places players inside the cockpit of an upgradable high-tech tank (of varying sizes and speeds) chock full of powerful weapons. All of that firepower will come in handy on the neon-glowing battlefields filled with enemy tanks, aerial drones, turrets and minelayers. Up to four players can team up to take on enemies in the procedurally-generated arenas, which means the fast-paced action is always new.
What started as a complex strategy game universe called EVE Online has expanded over the years into more accessible arcade-style experiences like EVE Gunjack and EVE Valkyrie. While Gunjack is a fixed turret experience that lets you take out waves of incoming spacecraft, Valkyrie sends you into outer space for intense 360-degree dogfighting. With Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff providing guidance as you pilot heavily armed ships, the multiplayer combat never gets old.
Set in a museum circa 2050, rudimentary jobs like chef, store clerk, mechanic and office worker have long since been replaced. But those jobs make great fodder for virtual reality, especially with the humorous twist that the robots have added. It turns out 21st Century robots don’t know much about history, so performing jobs like making pizza out of sliced bread and cheese blocks with your virtual hands becomes an entertaining experience that has addictive replay value.
Playful Corp’s Lucky’s Tale is the first virtual reality platform game. And like Mario, Sonic and other traditional platform stars, the cute fox Lucky is the centerpiece of this 3D worl. The game lets you race through trees, dodge swamp pits, battle bosses and play mini-games – but with you actually being part of this colorful world. This game helped Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey sell Facebook on VR (which resulted in a $2 billion acquisition), and for good reason.
Guerrilla Games knows shooters, having developed the Killzone franchise for Sony. Now the studio has taken that knowledge and applied it to virtual reality with this three versus three multiplayer game, which is set in a future where players pilot giant Mechs (called Rigs) in massive arenas filled with ramps, tunnels and platforms in front of cheering fans. This game offers a variety of different gameplay modes, including Endzone, a fast-paced cross between rugby and football. There are also a variety of Rigs to master for increased replay value.