With the release of the PlayStation VR just over a week away on October 13th, it will be the most affordable and accessible means for the gaming public to get a taste of modern virtual reality.
There will be nearly 30 games available at launch, and that number will rise to 40 by the year’s end. If you plan on picking up a PSVR bundle this fall, this roundup of nine of the best titles should help you figure out which games you’ll want to pick up.
Thumper VR: A fun, musical puzzle game
Thumper, self-described as a “rhythm violence” game, puts player in control of a pod moving at high speed on a rail through a futuristic, neon dimension. The goal is simple: tap a button in time with the music and visual cues while steering around corners. The music is intense and sounds fantastic through the PSVR’s 3D audio, allowing gamers to fall deeper into the game’s alternate reality. Listed at $29.99, the game is a bit pricey, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable game available for the PSVR at the moment.
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Batman: Arkham VR: Step into the shoes of the Dark Knight
Rocksteady’s foray into VR, Batman: Arkham VR, puts gamers inside the Dark Knight’s suit, allowing player to assume the role of Batman himself. Player get the chance to clip on his gloves and cowl and look at themselves in the mirror. The majority of the game is spent standing stationary in the Bat Cave and at crime scenes, but players are able to use their virtual Batman hands to manipulate gadgets and computers and investigate evidence while looking around the beautifully rendered virtual world.
Job Simulator: Time to go to work!
Job Simulator, though already available on other VR platforms, is one of the best early PlayStation VR experiences, and one of the most fun. Players assume the role of a visitor to a “job museum” in the future, where they can experience modern-day careers, like an office worker or a chef, through the “eyes” of a robot. The levels and goals are quite ridiculous – players will be doing odd tasks such as shredding documents in a wood chipper to making sandwiches – but the structure of the game allows players fun ways to use their hands in a VR environment.
PlayStation VR Worlds: A collection of five VR experiences
PlayStation VR Worlds is a compilation of five brief games that comes with the $500 PlayStation VR launch bundle, and it does a pretty good job a showing off the sort of experiences the PSVR is currently capable of delivering. Not all five of the games are winners, however.
VR Luge – which put players into the perspective of a street luger – and Danger Ball – essentially a VR version of Pong – both have clunky head tracking and are fun for only a few short minutes. Into The Deep – a cinematic deep sea diving adventure – is actually a fantastic, claustrophobic, and cinematic offering. Scavenger’s Odyssey is a successful VR demonstration of VR action games.
The best of them all, however, is The London Heist, which puts players into the perspective of a jewel thief in a robbery gone wrong. The adventure shows the PSVR’s capacity for deep immersion in a cinematic setting.
SUPERHYPERCUBE: A colorful and addictive puzzle platformer
In SUPERHYPERCUBE, all players have to do is fit an object through a similarly-shaped hole in a wall. While this does sound quite dull, it makes for a compelling premise for a VR game, believe it or not. As your skill improved and the challenge increases, rotating and dropping the ever-changing three-dimensional shapes gets ever more engaging. The music, the visuals, and the frenetic pace all make this an early standout on the PSVR.
Harmonix Music VR: Make your music trippy, dude
While note quite Guitar Hero in virtual reality, Harmonix Music VR is an interesting way to interact with your own music in a VR setting. Use your own music, and the game throws you into a virtual music visualizer. Players can also draw their own art, and watch it react to the music.
Wayward Sky: A beautiful point-and-click adventure
Wayward Sky is an early attempt at creating a VR point-and-click adventure, and it’s weirdly captivating. Controlling the game’s little hero, players are able to send him wherever they want within the environment. There’s a catch in that you see the world from a fixed view overhead. This hasn’t yet been used in any other VR games, and it suits the point-and-click adventure quite well. The art style of the game is also incredibly gorgeous.
Tumble VR: Stack things to your heart’s content
Tumble was a puzzle game for the PlayStation 3 that required players to use the PS Move controllers to stack objects in a way that they wouldn’t topple over. Tumble VR is the same game, but in VR, which suits the game surprisingly well. The game spends a bit too much time teaching the gamer how to play, but once you get going it can be a lot of fun for puzzle aficionados.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood: Gotta shoot ’em all!
Reminiscent of the classic arcade shooter House of the Dead, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is an on-rails horror-themed shooter that would probably become boring in minutes if played in 2D. However, as the first rail shooter title in virtual reality, it’s quite entertaining. Players wield guns in both hands and shoot anything that looks like it could benefit from a bullet or two. It’s all about cheap jump scares, but the VR environment makes it effective and immersive. If you’re looking for a VR horror experience, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is the title for you.
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