I used to slag on virtual reality, since the concept sounds like a big gimmick. But then we see games like Moss, which can change our perceptions by a tiny bit. Immersion is important in games, and if it’s pulled off right, your VR game is made all the more entrancing.
What used to be exorbitantly-priced is now made affordable. Apps like CLOVR can help bring you into the VR space with just a fraction of a VR headset cost. In short, VR gaming is getting more mainstream and affordable by the day.
Which then begs the question: what games are tailor-made for VR these days? And are they on the PC platform, where its future is more certain and stable there? Here are some immersive VR games for your choosing, all for the PC platform. Because when you want masterful levels of immersion, you want the master race involved.
Resident Evil 7
Capcom’s horror franchise rebirth hit all the right notes: it’s scary, it’s thrilling, it has a great narrative, and it has great survival horror gameplay. Most importantly, its switch from a 3rd person perspective to a 1st person view is a much-needed change to make the series relevant and compelling.
Which is why this game is a perfect fit for VR. The jump scares come and go, the tension racks up as you’re exploring the Baker Mansion and its hidden depths and secrets, and the combat is intentionally disorienting to the point where you’d rather flee than fight. Plus, it is really fun to record someone wearing the headset while getting freaked out by the game.
Many of us were caught unawares by this rhythm game’s industrial and violent-inducing soundtrack. For those not in the know, you control a space beetle as you go through a course made up of technicolour dreams and dark colours, hitting lit “notes” on the track in time with the game’s music while also defeating enemies and avoiding obstacles.
The beats, the aesthetic, and the tough gameplay is what makes Thumper an exhilarating experience, especially through the lens of VR.
Fallout 4 VR
The smash hit action adventure RPG from Bethesda hits all the right notes with its story, its immersive depiction of a wasteland future, and a lot of ways to solve problems either through diplomacy or violence, or plain thievery. The wastelands of Boston are more realized and immersive thanks to this version of Fallout 4.
L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files
This Rockstar-made adventure game set in the 1940s pit you as a detective named Cole Phelps as you solve cases, interrogate witnesses, and do the occasional criminal chasing and gunning down bits. This new addition to L.A. Noire, called the VR Case Files, make the latter parts all the more immersive and entertaining.
Instead of using the keyboard and mouse, you lean and shoot enemies using the HTC Vive controllers. Personally, it’s executed way better than it has any right to.
Perhaps the trippiest entry for this list, Rez Infinity is just like the original rail shooter back in the Dreamcast and PS2 heydays. Except now there’s a new level called Area X where it’s VR-centric. You play a flying avatar who has to shoot down virtual enemies in a sub-space futuristic landscape.
And it’s as high concept as you can get, coupled with a bass-heavy soundtrack that still resonates with fans and music lovers to this day. Come for the music, stay for the immersive visuals & addictive rail-shooting.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Ever want to pilot the Enterprise, or even serve as a crew member on its many space voyages? You’re in luck: Ubisoft’s Star Trek: Bridge Crew can do just that. It’s generally a virtual-reality simulation of operating a Federation starship.
As long as you have a full crew of four people to run the ship, going on adventures becomes all the more wonderful and novel. The novelty might wear off, but it’s not every day there’s a Star Trek virtual reality game tailored for this in-your-home experience. The cockpit environment and ship controls are very accurate; clearly, the developers have done their homework in making this as authentic as possible.
Chronos reminds us of the 90s style of gaming where every setpiece is framed using a fixed camera angle to add immersion and tension. The fact that this game came out at the same time the Oculus Rift did means that it is built for VR.
With visceral combat and a unique mechanic where you age by one year everytime you die (which bolsters your magic ability), Chronos is part hardcore fun and part joy to watch from different angles.
First-person shooter Superhot comes equipped with an interesting premise: what if the game world moves when you do? What if time stood still if you stayed put? Pretty soon, you can make your own action scenes play out in slow motion and your own John Woo-inspired setpiece.
With oodles of scenarios ranging from a crashing vehicle to a standoff where you need to jump from one weapon to the next to survive, playing this in VR seems like a no-brainer since you get the first-hand view of the action. With gesture and body movement controls in the VR version, moving your body ala Neo in The Matrix to dodge bullets adds a whole new level of immersion in this game.
The sequel to video game history’s most beloved spaceship simulator is now in a more bold and rejuvenated form, taking the old-school difficulty of combat and space trading -each planet in the galaxy has its own set of human players with their own allegiances- while changing it up with the interface conveniences of this generation.
New VR controls enable you to roll, pitch, and flail your Elite ship all around without the game making you feel nauseous thanks to the game’s Newtonian flight model and physics. Talk about forward-thinking from the developers.
I’m probably missing a few more VR games. Do let us know your favourite PC VR experiences either here or on our Facebook page.