2020 has seen a resurgence of interest in VR, and it’s not just because of the pandemic. There have been tentpole versions like Half-life: Alyx, and the Oculus Quest continues to gain popularity with a rumored new version on the horizon. July in particular had a lot of new games and releases.
We can’t cover all of the new VR games as they come out, but I thought it might be worthwhile to step back every now and then to take stock of what’s going on. And please let me know if there is anything in particular you would like us to cover or focus on!
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S: HELP RESEARCH
The VR version of Five nights at Freddy’s, the hugely popular indie horror series, arrived at the Oculus Quest in July and immediately became the best-selling game on the platform. ” Five Nights at Freddy VR: Help Wanted has done incredibly well, ”said Andrew Dayton, CEO of Steel Wool Studios. UploadVR. “We can’t talk about exact numbers, but we’re free to say that we broke Oculus Quest’s one-day sales record as well as its one-week sales record. “
I can’t claim to be a huge fan of the series, but I checked out the Quest version of Ask for help and it’s really well done. The basic mechanism of switching between security cameras to track murderous animatronics while managing your use of other protective elements is a great choice for VR and questing – it feels more natural and even more nerve-racking to interact with these environments on a 1: 1 scale. The game isn’t visually stunning, but it looks suitably dark and creepy on the Quest’s OLED display.
I’m just going to warn you that it’s definitely not for those who don’t mind jumping.
Forward, a realistic first-person military shooter, launched on the Oculus Quest last week. The game is a staple for PC VR, having first released in Early Access in 2006, shortly after the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets kicked off the first round of VR hype.
As virtual reality experiences go on, it’s pretty intense. The emphasis is on realism and you move around with an analog stick rather than the teleportation systems that many first-person VR games use to maximize comfort. Forward also emphasizes tactics and communication for its multiplayer battles; developer Downpour Interactive describes it as “the most realistic combat experience available in the game today.”
In other words, it’s not the sort of thing I would normally associate with the quest for low power, which tends to be at its best with abstract and occasional experiences. But the Quest version of Forward works really well. Graphics are seriously reduced – it basically looks like a super high-res PS2 game, with objects often appearing at close range – but the controls work well and the wireless nature of the Quest is a good choice for Forwardrealistic movement of. This is a game you will often find yourself hiding or slipping into a corner, and not having to worry about wires increases immersion despite the graphics shortcomings.
ForwardThe Quest version of ‘s did not come without controversy, however. Apparently, to enable cross-platform cross-play, Downpour has released an update to the PC version which comes with significant technical success. The graphics quality has been drastically reduced and Steam reviewers are not satisfied. The developer apologized on Reddit and pledged to improve the PC version in future updates.
It’s understandable that Downpour wanted to maximize their player base when launching on a popular new platform, but making the existing version worse for all players without warning was probably not the best way to go. However, the move makes it clear that VR developers are likely to continue to prioritize the quest over advanced connected PC experiences.
IRON MAN VR
One of the most anticipated PlayStation VR games finally released in July after several delays. IP licenses are not much more important than Iron Man VR, but due to awkward controls and endless loading times, the end product did not leave The edgeChaim Gartenberg feels a bit like a superhero.
Here is his opinion:
… Although the parts are all good, the problems with Iron Man VR happen when they come together in the game, which just isn’t deep enough to support a full-fledged title.
In practice, Iron Man VR is very repetitive. There are only a handful of enemy types, whose tactics never really change. One drone will hit players with laser blasts, another will attempt to crash into you, while a third will need to be dodged before its shield is taken down. Each enemy is effectively designed to be countered by a specific weapon in your arsenal (you shoot the firing drone, you hit the percussion drone, you pound the tank to the ground), and the only variety really comes from the number that the game plays. throws you. at once.
The result is that each of the 12 levels (which are broken up into 15-30 minute chunks, well suited for VR) more or less break down into a cycle of “defeating those waves of identical enemies using identical weapons in locations ”until the next explanatory speech.
EN MORT: INCHAINED
In Death: Unchained is the Oculus Quest version of In death, which released on PC and PSVR in 2018. It’s a bow-and-arrow-centric first-person action game, with a roguelike-style structure and procedurally generated stages. Its best trick is that you use your bow for movement as well as for combat by shooting “teleportation arrows” to move.
unleashed is a very good adaptation. It’s one of the prettier games on the Quest, despite having somewhat reduced visuals, and its controls accommodate reverse tracking as well as one would expect. Bows can be tricky for this type of material, as you often have to move the controller in your chain hand out of the field of view of the helmet cameras, but I haven’t found the controls to be a problem unless I went out of my way to break them.
In death is a tough game, especially because it gives the deltoid muscle in your bow arm a serious workout. But unleashed works great on the quest, allowing you to dive in and make some progress with minimal fuss.
Pistol whip was one of the best VR games of last year, and it’s finally available on PSVR, bringing the neon soaked very hot-meets-Defeat Saber-meets-John Wick action to a wider audience. I haven’t been able to check this version yet, but it should be fine for limited PSVR hardware – movement is handled automatically and you just shoot and dodge bullets.
Finally, the VR update of Media Molecule’s ambitious game creation tool Dreams was recently released. It’s the start, but I’m excited to see what comes out of it – as a simpler way to bring experimental VR ideas to the world, it has huge potential.