Sony has finally dropped their virtual reality headset into the eager hands of immersion junkies worldwide. But a new technology is only as good as the games that come with it: Has Sony managed to keep it real, or have they virtually lost their marbles with their launch choices? We break down the three best and worst offerings available right now for PlayStation VR.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
The launch of a new console or peripheral depends heavily on the strength of it exclusive IP, and it looks like RIGS has managed to fill that role nicely for PlayStation VR. Both users and critics have warmed to this mechanical brawler and the original reports of motion sickness that so often plagues virtual reality are nowhere to be found. Destructoid calls it “one of the best virtual reality joints out there”, while Jim Sterling of the Jimquisition praised the head-tracking and multiplayer modes – and it looks like non-critic users agree with them. Definitely a great start for an as-yet unproven platform.
You might not think that rhythm gaming and virtual reality go together, but Thumper is out to prove you wrong. While other rhythm games like Guitar Hero paved the way for the genre, Thumper takes it to the next, visually stunning level – and, of course, an original score to play along to. It wasn’t originally a VR game, nor was it designed for it, but sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to create a great launch title: All you need is great music, great graphics and a headset that supports them. Though we might soon find that the headset is no longer required…
Rez Infinite is the rebirth of a cult classic, but it appears that PlayStation VR has done anything but reduce its acclaim as a game. When you take a fantastic, thumping soundtrack, intense visuals and an incredibly diverse set of well-thought-out game mechanics, and then allow the player to immerse themselves completely; that’s when you get a truly memorable title. Sometimes the future of gaming just needs a brief glimpse into the past to find inspiration. Rez Infinite is proof of that.
PlayStation VR Worlds
It’s a shame that a game that was so heavily pushed by Sony themselves, even going so far as to put the PSVR name in the title, ended up being so lacklustre to so many. Many users and critics describe it as being more like a tech demo than an actual game, designed to show off what PSVR is capable of doing, if not actually doing it itself. As a result, it’s more like five bite-size pieces of games, rather than an actual gaming experience in itself. Keep that in mind if you decide to cash in on PlayStation VR Worlds.
Here They Lie
Horror is a genre that takes to virtual reality like a duck to water. What could be more terrifying than feeling like you are actually inside that insane asylum/abandoned theme park/derelict space ship? It’s no surprise, then, that a horror game is front and center of the launch titles for PlayStation VR. Unfortunately, however, beyond the novelty factor, it appears that this particular horror game doesn’t deliver on the writing, the graphics and the battle against VR-induced nausea. Here’s hoping the next horror offering doesn’t get quite so cut off at the knee.
Another genre that is perfect for VR is racing – after all, most gamers play in the sitting position already, and many already like to employ specialist controllers to make the experience more enjoyable. However, it appears that Driveclub VR has somewhat missed the mark, particularly in the graphical department. Critics have said that it feels more like a test game rather than a true virtual reality offering, but at least it seems that the skeleton of a solid game is there. The next version of VR racing could be that much better for the initial trial – or is it best left to alternative developers?
Have you tried the new VR offering from PlayStation? What was your favorite game so far? Let us know in the comments below, and remember to stay tuned to The Nerd Stash for more gaming, movies, and comic book news!