I know it has been a while, and for that, I sincerely apologize. I’m back with a little more side mission fun. There’s nothing like some good old fashioned breaking and entering to steal something out of a mob-run underground Casino. As usual, due to handicapped reflexes, this video contains a few deaths. That’s why they make a fast-forward button kids. I hope you enjoy. As always comments are welcome.
It’s been over a year since GU Super-fan Duff hooked us up with an HTC Vive. With the news of the Vive Pro and the wireless adapter, along with the plethora of new VR and MR hardware both currently on the market and coming soon, it seems like a good time to look at the best VR games and experiences currently available. While I haven’t played everything, I’ve sampled a broad swath of the currently available VR content, and (with a lot of help from Duff) been able to find some truly great experiences.
This is my personal Top 10 of VR so far.
#10 Trickster VR
This is one of two games on this list that is still in Early Access, which is an on-going issue with VR games on Steam. But a few of the Early Access titles are fleshed out enough that they feel like a full game experience, which is worth it if the price is right.
I think I picked up Trickster VR on sale, but full price is only $12.99 on Steam. The game is a hack-n-slash dungeon crawler in VR. You can get in close for some virtual sword-swinging combat, or you can take the ranged approach with a bow and arrows. Either style is fun.
The bonus to Trickster VR is that it’s co-op. I played along side some random people and it was surprisingly fun. There’s no story here and nothing to really bring you back, but it’s a cool VR experience and hopefully it’ll be developed deeper as it exits Early Access.
#9 Eleven: Table Tennis
Eleven: Table Tennis is a game that is perfectly suited for VR. It’s quick. It’s intuitive. And, it’s fun.
I enjoy table tennis in real life. I’m not awesome, but I’m not terrible either. I’m good enough to know how table tennis feels, and I was amazed at how well Eleven: Table Tennis translated that same feeling into VR. The controllers vibrate in just the right way when the paddle hits the ball that it makes you believe that you’re there. And by “there”, I mean a weird loft apartment playing against a floating Vive headset and paddle.
#8 Elite: Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous is incredibly deep, which may be both the best and worse thing about it.
You take on the role of a spaceship pilot, exploring the cosmos in search of loot and legacy while building up your ship. It puts you in the pilot’s seat and immerses you in the ship’s controls and features to explore the galaxy. Just the tutorial takes a significant commitment to get through.
I loved the feeling of sitting in a space ship and exploring vastness of space. But I also quickly got lost in that vastness and had to search for some purpose. I honestly don’t have the attention span for Elite: Dangerous, but I can imagine that it is an incredibly rewarding experience if you do. Also, unfortunately, this is one of the few titles that gave me some significant motion sickness.
#7 Everest VR
Everest VR is one of those VR “experiences”, meaning it’s not really a video game in the traditional sense. There’s not rewards or goals or experience points, but it is interactive and it’s fascinating.
At least it was fascinating for me as someone who has been slightly obsessed with Mount Everest since I was young. If the highest point on Earth doesn’t excite you, then this experience isn’t something you’ll likely enjoy.
For me, though, as someone who has watched many Everest documentaries and feature films, it was really fun to follow the route that climbers take to the summit. It was cool to see the ladders stretched across crevasses and to conquer the Hillary Step. There’s not a lot of replayability, but it offers some serious nerdiness to the right audience.
#6 Space Pirate Trainer
This game wore me out. Seriously.
Space Pirate Trainer is the modern version of an old school arcade game like Space Invaders. The rounds are quick, and when you die, you start over. You are tasked with shooting droid-like baddies that are flying around and shooting back at you. You have to dodge their beams and projectiles while trying to destroy them as fast as possible.
The game uses a bullet-time-like slow down mechanism when you are about to get hit to allow you to try to dodge. It’s fast and crazy. After playing for about 20 minutes, I was sweaty and tired. But I loved it.
#5 Raw Data
Raw Data offers one of the most fleshed out true game experiences available in VR. It’s a first-person shooter, which is a genre that, seemingly too obviously, works quite well in VR. The story has some thought put into it and gives you motivation to dig deeper into it.
Raw Data also got my adrenaline pumping. I can’t quite explain why the robots evoked such a visceral reaction, but something about the game struck some legitimate fear in me. The graphics are some of the best I’ve seen in VR, which, when combined with robots aggressively trying to kill me, seriously freaked me out. But in the best way possible.
#4 Arizona Sunshine
Zombies in VR are awesome, and Arizona Sunshine delivers some fun Zombie shooting action.
This is another legitimate VR shooter. It plays out as a fairly typical zombie story, which isn’t a bad thing given the novelty of VR. The zombies are just scary enough for me – I don’t want my brains to be eaten but I’m also not so terrified that I refuse to play it. There is a level where you must navigate an abandoned mine while navigating using a flashlight in one hand. It’s a blast! It provides just the right amount of suspense.
My one complaint is that I played the game in a pretty small space. This meant I had to rely more on teleporting and less on physically walking around. This is a game I hope to revisit with a wireless headset and a much bigger physical gaming space.
#3 Castle Must Be Mine
I love tower defense games. I believe tower defense and similar strategy games are ripe for VR. Even in Early Accsess, Castle Must Be Mine helps prove my point.
The game setting is a room with a big table in the center of it where the action plays out. The gameplay is similar to traditional tower defense games like Kingdom Rush or Fieldrunners, except you get to place your towers in the virtual environment as if it were a tabletop game. This made the experience so much more immersive for me. And as a special ability, you can grab the flaming orb pictured above and throw it at enemies, which is wonderfully satisfying. I hope to see more strategy games in VR. Civilization VR would own me for years.
#2 Star Trek: Bridge Crew
If you’ve ever wanted to sit at the helm of the Starship Enterprise, Star Trek: Bridge Crew will definitely scratch that itch. I was hooked from the first moment of the tutorial.
The game allows you to serve as one of the major roles of the bridge crew of the Enterprise – the captain, helm, tactical, or engineer. Each role has it’s own responsibilities, but each also requires the cooperation of the other three members. You can play single player as the captain and bark orders to your AI crew. But the game really shines with other people.
As you know, I don’t enjoy playing games with strangers often, but my experiences with Bridge Crew were a blast. If you can find three buddies to play with, it’ll likely be even more of a blast. While the game isn’t high action (you’re literally sitting in a chair the whole time), it still gets your adrenaline going. Trying to shoot down Klingon ships or navigate an asteroid field while depending on three other human beings to all do their jobs is exhilarating. Plus, you can now play in VR or non-VR, expanding the potential people you can play alongside.
#1 Batman: Arkham VR
I am Batman.
No VR experience captured me as immediately and thoroughly as Arkham VR. While it’s not even a full game (about 2-3 hours of gameplay), Rocksteady has proven they can create a killer VR experience. The mechanics of the game are fun and feel very Arkham-style Batman. The game is incredibly tight and well executed. And it works brilliantly in VR.
Rocksteady did a great job of utilizing what works (and doesn’t work) about VR. Navigating the Batcave via grappling hook is not only incredibly rewarding, it also works much better as a mechanic than the typical VR teleport. And the fact that the game transports you from scene while keeping the actual gameplay area constrained makes the experience feel more immersive. The detective tools like the scanner also work well in VR.
The last few scenes are really action packed and provide both a few jump scares with Killer Croc and some legit psychological torment via the Joker. All in all, it’s a wonderfully well-rounded VR experience and I hope Rocksteady is working an a 10-15 hour full VR Batman title.
There are many more games that I’m excited to try in VR – Fallout 4, Fantastic Contraption, L.A. Noire, Doom, and Subnautica, to name just a few. Add to that great looking 2018 releases on PSVR like the Inpatient and Moss, the future of VR gaming looks promising!
This post may look familiar, If it does that’s because I wrote it a month ago. So why am I posting it again? Very simple, tomorrow, Saturday, November 4th is extra life game day. To celebrate these guys are streaming for 12 hours straight. I thought that deserved a repost. I’m hosting all the action on my channel, RIGHT HERE starting at 6AM CDT. Go give them some support
Some friends of mine at work have decided to stream their playthroughs of Resident Evil 5 and 6 over the next month or so. In an attempt to raise money for the Harrington Cancer Center, and Health Foundation, a local Cancer Center in town. I talk all the time about what great listeners we have and have had for more than 12 years now. I’d like to ask you guys to drop in and support this cause over the next month.