Ones to Watch: Oculus Rift
2016 is the year of virtual reality (VR). Numerous consumer headsets will finally begin arriving at retail and leading the charge will be the Oculus Rift, the long awaited head-mounted display (HMD) that kicked-off the modern VR revolution with a Kickstarter campaign way back in 2012. First and foremost, modern VR will be driven by videogame titles. But which videogames will be the hottest properties in the new medium? Over the next few days VRFocus will look at the top picks for each of the leading HMDs, beginning today with the Oculus Rift.
Though EVE: Valkyrie is not an Oculus Rift exclusive (also coming to the PlayStation VR HMD for PlayStation 4) it will be offered as a pack-in title for those who pre-order Oculus VR’s initial release. Furthermore, published by Oculus VR themselves on PC, EVE: Valkyrie is often considered the poster child for the modern VR revolution. VRFocus recently got hands-on with a near-final build, and you can find out why CCP Games’ space combat videogame is considered such a hot property in our latest EVE: Valkyrie preview.
If you were to make a bet on any videogames studio setting the pace for VR in 2016, you’d be pretty safe betting on Epic Games. Consistently showcasing some of the highest quality experiences for new editions of prototype hardware, Epic Games’ Bullet Train wowed audiences at Oculus Connect 2, Hollywood, back in September. Its shamelessly aggressive no-nonsense violence is simply one of the best technical demonstrations for motion-control input in VR, and given Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney’s passion for VR it wouldn’t be surprising to see more from the internal VR team coming in 2016.
Playful Corp.’s Lucky’s Tale was one of the first titles to be linked directly to Oculus VR in a publishing agreement, and every time the videogame is showcased it provides a stronger argument for why it’s a necessary step for VR. Pushing third-person gameplay before anyone else dared to, offering traditional gameplay values as a platform title and wrapping everything up with a family friendly aesthetic; Lucky’s Tale at first seemed an odd property for VR, but since has become seen as an essential addition to the Oculus Rift’s software library.
Gunfire Games’ Chronos is one of the most promising third-person videogames yet seen on the Oculus Rift. Easily comparing to the 3D titles in The Legend of Zelda franchise, Chronos presents some very clever techniques to ensure that the player doesn’t become disorientated as they move through the labyrinth the videogame presents. Along with strategic combat and the promise of some grandiose boss fights, Chronos is one title that VRFocus can’t wait to see more of.
More than a simply port of the real-time strategy videogame, AirMech VR offers a wonderful adaptation of a familiar formula. The free-to-play console experience comes into its own when given the perspective not of a god, but of a commander residing in the bunker that the troops employed are trying so hard to defend. AirMech VR isn’t likely to follow the same monetisation route as its console brethren, but with that is certainly looking set to define the premium market for strategy videogames in VR.