After years of development, the Oculus Rift is finally arriving on March 28, 2016. What’s more, it’s launching with an impressive 30 games, some new, others previously released on the Gear VR. Either way, it’s a great selection, offering a little something for every type of gamer. Here are eight games that should help justify that Oculus purchase – or might make you consider picking one up yourself.
Are there any other virtual reality games you’re looking forward to? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a wonderful party game concept which naturally fits VR headsets like the Oculus. The premise is simple: One player (wearing the headset) is alone with a bomb that will explode when the timer reaches zero. Everyone else has a manual for disarming explosives, but don’t know what the bomb looks like. The entire team has to quickly and carefully communicate what bomb type is before you, and which wires to cut – something which becomes increasingly more tense as the timer counts down.
And then you reset and start the whole stressful procedure over again.
Lucky’s Tale has the potential to be hugely successful purely for replicating Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie-style platforming. But the Oculus headset will also have a roll to play, inserting the player directly into the game world instead of keeping you at a distance through a screen. What’s more, since Lucky’s Tale is a third-person platformer, it avoids many of the motion sickness hurdles some players have experienced with first-person alternatives. Either way, it looks like an charming and enjoyable Oculus launch entry.
Adrift is the first game project to come from Adam Orth following his awkwardly controversial statements during the Xbox One launch. Thankfully, his new concept is unique and well-presented enough to have real merit in a VR setting. The player is a survivor of a spaceship disaster which left the wreckage of your craft in orbit, and your space suit with limited air. Your mission is to explore the open environment and find a way to return to the surface, collecting oxygen tanks along the way to stay alive. Think of it as a slower-paced, first-person version of Gravity, and you’ll have a better idea of why Adrift could be a deeply atmospheric adventure game for the Oculus.
Dreadhalls is an intriguing combination of video game genres – specifically, dungeon crawling and survival horror. The player finds themselves in a procedurally-generated dungeon filled with disturbing creatures. The player needs to navigate the dungeon, fill their map, and open locked doors while always being on the lookout for monsters seeking to destroy you. Throw in the immersion of VR, and Dreadhalls could be a great spin on dungeon crawling for the new Oculus audience.
You are a spy with a jetpack. Be still my beating heart. Omega Agent borrows the aesthetics of classic 60s spy stories, throws in several deadly robots, and lets you fly around them firing rockets and machine guns. It boasts an entire island to explore, challenging puzzles, and large bosses blocking your path. But really, it had me at “jetpack”.
Chronos is another third-person platformer launching alongside the Oculus, borrowing heavily from action-adventure games like Zelda or Ico. Where Chronos really stands out is its leveling mechanic – journeying into the game’s labyrinth literally ages your character. Eventually, you’ll trading the quick reflexes of youth for the high skills and magical abilities of advanced age. VR or not, that’s a fascinating mechanic for an adventure game which will be worth checking out.
Fly to KUMA
Fly to KUMA is, in short, the Oculus Rift’s answer to Lemmings. The player has a perspective into a 3D world filled with dangers and traps, which several pink teddy bears must traverse to reach a nearby shuttlecraft. The trick is assembling objects that will get them to safety, and not simply doom them to destruction in another portion of the map. While the bears following the player with their eyes is a little disconcerting, anyone who got sucked into Lemmings will certainly want to give this game a try.
There are many video games about spaceship combat, but EVE Valkyrie was among the first to truly get players excited for the implications of virtual reality. Since your character sits in a cockpit, being able to look around while handling the ship controls feels far more natural than the first-person perspective of action games like Skyrim. And it looks gorgeous to boot. Its only risk comes from the competition of games like Elite Dangerous, but it’s hard to imagine more space games being a bad thing.