When it comes to home console gaming and virtual reality there is really one name in the game right now and that is Sony with their PlayStation VR. Sure, Oculus Rift and other headsets are out there either in standalone format or working in tandem with a PC, but when it comes to consoles, Sony’s the only one that took the plunge.
And that is giving them a lot of leeway in dictating what the “future” of console VR will look like, a vision they happily shared with the press at the recent PSVR 2018 event.
Basically, the theme of tomorrow is more and increased immersion with better attention to robust, in-game immersion and impressive graphics to match.
But that doesn’t mean that simple concepts didn’t still wow audiences, because they did.
One game, in particular, Beat Saber, stole the show with its combination of rhythm game, Star Wars lightsaber, and gameplay reminiscent of the tablet classic and kitty cat favorite, Fruit Ninja.
Another musically themed game that captured hearts was Track Lab, a kind of virtual DJ turntable that involves moving things around to shift up basslines and tracks to make your own creation. A partial rhythm game, part pure immersive experience, Track Lab is the kind of psychedelic title you break out to show people just how different VR games can be.
If you’ve wondered why VR was so lacking in platformer games a la the Mario series then Astro Bot was designed with you in mind. Touted as the Mario for VR, the gameplay on display is not only reminiscent of Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch but frighteningly charming and compelling in its own right.
Mascot gaming was a hallmark of the 1990s and no one really sells systems based upon that concept. That said, Astro Bot could bring in a whole new demographic into VR gaming as well as shake up the somewhat staid genre at the same time. Comparing something to Super Mario Odyssey is no light praise and Astro Bot takes itself as seriously as any title.
Dark Souls’ own From Software showed off their title called Déraciné, a game for VR that promises a “Dark Souls you can live in” according to NME.com. We don’t know about that but we do know that From Software often never disappoints – nor do they hold back. In what is probably an intense game, Déraciné will probably be a title that straddles multiple genres.
Fans of Call of Duty’s “Zombies Mode” will find a lot to love in the upcoming VR title Persistence, itself a pure survival horror-focused game with zombies as the theme. Trapped on a spaceship with murderous zombies, it is up to the player to make it to the warp drive to restart the ship’s systems and finish the game. Featuring procedurally generated maps, Persistence could be a game changer when it comes to horror and puzzle games on VR.
One theme of the showcase that was evident from start to finish is that Sony is in it for the long haul when it comes to VR and PS4 console gamers stand to benefit because of that.
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- November 9, 2018