PlayStation VR, PS, Virtual Reality, video game, PS4

The PlayStation VR will be released in October, 2016, and it already looks like it’s going to be a hit. Preorders for both the core package and the “Launch Bundle” are sold out at all of the usual places – Amazon, Best Buy, Gamestop, and Walmart. This has been the case since its announcement. The high demand is in part due to the PlayStation 4’s popularity, as well as the comparatively low price of Sony’s virtual reality system. If VR really is the future of gaming, the PlayStation VR is likely to be its early champion.

So, all of you early adopters, once you get ahold of a PlayStation VR system, what are you going to do with it? There are close to 200 PlayStation VR games in development, but we’ll probably be lucky if even 20 of them make it out this year. Sony has said that players will be able to play non-VR games and watch media apps like Netflix on a super large, virtual screen, but that’s not a great reason to drop $400 or $500 on a new system. The following is the list of the top five PlayStation VR games that we’re looking forward to.

PlayStation VR, PS, Virtual Reality, video game, PS4

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Even though there’s no release date set for Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, it’s hard not to be excited about Supermassive’s upcoming rail shooter/coaster ride. The original Until Dawn game was somewhat of a surprise hit in 2015, and went on to win a number of awards. While the new game doesn’t tie into the story from that game, it does offer a new look at the underbelly of the Blackwood setting. The all-new game is being created exclusively for PlayStation VR and promises a level of immersion and a presence never before experienced.

Executive Producer Simon Harris explained in this video that the game will actually focus on a character from the original Until Dawn’s descent into madness. He also revealed that in Rush of Blood, there will be decisions to make that will impact the game. Supermassive has actually been working on the PlayStation VR system with Sony since 2013. Despite details about the game’s plot being scarce, that kind of a developmental head start should result in a stunning product. Early impressions of Until Dawn: Rush of Blood are already overwhelmingly positive.

PlayStation VR, PS, Virtual Reality, video game, PS4

Robinson: The Journey

If nothing else, developer Crytek makes some visually stunning games. Their upcoming PlayStation VR title, Robinson: The Journey, should be no exception. Harnessing the power of their Cryengine, the game will put players in the role of a young boy, Robin, who has crash-landed on a mysterious planet. The PlayStation VR promises to present this natural habitat of enormous prehistoric lizards, from harmless herbivores to apex predators, as a living, breathing world. The Journey will also allow the freedom to explore and interact with the planet’s rich ecosystem and find incredible secrets in 360 degrees of detail.

The developer promises an emotionally-charged narrative as players explore the unknown lands alongside a flying robotic assistant who’ll be with you at every step of the journey. Like Supermassive, Crytek has gotten somewhat of head start with Virtual Reality. They created a couple of well-received tech demos, called Back to Dinosaur Island 1 and 2. Again, there is no word on a release date for Robinson: The Journey but, whenever it does come out, there’s no doubt it will look good.

PlayStation VR, PS, Virtual Reality, video game, PS4

Rez Infinite

The original Rez game was released almost 15 years ago on the Dreamcast and PS2. It was a unique blend of a rhythm rail-shooter developed by a team of veteran Sega developers. The synesthesia inspired game was set in a futuristic super network called Project K where players evolve by destroying viruses and firewalls. It’s essentially an arcade-y Panzer Dragoon or Star Fox with a focus on music and rhythm. The new game, Rez Infinite is essentially an HD remake for the PlayStation 4 that will support PlayStation VR but not require it.

Developed almost exclusivel, by the original game’s producer, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Rez Infinite will run on the PlayStation 4 in full HD, 1080p resolution, at 60 frames per second, and will feature full 7.1 surround-sound support. On the PlayStation VR the game will be 360 degrees of mind-blowing synesthesia at 120 frames-per-second. Colors and sounds will sync and blend around you with the techno-flavored beats in full 3D audio. In addition to the graphical and audio improvements, Rez Infinite will also feature new gameplay. If everything goes according to plan, this should be one of the PlayStation VR system’s launch titles in October.

PlayStation VR, PS, Virtual Reality, video game, PS4

Golem

Not only is Golem their first VR game, it is also the first title ever from Highwire Games. However, the indie developer was founded by industry veterans from Halo’s Bungie and Infamous’ Sucker Punch. The game is being built from the ground up for the PlayStation VR system and features original music from Marty O’Donnell, the award-winning composer of both Halo and Destiny. If their resumes weren’t impressive enough on their own, they’ve also enlisted the help of Epic Games to give their new game a little extra polish.

In Golem, you play as an adventurous young kid who has been seriously injured. Stuck at home in your bed, dreaming of exploring the outside world, you gradually develop the power to create and control stone creatures known as golems. You can see through their eyes, direct their movements, and use them to explore beyond the confines of your room. At first, you can only build small, doll-sized golems to send around your immediate area but eventually your powers grow until you can send enormous, 15-foot tall giants to explore an ancient abandoned city. Again, there is no release date, but Golem already looks pretty impressive.

PlayStation VR, PS, Virtual Reality, video game, PS4

VR Worlds

This is actually a first-party offering for the PlayStation VR system from Sony. Think of it as a Nintendo World or Sports Champions, the collection of games offered in the PlayStation Move starter bundle. This game will send you through five different virtual reality experiences developed exclusively for the new system. The one I’m looking forward to the most is The London Heist, where you join the firm, get geared up, and go on a spree of raids across London. There is also Into The Deep where you submerge yourself into the ocean within the safety of a suspended shark cage. Besides the sharks, you can also marvel at the lush wildlife underneath the water’s surface and admire the dancing shoals of tropical fish and the gently swaying coral reef below.

VR Worlds also includes VR Luge which will send you downhill at impossible speeds along busy roads and through hazardous junctions, but watch out for heavy traffic. You can also tailgate vehicles in the game to use their slipstream to pick up speed boosts and rack up points. Danger Ball is a high-stakes, futuristic sporting event, and finally, Scavenger’s Odyssey puts players in an all-terrain alien craft where you can explore a treacherous nebula on a quest to find an ancient artifact. Considering the game is included in PlayStation VR Launch bundle, it’s a pretty safe bet that VR Worlds is a launch title.

There are a few other games that look promising too, but in many cases there’s either too little information or the developers don’t have enough of a track record to inspire confidence. The Star Wars VR game looks amazing, but who knows what the final offering will actually be. It’s a similar situation with Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. Besides serving as bridge between the original game and Psychonauts 2, details are scarce. Media Molecule’s Dreams should also be impressive, but I’m not really sure how much of a game it will really be. Like many of their titles, it looks to be more of a sandbox.

As a survival horror fan, The Hum: Abductions intrigues me. In the game you will play the role of Holly Sanders, a mother and wife, who is trying to find out what is behind her husband’s mysterious disappearance. The highly stylized exploration game Wayward Sky also looks promising. Another title, Adr1ft, is awfully similar to the movie Gravity and has met with mixed reviews on other platforms. There has also been a lot of talk about No Man’s Sky coming to PlayStation VR. While I’m cautiously optimistic about the title, in general, procedural generation usually comes at the expense of narrative. That’s a big non-starter for me.

 

Do you agree or disagree with our selections?  What are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below, and make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) and Facebook where you can also sound off your opinions.

The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.

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Lance Roth
Writer, musician, and indie game developer in the Land of Enchantment.

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