2016 wasn’t quite as great a year for Virtual Reality gaming as many had been hoping for. Delays with the release and shipping of the major brands (Oculus in-particular) as well as games that really weren’t much more than demos of the potential of the format led to disappointing sales. Needless to say, the pressure has been on games developers, hardware engineers and don’t forget the marketing suits for a much better 2017 – and the good news is that all the evidence suggests VR is going to get much better very soon. Sure it may be a year or two until you can play games at Wild Jack online casino in full VR immersion, but fans of first person shooters, adventure exploration, driving and open world genres are soon going to be well catered for.
The VR market has continued to receive massive investment from big name companies trying to push the format forward. Facebook – who purchased Oculus for $2bn have plunged an additional $500m into the company so far this year. Samsung continues to develop VR games that can be handled via smartphones, while Google presses on with all aspects of VR immersion alongside their already advanced augmented reality packages. So where does this leave those who bought their VR kit to enjoy a new style of gaming? Patience is the key, but progress has been astonishing this year as witnessed at the 2017 E3 show.
So where does this leave those who bought their VR kit to enjoy a new style of gaming? Patience is the key, but progress has been astonishing this year as witnessed at the 2017 E3 show. Some of the games on display (we’ll discuss a few of them shortly) enjoyed graphics far superior to what was on offer last year. Plus they resembled actual games, although most likely not 100 hour+ purchases you can clearly see – and it’s that word again – potential in what is coming next. The downside is that the tech companies are already working on the next generation hardware, so early converts may find themselves sitting on a ‘brick’ earlier than they would have liked.
Highlights Of 2017 VR Gaming
The real difference is the attitude people now have towards VR gaming. Given that the tech has been around a couple of years in one form or another, it is no longer good enough for VR games to be mere novelties. Publishers have listened and while still not quite there yet, the signs are all good that the next wave of VR games will be much better than their predecessors.
The format certainly lends itself to all kinds of games. One of the most eagerly awaited is Doom VFR which is specifically designed to use immersive VR. Rather than the forthcoming Skyrim and Fallout 4 conversions which will be the same game but allowing the player to look around themselves as they traverse the worlds, Doom VFR is set to be far more involving. It helps that Doom is as straightforward an FPS as it gets, but those wanting to blow up monsters with an array of big guns will be looking forward to this one.
Stifled looks to be a cool game for horror/survival enthusiasts and makes innovative use of the headset’s microphone. The theme is based upon navigating your character to safety after being near blinded in a car crash that’s left them exposed to monsters. Using your voice to interact with a barely visible surrounding map, this is an intriguing looking game and a quality example of how VR is going to be a wonderful tool for imaginative game developers.
Arktika.1 is a combat and exploration based title that again makes innovative use of what VR can offer. The story involves solving puzzles as well as combat, with the developers promising that it will be the most involving virtual combat game so far, ducking and weaving from cover, shooting around corners and so forth. Moss currently being developed by Polyarch looks to be planning a similar kind of immersive, light movement based VR experience but from the rather different perspective of a mouse!
There’s plenty more ‘real games’ set for release in coming months and we just hope that those who took the plunge early with VR technology aren’t left behind when the next generation of hardware is released.