We’re just over a month away from the launch of PlayStation VR, and the lineup of games is getting more and more impressive. Sony has done a nice job at getting indie devs on board alongside big names like Ubisoft and EA.
PS VR’s accessible price of $399 should help the company make a killing later, with preorders proving popular. There’s also a launch bundle priced at $499 where you’ll get the headset, PlayStation Camera and two Move controllers along with PlayStation VR Worlds and a Playroom VR digital download.
Below you’ll find the games Sony’s own Studio is working on, as well as our picks of what has been announced so far. Some are PS4 titles which have a VR mode, some were built specifically for virtual reality. If you have a PS4 and you’re interested in splashing out on Sony’s first-gen VR headset accessory, these are the first VR games you’ll be playing this year…
Batman Arkham VR
Be the Batman in VR – what more sell do you need than that? The new Arkham game from Rocksteady Studios, which said Arkham Knight would be its last, sees you exploring iconic locations like Wayne Manor and the Batcave, focusing on Batman’s skills as a detective. Expect comic book-style murder mystery and dark psychology. Also, there’s an amazing bit at the start of the game where you get to put on the Batsuit while admiring yourself in the mirror – it’s what VR was made for. Coming in October 2016.
A fresh VR game from SF based Impulse Gear, Farpoint is an exploration and survival game set on an alien world, post crash landing. From what we’ve played so far it’s a pretty basic FPS, but what makes it so awesome is the new PS VR Aim controller you’ll be playing it with. The one-to-one tracking makes it feel like you’re really using a gun, and whether or not Farpoint turns out to be any good, it’ll be important as a showcase of the Aim controller’s potential. No confirmed release date yet.
Resident Evil VII Biohazard
Capcom is hyping up the scare credentials of the latest Resident Evil PS4 game in VR mode as escalating “the unsettling feeling of presence to a level that horror fans have never experienced.” It’s set in a derelict plantation mansion in modern day times, and while we won’t spoil anything, the demo alone is damn creepy. You can play the demo on PS4 right now without VR, but we’d recommend waiting to try it with the headset – it’s worth it, especially for a particularly neat found-footage sequence. This one’s due on 24 January 2017.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
How excited you’ll be about Ubisoft and Red Storm’s Star Trek VR game depends on how much you want to fiddle with Federation starship controls and well, how much you’re into Star Trek. Down with both? Proceed. What’s especially cool is that this is a four person co-op that sees you and your mates taking on different characters. Launching this autumn.
Star Wars: Battlefront X-Wing VR
Star Wars Battlefront is perhaps the most exciting title Sony snagged. Announced at GDC 2016 and teased a bit more at E3, the game will be heading exclusively to PS VR. Further details on the gameplay are scarce apart from a glimpse of an X-Wing cockpit. However it’s to be expected that folks in VR will be able to join in with regular console players and it will be free for the owners of the PS4 game.
If it’s anything like the Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine experience on HTC Vive or better, we can’t wait.
Final Fantasy XIV
“For us, there can be no going back.” This may actually be the case after entering this new, reborn realm. FF XIV is only the second MMORPG within the Final Fantasy series, so bringing it to virtual reality is a huge deal. With all new scenery and mounts on VR, we can certainly expect some unique side quests. That said, from the looks of E3 2016, it’s more of a DLC experience than a fully-fledged game.
Rigs Mechanized Combat League
Rigs sounds a little nutty at first. Through a combination of drivable combat robots, basketball and major league sports elements, you get a first-person shooter that will likely be a popular source of entertainment on Twitch. It will be out for launch.
Ubisoft’s experimental VR demo is now an official PlayStation VR title. Assassin’s Creed fans got super excited about this as Ubisoft used what looks like the Paris of AC: Unity, but the games publisher has categorically said that this isn’t that series for VR.
Instead, it’s a third-person game/experience of well, flying as an eagle over the city streets of Paris. Plus Ubisoft reckons very few people who tried the demo experienced any discomfort.
This multiplayer space shooter from CCP Games has a bit of a headstart as it’s been in development for a few years now. Also coming to the Oculus Rift, EVE: Valkyrie is a fast-paced dogfight set in the EVE: Online universe.
You can play against headset wearing friends in short, fun sessions, swap ships and try out capture the flag modes. Plus, dying in this game is kind of magical.
This is a PlayStation exclusive from Highwire Games and it looks damn interesting. You play as a girl controlling golems, via your eyes and movements, while creeping through ancient ruins filled with treasures.
The devs say that the aim of the game is to make you feel the power of controlling these golems. It’s an interesting mechanic and we can’t wait to see where they take it.
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin
The PS4 game Psychonauts, about psychic secret agents, is coming to the PlayStation VR as a standalone experience that’s another exclusive for the platform. According to Double Fine Productions, the VR game is set at the end of Psychonauts and designed to set up the narrative and plot threads of the sequel, a wedge of new material in between the full games.
A PS4 remake of Sega’s psychedelic rail-shooter Rez – a cult classic originally on PlayStation 2 – now includes VR support as well as upgraded graphics. The game will also feature ‘new content’ but we don’t know what that is yet and, as with many of these VR games, there’s no release date either.
More details should trickle through early next year but already a force feedback suit that players could wear while they play has been shown off.
Ace Combat 7
Namco Bandai’s arcade flight Ace Combat series comes to the PS4 and VR with photorealistic graphics, authentic and futuristic aircraft to choose from and – no doubt – familiar dogfighting action.
100ft Robot Golf
We couldn’t miss 100ft Robot Golf from No Goblinout. It does what it says on the tin, really. Four players can urban golf, as robots, at once because it’s all just crazy and silly – plus if big old buildings or other robots are in your way, the idea is that you smash them down to take your shot.
VR Worlds (The London Heist)
Set in London’s gritty criminal underworld, this upcoming VR shooter, one of the five experiences in VR Worlds, was one of the biggest draws at E3. TheLondon Heist allows you to use the PlayStation Move controller in both hands for added realism, with gamers having full control of the character’s body and arms as he ducks for cover.
One of the thrills of early demos is manually reloading your gun with clips. Putting on your own cockney accent while you ‘top’ bad-geezers is totally optional.
Robinson: The Journey
In Crytek’s new title you take on the role of a boy who has crash-landed on a breathtaking planet. The demo we played took us on a walk through a jungle that required puzzle solving, while also lifting some of the tech of Crytek’s rock-climbing game The Climb. As we explored, a robotic companion named Robin guided and informed us, providing hints during some of the game’s more puzzling moments. Oh, and did we mention the 50-foot dinosaur?
As a journalist eager to make the headlines, you will embark on a journey with mysterious occurrences – all to find out who murdered Harris Bullard. This is the first horror title released by Robot Invader and you’ll be looking to unravel the clues behind the mystery, using virtual reality to your advantage.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
Simon Harris, executive producer at Supermassive Games, claims they’ve created a “very different style of game” and, from the looks of it, he isn’t fibbing. Not only does Until Dawn look like an amazing first person shooter, it also looks scary as hell, with some survival features thrown into the mix.
Gran Turismo Sport
Gran Turismo has been a Sony exclusive, as well as a huge hit, for years and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. With the use of virtual reality, the legendary racing game can be taken a step further, and will feature FIA Gran Turismo Championships to give you a chance to get your head in the race for your favourite car manufacturer or home country.
Taking a step back from the big name games, this ’80s Atari classic deserves a mention. Its makers state: “If we can capture the same revolutionary thrill of the original Battlezone for a whole new generation of gamers, then we’ll have done gaming history proud.” Taking the ‘original’ VR first person tank battle game and 21st-centurying it is certainly a bold ambition.
Pollen has been built with VR in mind and the visuals look stunning. It’s a game in which you explore Titan – Saturn’s largest moon. Obviously, being in deep space alone, a few things are bound to go wrong.