When it comes to gaming virtual reality is in its infancy and if it is to survive it’ll need a strong software line up to keep it going. 2017 could be a make or break year for the VR headsets as by a few months in the honeymoon period will be over. Those who own the headsets will be wanting new experiences while those thinking about purchasing could be swayed either way by the software library.
Going by some of the games below, there’s very little to worry about.
Without a doubt, those who are invested in VR are looking to Capcom’s Resident Evil 7 for delivering a must have, blockbuster experience. The first slimpse people would have had with Capcom’s vision of Resident Evil 7 would have been The Kitchen demo, which was released a year before the official announcement of the game. The demo was a way for Capcom to test its new RE Engine and gauge reception to its foray into VR.
Resident Evil 7 was then officially announced at Sony’s E3 2016 press conference, where it was confirmed for both PS4 and PSVR, as well as Xbox One and PC. The Kitchen demo was made available at launch for the PSVR while a separate demo called The Beginning Hour was released for PS4, at first as a Plus exclusive. That demo set a record for most demo downloads in one week on PS4. Eventually the demo was made available for everyone, and a few weeks ago a final update made it playable for all in PSVR.
Resident Evil 7 will be one of 2017’s early releases, available from January 24th.
Ubisoft’s first forays into VR have a distinct social feel to them, as typified by Werewolves Within. Their next voyage sees them adapting a much beloved franchise in the form of Star Trek: Bridge Crew. It’s a cooperative social game where four players work together aboard a new starship which goes by the name USS Aegis, with players taking on the role of either Captain, Engineer, Tactical or Helm.
Players will tackle various missions and have to make tough choices on how to proceed, be it engaging in battle or trying to save an entire planet.
Star Trek Bridge Crew was originally scheduled to release in November, but was pushed back to March 14th 2017 so Ubisoft could improve it before launch. It’s set for release on PSVR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Announced only last month, Hammerhead’s Syren is another horror experience coming to VR headsets in early 2017. You find yourself trying to survive and escape an underwater research facility where the experiments have broken free and killed the people within. These experiments are the result of a scientist’s work to try to create a race of Syrens, a people he believed lived in a city beneath the waves whose ruins are nestled below the research facility.
There is a pressure on you to escape and it isn’t just the Syrens you have to worry about, as there is a limited time in which to get out before the lab’s reactor goes critical. If that happens before you manage to escape, then you lose.
A date for Syren is yet to be confirmed, but it will be coming to HTC Vive, PSVR, and Oculus Rift.
It was in June earlier this year that Tarsier Studios announced puzzle game Statik exclusively for PSVR. The game puts players in a lab with a contraption placed over their hands, and this is required to solve puzzles that are thought up by Dr Ingen and his assistant Edith.
While the puzzles themselves will be challenging, you’ll also want to work out the truth of the predicament you’re in. Dr Ingen will speak to you about what is going on, but not everything he says will be true, so you’ll have to pay attention and try to work out what the lies are.
While a date hasn’t been confirmed for Statik it is expected to release in 2017 as a PSVR exclusive.
At PlayStation Experience 2016 San Diego Studio and Whitemoon Dreams revealed Starblood Arena, a multiplayer arena shooter for the PSVR. The game has you piloting spaceships in the different environments and tasks you with blowing enemies up. The game will feature modes such as team deathmatch and battle royale, along with co-op opportunities for two to four players.
Starblood Arena is expected in 2017 but there is no date, and very little information to be gleaned from its official website.
Farpoint is currently in development at Impulse Gear and is another game on this list that will be exclusive to the PSVR. Farpoint sees the player become stranded on a new world whose environment and local creatures are anything but friendly. The mission is to find The Pilgrim, the space station that crashed onto the planet, and any survivors.
One piece of equipment that isn’t standard issue in the real world is the PlayStation Aim, a new peripheral that will make Farpoint more immersive by giving you a gun-like controller to hold. Farpoint is a game that allows a semblance of free movement and using the Aim will allow you to move around and aim at enemies, firing at them by pulling the trigger. You can read our preview here.
There is no release date for the Aim just like there isn’t for Farpoint, but both are expected in 2017.
Rick and Morty is a strange yet humourous adult cartoon whose fans are still waiting for a release date of its third season. Yet a Rick and Morty VR game was unexpected, though with the show’s infinite realities theory it was bound to turn up somewhere. Developers Owlchemy Games, who created Job Simulator, seem perfectly suited to the task.
In Rick & Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-Ality you embody a Morty clone who can explore Rick’s garage, the Smith household, and portal hop to different worlds to help out Rick with his work, which will no doubt mean you’ll end up in some weird situations.
At the moment this VR game is only confirmed for the HTC Vive, and is expected in 2017.
Budget Cuts is currently in development at Neat Corporation for HTC Vive, making full use of the system’s room scale VR. It’s a stealth game where you have to navigate levels using portals while trying to avoid the robot patrols, or escape them if they spot you.
Not many details have been released for Budget Cuts apart from platform, but this is a playable demo available on Steam. The game is expected at some point in 2017.
Another title announced at PlayStation Experience 2015 was Double Fine’s Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a PSVR exclusive set to bridge the story gap between the first Psychonauts and Psychonauts 2. Like a few titles on this list, news has been quiet on the Rhombus front with the last piece dropping six months ago, which featured some pre-alpha gameplay from the beginning of the game.
Since then Double Fine hasn’t really discussed Rhombus Of Ruin, but we’re still expecting it to release during 2017.
Stay tuned for more Ones to Watch tomorrow, or check out yesterday’s look at 2017’s roster of shooters.