Virtual reality is here to stay. Instead of being swept away as yet another ultra-expensive fad or gimmick, VR has continued to adapt and surprise us with PlayStation VR, Oculus, and HTC Vive finally spreading their wings.
It’s still early days, but 2017 has been as much about fresh ideas as it has outfitting tried and tested video game genres. When it came to nominated our favourite VR games of the year, there was no shortage of entries that show off the tech in cool and interesting ways but here are our final picks.
Six years after its debut and Skyrim is still one of the most talked about video games in circulation. Having made the jump to current-gen platforms last year, Bethesda took things one step further with its flagship RPG in 2017.
Up until now many of the best VR games have been small and self-contained, dropping players into a fully interactive space for them to mess around in. Anything bigger tends to lose focus, but not Skyrim. Adapting such a massive, thriving world and all its complexities for virtual reality was no small undertaking for Bethesda but it works so well. Just when we thought we were done with our Elder Scrolls adventures, 2017 gave us our most enjoyable, immersive trip to Tamriel ever.
Star Trek Bridge Crew – Runner Up
The real power of VR is shown when developers try to do something new and invigorating with the system, and that’s certainly true of Star Trek Bridge Crew. You’re fully transported onto the bridge of a Federation starship, each being handed different roles and abilities and having to work together to overcome the obstacles in front of you.
Ultimately, the game falls down in a few areas like the mission structure of its central story campaign, and it’s not a concept that can only work in VR, as ably shown by yesterday’s surprise update that removes the requirement, but there’s something very special about having a pair of motion controllers in your hand and flipping switches on the original series’ Enterprise while the Captain behind you is actively trying to distract you by letting their controllers dangle from their wrist straps so that they weirdly spin and freak out.
If you’ve got a group of friends or are willing to chat and make some, this is almost a must have VR game.
Doom VFR – Runner Up
Playing Doom VFR on was hugely enjoyable. The mechanics of teleporting into stunned enemies, combined with the frantic gameplay of Doom was surprisingly engaging and only too overwhelming in a sense that there’s a lot to visually process. It’s a fun romp for a few hours or so and shows that there is scope for longer experiences to be developed for VR.
It is part of how Bethesda has approached VR in multiple ways this year; with Doom VFR being the new experience for both PSVR and HTC Vive, rather than one port of an older game for each system. What keeps it from the top spot is that while the PSVR version is playable, it’s nowhere near as refined in the controls.
Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
- Duck Season
- Superhot VR
Now it’s over to the rest of your people with fancy hats. What have been your favourite VR games of 2017?