Ones To Watch In 2018 – Multiplatform Virtual Reality Games

While PlayStation VR seems to have a near total hegemony in terms of exclusive games, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both still receive a lot of love from developers and plenty of VR experiences that cross the the platform borders.

There’s some familiar developers in this list, with the likes of Owlchemy Labs, Survios and the collective studios at Ubisoft returning to show their mastery of the technology and what it can offer. Ubi in particular are a AAA publisher who’ve decided to make VR their own, and it’s one of their more unusual projects that we’ll start with.


Transference

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift – Release date: Spring 2018

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I’ve legitimately no idea what Ubisoft are cooking up with Transference, but it really looks like Elijah Wood is having fun, so I’m happy for them.

OK, so I do have a slight clue, as this psychological thriller introduces you to a troubled family and asks you to solve delve into their minds and dreams, piecing together the truth of a mystery that their stories hide. It sounds fascinating and just a little bit creepy…


Ark Park

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive – Release date: Spring 2018

Filled as it was with dinosaurs, it’s no wonder that Ark: Survival Evolved captured the imaginations of so many people. Naturally, now that we have the technology, Snail Games are mixing Ark with virtual reality and Jurassic Park. The result is Ark Park.

By the looks of things, they’ve gone all the way in creating a range of environments to explore and dinosaurs to discover. There’s things like gene collection and dinosaur breeding to do, but there’s also a darker side to this, with Battle Mode and multiplayer letting you pick up arms and defend a base from rampaging dinos!


Vacation Simulator

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift – Release date: 2018

After all that hard work in Job Simulator, it’s time to kick back and relax on holiday. It’s time for Vacation Simulator, whisking you away to sunny beaches to hang out with a bunch of bots, playing with beach balls, flipping burgers on a barbie, ducking under the water to grab a crustacean. This is bound to be wonderfully bizarre gibberish, and I’m rather looking forward to it.


Space Junkies

Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift – Release date: 2018

Ubisoft’s commitment to VR is more than admirable, and their efforts are helping to solidify that there is a market here and it’s worth catering to, even by huge publishers. Ubisoft Montpellier’s crack at a VR first person shooter is Space Junkies, where you bounce around with an array of shotguns, miniguns, railguns and more, and have crazy battles in outer space.

Battles are 2v2 or four way free-for-alls, with movement in any direction and maps full of cover and obstacles to make use of. Sadly, PlayStation VR owners aren’t being invited to the party this time, as it demands higher end VR and tracking.


Pixel Ripped

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Gear VR – Release date: early 2018 (Rift, PSVR)

It’s 1989 and Nicola is trying her best to play Pixel Ripped in class. The only problem is that while Nicola has to worry about rescuing the magical Pixel Ripped stone that contains the soul of Adventureland, she’s also got to worry about getting caught by the teacher and sent to the principals office!

A game within a game, you’ll have to think outside the box to actually manage to beat Pixel Ripped, and this is a fun, nostalgic concept that I think could work really well in VR.


Brass Tactics

Platforms: Oculus Rift – Release date: 22nd February

Coming from the lead designer of Age of Empires II, Brass Tactics is a classic real time strategy game shoved into VR. You face off against an enemy commander on the other side of a huge map laid out in front of you, picking troops from a menu in one hand and dropping them onto the battlefield, where they break out of their cages and can directed to fight as you see fit.


Sprint Vector

Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift – Release date: Q1 2018

This is one game that really feels like it absolutely shouldn’t work. Coming from Survios, the team behind Raw Data, Sprint Vector looks like a blend of parkour, Jet Set Radio and perilous assault courses, all smashed together in VR. It looks insanely fast.

The fluid locomotion is what really stands out here, and it will be fascinating to see how Survios have pulled it off using your whole body motion as a controller.


With that, it’s time to end our penultimate Ones to Watch. Join us tomorrow on Saturday for the last one, where we turn our gaze back to PlayStation 4 and its wide array of exclusive titles.

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I'm probably wearing toe shoes, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!

3 Comments

  1. Never heard of Ark Park but man do I want that. Fingers crossed it turns out well and not just another slight disappointment like Robinson.

  2. Ark Park is my most anticipated from that lot but also Vacation Simulator should be some daft fun and Pixel Rift sounds a bit different.

  3. “Ubisoft’s commitment to VR is more than admirable”

    Well, yes and no. Their commitment to doing impressive VR games is good. Star Trek Bridge Crew being one of my favourite VR things, with 100+ hours playing the limited content that it contains.

    Their commitment to supporting these games is horrible compared to some of their other games. DLC for Bridge Crew would seem obvious, and 90%+ of the people I’ve played with would buy it instantly. The option to play on the Discovery would have been obvious last September, to tie in with the new series. But no. Unlike every other Ubisoft game, there’s no DLC. The only thing they added was non-VR support, because that obviously makes sense, and nobody’s going to get annoyed by people struggling to play it properly with a normal controller instead of Move/whatever PC people have.

    So top marks to Ubisoft for releasing VR games, and top marks for abandoning them afterwards.

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