The early experiments with virtual reality have really started to mature, with fantastic games like Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Firewall: Zero Hour now really showing what the PlayStation VR can do, while there’s still great strides being made by HTC and Oculus to bring their platforms to more people and also improve the fundamental technologies that VR relies on.
Here’s some of the games that we know are on the way for 2019:
Platforms: PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive– Release: 2019
Following in the footsteps of Job Simulator and Virtual Rick-ality, Owlchemy Labs are back with Vacation Simulator, where you will be doing everything that humans do while on holiday-ish.
As with Job Simulator, it’s holidaying, but not as you know it. You’ll create sandcastles from sandcastle blocks, play with beach balls, go diving to catch fish, play something called net-ball which doesn’t look like netball, and so on. Everything is distorted through misunderstanding and reinterpretation, hopefully creating an amusing send up of vacation activities.
A Fisherman’s Tale
Platforms: PSVR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Windows MR – Release: 22/01/19
This game is just a bit barmy, to put it lightly. The game’s recursive lighthouse setting is crazy enough, letting you interact with a tiny model version of your surroundings for some natty puzzle design, but it’s amplified by a distinctive style of narration of quirky animal characters that you meet and help you along the way.
Ace Combat 7
Platforms: PSVR, PS4, XBO, PC – Release: 18/01/19
Considering that Ace Combat 7 was originally announced as a PSVR exclusive, it was disappointing to discover its support for the headset would be limited to a standalone, five mission campaign. Sure, that allows for the main campaign to have a more cinematic approach and for the VR campaign to avoid breaking immersion, but it’s still a shame.
That relegates Ace Combat 7 from the must buy list of PSVR aficionados, but if you’ve a soft spot for dogfighting games anyway and own the headset, then this will surely heighten the experience as it drops you directly into the cockpit.
Everybody’s Golf VR
Platforms: PSVR – Release: 2019
If there’s one constant across all the PlayStation consoles, it’s Everybody’s Golf, and 2019 will see the series coming to PlayStation VR. Not only is it bringing the fun and friendly golf to VR – one nice and inclusive feature is the ability to use a DualShock 4 for motion control club swinging, and not just Move – but it’s also filling a niche. There’s a surprising lack of quality golf games in VR that this can hopefully answer.
Platforms: PSVR – Release: Q1 2019
Futurlab’s second VR game is no less mini than their first, the delightfully diddy VR Scalectrix-like Tiny Trax. Mini-Mech Mayhem, is a social VR board game for four players, with players gathering ina bright and colourful town plaza before sending their cute and interactive mechs out onto the board.
The actual board game looks really intriguing, as you have to plan moves in advance, trying to anticipate those that your opponents will make and the abilities that they will use. It’s all about getting to the middle spot and being the last mech standing, but the social aspect that having a microphone built into a PSVR headset could really take this to the next level.
Platforms: PSVR – Release: Coming Soon
Already out for PC-based VR headsets, Skyworld is a great-looking VR strategy game that blends turn-based base building and expansion with real time battles. Each turn, you’re shuffling resources and manpower around as you seek to spread from one side of the circular board to the other, before taking your general and the army of card you’ve built up into battle, whereupon you fling your units into battle and try to defeat the enemy army.
It’s a pleasantly designed experience for VR, from the design of the turn-based map on a spinning table, to the simplified menu system, and the way that you simply point and drop your armies in the real time battles.
Platforms: PSVR, HTC Vive – Release: 2019
Bethesda have done a lot to champion different VR platforms and bring their premier titles to them. We’ve seen Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR, and now it’s the turn of Wolfenstein Cyberpilot.
Where BJ and his daughters will simply charge headlong into battle, Cyberpilot sees the French Resistance remotely commandeering Panzerhunds and other Nazi war machines going on the rampage. It’s wonderfully empowering as you unleash gouts of flame from the Panzerhund or charge and headbutt vehicles on the street toward your enemies. No, it’s not the most complex of games, but sometimes you just want some mindless fun, right?
Blood & Truth
Platforms: PSVR – Release: TBC
Sony and London Studio have gone rather quiet about Blood & Truth since its Paris Games Week reveal in 2017, but it still ranks as one of our most highly anticipated games for VR. As a spiritual sequel to The London Heist, it’s full of cheeky-chappy accents, sensational action set pieces that see you blowing up a casino and leaping through windows, and plenty of room to experiment and play within this VR world.
Hopefully we’ll see more of Blood & Truth soon, because from our hands on time last year, it’s looking great!
That’s it for this selection of VR games. Join us again tomorrow when we have a look at the Xbox One gaming landscape in 2019.