Game of the Year 2022 – Best Virtual Reality Game

Game of the Year 2022 Best VR Header

For PlayStation gamers in particular, 2022 has felt like the end of the cycle for virtual reality gaming. With the original PSVR hardware now so utterly outdated and Sony having teased out the details of its successor through the year, eyes have largely turned to the future of console-based VR.

Of course, that’s overlooking the wider range of headsets that enable SteamVR, and the burgeoning standalone VR market on Meta Quest 2 – though arguably that’s struggling under the weight of metaverse expectations from its parent company. 2023 looks far more exciting, but 2022 had plenty of its own highlight, with a handful of excellent reasons to pop a VR headset on to play.

Game of the Year 2022 Best VR Winner

Moss: Book II continues the adventures of Quill as she seeks to save her world from the Arcane army. It’s a lot more adorable than you’re picturing, as Quill is actually an exceedingly cute mouse with a sword and her world is made up of stunningly detailed, fantasy themed dioramas. The most surprising part of this game is more surprising is in how good its story is, how well it’s told, and just how tear-jerky it gets when Quill starts crying thanks to some detailed animations and tiny little sobbing noises.

It’s not all crying mice though, using the DualShock 4 or Meta Quest 2 controllers you can interact with the world to knock stalactites down to make platforms, distract or even weaponise enemies, and even high five Quill! Gameplay is Moss: Book II is routinely creative, leaving you smiling as you realise you can pull on this enemy, aim it at another, then let go to cause a nasty crash. Whilst you’re fighting off little enemies, upcoming bosses will trundle around in the background. Occasionally they’ll pick up a weapon that you’d thought was just scenery, really building the anticipation for creative boss battles against bosses that tower above your tiny mouse.

In a year where there perhaps weren’t too many VR games, at least Moss: Book II is here to remind us what can be done with real care and attention to detail. It’s a delightful game that is continually surprising, even if it’s just how much it gets you to care about a mute mouse – she uses ASL to communicate! And she’s so fuzzy! SO CUTE!

– Gamoc

Red Matter 2 – Runner Up

The first Red Matter is one of VR’s best hidden gems. Using the immersive nature of the headset experience to facilitate challenging puzzles that require you to actively engage with the world around you it really stands out as a game that wouldn’t work anywhere near as well in traditional pancake form. The sequel builds on everything that the first game did and further refines it, offering a twisting story that explores its alternative universe take on the Cold War whilst thriving on the intricate object manipulation that VR enables.

Playing the first game will give you more context and investment in the sequel’s story, but the introduction here is brilliantly designed to catch up those who are coming to the game fresh (or have forgotten). While not the longest game out there, the satisfaction you’ll feel from solving the many puzzles and finding out more about the game’s setting makes this a great choice (along with its predecessor) for anyone looking for something more involved from their VR gaming.

– Steve C

Bonelab – Runner Up

Bonelab stands out in that it has the potential to be all the things to VR gamers. Best described as a VR sandbox, Bonelab challenges players to experiment, mod and design their own experiences within its engine, in the same vein as Garry’s Mod or Dreams.

There is a well designed and enjoyable campaign that features a set of short chapters with a range of gameplay and aesthetic approaches, but the meat of the game will come from what you (and others) make of it. This means that you might be gunning down hordes of enemies, exploring a dungeon, riding a go kart and more, but whatever you do, it offers up some of the most intense VR action out there. That said, this is definitely not a beginner title as you’ll need to be comfortable with VR or risk some serious motion sickness.

– Steve C

Want to catch up on our Game of the Year 2022 awards so far? Well, here you go with a handy list of links!

1 Comment

  1. I wasn’t aware there is a sequel to Red Matter, which I liked. It’s a shame it is not on PSVR just yet, hope it’ll make it to PlayStation too.

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