Five games that could be great in virtual reality0 Comments
Virtual reality is finally upon us (well, those of us who actually have scraped together the funds and can find a headset). With both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift out in the wild, zillions of titles have been releasing right and left to introduce folks to the world of VR gaming. Many of the games are brand new, but some are VR ports of existing games.
For example, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Albino Lullaby, and Adrift all have non-VR versions for folks to play through. In some instances, the original games may actually play better than what you get within your Rift or Vive. Unfortunately, it seems that some games just aren’t a good fit for VR. With that said, I’ve spent some time considering which existing titles from gaming's past would potentially turn out awesome if they made the jump to virtual reality.
Many don’t remember Breakdown as it was an Xbox (original) title that really failed to generate tons of attention once it finally launched. However, it brought some truly interesting concepts to the table. Mainly, its goal was to be a first-person game through and through. Players could actually see “their” arms grab items and punch enemies. As unique as these features were, they may have taken time away from crafting a compelling narrative. Breakdown was praised most for its obsessive focus on first-person action, but not so much for any other component of the title. Even so, I have a feeling it would once again excite gamers if served on a VR platter.
Command & Conquer
If there’s one thing these formative VR releases have shown, it is that first-person view is often — but not always — a key success factor. AirMech is an RTS which has already proven that the genre can work quite well in virtual reality, so why not bring a more established name such as Command & Conquer into the mix? Just imagine the potential of commanding your troops via gestures and arm-based commands with the HTC Vive controllers (or eventually the Rift Touch controllers). The GUI would need to be severely overhauled to be more context sensitive, but it would inject some much-needed excitement to this classic franchise.
I’ll never quite understand why Jumping Flash didn’t catch on in the realm of 3D platformers. For those who’ve never played it, this title stars a cute little robotic rabbit with a penchant for jumping and fighting. As such, players are expected to platform vertically with their bunny hops. However, being an android means Robbit also is able to jump to extreme heights. It seems that VR-exclusive Windlands was based a bit off Jumping Flash, but gets the core aspect of movement from place to place wrong. Then again, maybe bringing Robbit’s view into VR would cause people to get motion sick rather than have an enjoyable platforming experience. It’s impossible to know for sure either way — so here’s hoping Sony brings it to PlayStation VR!
Okay, so this might be a bit of biased choice on my part, but Magic Carpet could definitely stand to receive a VR release decades after the original. When it first launched in 1995, the title was met with tons of acclaim due to the innovative concept of first-person magic carpet riding across the landscape and fighting wizards along the way. There’s no doubt that this would fit right in with the current stream of VR releases out now even if there wasn’t much done to upgrade it. With that said, an actual remake of Magic Carpet would both be able to introduce newcomers to a neat title as well as welcome back fans of the original series with open arms.
One of the most popular genres available for VR headsets right now is the puzzle genre. Why? It just seems to be a smart way to get folks introduced to how virtual reality functions without overwhelming them. This precedent could be turned on its head with an official release of Portal in VR. It would probably push many to their limits when they find themselves directly experiencing flying through portals and being flipped around. Still, it seems like an incredibly fitting choice and something which might actually happen. After all, Valve wants to see the HTC Vive succeed, and one easy way to do so would be to bring Portal 3 to the headset.
Of course, this is just the start. Even after this list, more and more titles keep coming to mind that seem like great fits for virtual reality. Some certainly will never be ported over, but you never know what might happen down the road as these headsets become increasingly popular. What titles from gaming history would you love to see in VR? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!