When PlayStation VR launches in the first half of 2016, it’s going to be a pioneer product for console gaming. It might be a wild success, paving the way for how we play video games in the future, or it could sputter out like Sony’s Move controllers for PlayStation 3. It depends on how players react to the PlayStation VR, and it depends on the games that are available.
Sony has been gradually pulling back the curtain on what titles are in the works for PlayStation VR. Here are seven of the most promising titles, with the latest trailers for each.
1. Gran Turismo Sport
One of Sony’s biggest franchises is Gran Turismo, a series of realistic racing sims that has appeared on every PlayStation console since the beginning. And since racing games seem like an obvious choice for virtual reality, there was little doubt Sony would include PlayStation VR support when it announced Gran Turismo Sport.
We don’t know much about Gran Turismo Sport yet, but past installments of the series have gone to great lengths to offer the most realistic driving experience possible, with tons of licensed cars and real-world tracks. It’s safe to expect the same thing here, with the added bonus of VR immersion.
2. RIGS Mechanized Combat League
Many sci-fi stories feature some kind of futuristic sport that seems much more exciting than our current offerings. That’s exactly what RIGS is: a team-based sport set in 2065. You and your team of online combatants strap into nimble mechs and go head to head against another team in giant sports arenas around the world.
The goal appears to be the same as all sports games: score more goals than the opposing team. The only difference is that here you can shoot the other team to smithereens, too. Looks like fun.
3. London Heist
Fans of gritty crime stories will want to keep an eye on London Heist, a game that puts you in all manner of mortal danger, ranging from car chases to shootouts and hostile interrogations. The only weird thing about it is that your hands float in the air front of your face, with no arms anywhere to be seen. Watch the video above to see what it’s like.
Battlezone is all about tank combat. You and a group of players hop online to duke it out in arena battles filled with flying bullets and total mayhem. The whole thing is depicted in a retro low-polygon art style meant to honor the original game from way back in the days of Atari. Watch the trailer above to get a taste of the action.
5. Robinson: The Journey
The makers of the Crysis series are trying their hand at VR with Robinson: The Journey. Despite the impossibly generic subtitle, the game looks interesting. You find yourself in a land before time, ducking and dodging to stay away from stampeding dinosaurs. It looks heavily inspired by Jurassic Park.
Oh, and there’s a floating robotic orb guiding you, like in Portal. Who knows how it will hold together, but it looks intriguing so far.
6. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
The original Until Dawn is a highly regarded game that’s basically a 12-hour “choose your own adventure” horror movie. You control a group of teenagers as they try to escape from a serial killer who’s hunting them at a cabin in the woods.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood puts a VR twist on a similar idea. The weird thing is, Rush of Blood appears to be an on-rails shooter. How that will work out remains to be seen, but the developer promises you’ll get to make choices along the way — choices that may determine who lives and dies.
7. Tekken 7
There’s no obvious way to bring a third-person fighting game like Tekken into VR, other than to let your head movements control the camera to some extent. Anyway, it’s not my problem to figure out, and if the makers of Tekken 7 want you to play the game with a screen strapped to your face, that’s their prerogative. Fighting game fans can get up close to the action when Tekken 7 lands on the PS4.
It will take a while for game developers to figure out the best practices for designing virtual reality games. In the meantime, this set of upcoming titles spans a number of genres and ideas. It will be interesting to see how VR console gaming develops in the coming years.