Here they are then – the best games to play in virtual reality…and those games are “watching football,” “drinking”, “a nice cup of tea”, “fleeting emotional connection to another human being” and all those other everyday activities you believe to be real, as opposed than a simulation you have been experiencing since you first plugged your frail, mollusc-like form into a headset 19 years ago. SPOOKS!
But, should you persist in maintaining this fantasy, let’s go one level deeper and talk about the entertaining, satisfying or otherwise nifty games available for what is the current VR state-of-the-art in your imagined world: the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The rival headsets are getting on for a couple of years old now, and in that time there’s been what can feel like a ceaseless storm of new games for them. How to choose, how to choose? Well, start here. These are not the only good’uns, please understand – but they are our favourite virtual realities right now.
The Climb [official site] is one of the most effective meeting points between high concept experience and substantial game that I’ve tried to date. It’s a rock-climbing simulator, set in a small series of suitably fantastic-looking backdrops (thank you kindly, Cryengine), and that immediately saves it from the sick-making movement issues that can plague so many other games which shoot for a first-person experience. All the movement comes from the arms and shoulders here, and in short sharp bursts rather than sustained running.
The brilliance of The Climb is that it feels so physical, even without Touch controllers (though more so with them). When your character lunges up and out for a far-off grip, you shunt your torso with them. This is a standing still game, but the Rift’s motion sensor keeps tabs on where your head is – and if it’s not close enough to that grip, you’re going to miss, and might well fall.
Oddly and mercifully, the vertigo is not as acute as the shots and concept might suggest, so this isn’t a game to be afraid of – but it will give you a surprising work-out.
Supports: Oculus Rift.