Posts Tagged ‘VR games’

Microsoft’s cheaper, lower-spec VR initiative Mixed Reality launches October 17th

Arriving late to virtual reality, Microsoft have rebranded it Windows Mixed Reality et voila, the revolution will begin anew on October 17th. Microsoft have announced that Mixed Reality support will hit Windows 10 in the Fall Creators Update on that day, launching their VR initiative alongside headsets from several companies. Windows Mixed Reality is a term that supposedly will one day encompass both virtual reality and augmented reality (where cyberbits interact with the real world before our eyes), but the launch lineup is all VR headsets starting around £250. They’re not regular cybergoggs, mind, bearing lower system requirements and including built-in sensors that mean you don’t need to set up external sensors for motion controllers. And it’s named Mixed Reality, so it’s clearly different.

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Bethesda’s Hines on VR: “It’s something all of our studios are looking at and talking about”

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A couple of weeks back – when I also went hands-on with both Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2 – I goggled up and gave the upcoming VR version of 2016’s Doom a spin, as well as bearing witness to other folks’ flailing and giggling in Skyrim VR and Fallout VR. Bethesda’s triptych of 3D ultravision spin-offs are due before the year is out, with Skyrim only available on PSVR at least initially and Fallout and Doom only officially supporting HTC Vive, for obvious reasons. Their arrival is a pretty big event for a technology that so far has leaned far more heavily on brand new things rather than established names.

Curious about what this means for the technology and for Doom, Skyrim and Fallout, I picked Bethesda VP Pete Hine’s brains about the whys and wherefores, and what it might imply for the future of their own VR efforts. Also below: my own quick impressions of Doom VFR [official site].

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The 23 best VR games for PC

best-vr-games

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.

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EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone blasts off, making VR optional

If you fancied hopping into the cockpit of a spacefighter and shooting spaceships while Starbucks off the telly bosses you around but you didn’t own the cybergoggles necessary to play EVE: Valkyrie, good news: VR is now optional in the EVE Online spin-off. Developers CCP last night launched EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone [official site], a rebranding and update which gave the first-person dogfighter support for regular screens and whacked in new maps and modes too. Read the rest of this entry »

State of the Art: How Isaac Cohen uses shimmering virtual cloth to explore emotions

L U N E

Over the last few months I’ve had a slow back-and-forth with Isaac Cohen – a game creator whose work caught my eye at GDC because it’s got this wonderful experimental attitude to spaces and play. He also has these gorgeous textures and iridescent effects I haven’t seen elsewhere. I wrote about my own experience of specific games Cohen made like Blarp and Warka Flarka Flim Flam, but with this I wanted to explore what he was creating from the designer’s point of view.

Our emails ended up being quite long so I’m going to pluck out pieces which were of particular interest as we chatted – we started with the shimmering fabric effect that recurs across many of the games! Read the rest of this entry »

Rockstar planning PC-only VR version of L.A. Noire

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Rockstar’s first foray into the uneven world of virtual reality isn’t a GTA spin-off, or a brand new game, but instead VR version of Rockstar and Team Bondi’s 2011 detective romp, L.A. Noire [official site]. While the current generation of consoles are getting the whole game with added 4K support and the like, over on PC we’re in for a trimmed-down version redone as a Vive exclusive.
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Killing Floor: Incursion brings zombie slaughter to VR

Killing Floor Incursion

Chop a zombie’s head off with an axe, grab the skull and chuck it at one of his ghoulish friends, all using your own, real-life hands. That’s the kind of thing you can do in Killing Floor: Incursion [official site], which is out now and brings combat based on the excellent Killing Floor games to virtual reality. It’s exclusive to the Rift right now and requires the Oculus Touch to play, so there’s a big barrier to entry, but if you’re already kitted out then it could be a go-er.

The combat looks intense, and you can shoot through the hordes on your own or with a friend in co-op. The Touch gameplay means you can slash your knives in whatever direction and angle you want, or chuck a shotgun to a friend so they can blow the head off a zombie that’s getting too close. Plus, it looks bloody terrifying: the Killing Floor games weren’t exactly scary but being in VR means there’s no escape. Gulp.

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EVE: Valkyrie welcoming non-VR players in September

After almost a year strapped to the foreheads of cybergoggleers, EVE: Valkyrie [official site] is coming to regular screens too. The dogfighting spin-off from spacebastard MMO EVE Online will get new maps, ships, and modes with the launch of its free expansion ‘Warzone’ on September 26th, and more importantly will no longer require VR goggles. I’ve quite fancied a go at Valkyrie’s first-person space-dogfighting but am no gogghead so this is splendid news. Read the rest of this entry »

Rez Infinite is the greatest VR game to date

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I’ll defer from any commentary on the health of the VR industry and speak only personally: until today, there was enough dust on my goggles to craft a life-size Jeff Fahey statue. With the shock release of ur-console musical shooter Rez Infinite [official site] on PC last week, that’s all changed. Whatever the future might hold for VR, the blissful lines, colours and rhythm of Rez writ wraparound and gigantic is a moment of redemption for the whole concept.
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Rez Infinite grooves onto PC

Revered rhythmic rail shooter Rez has finally arrived on PC in the revamped form of Rez Infinite [official site]. Rez sends players drifting through cyberspace, bopping to electronic tunes and blasting enemies to build the beats with extra sounds and effects and gosh, it’s magic. Sound, action, and visuals combine in an experience that still few games have rivalled. For PCnauts who demand comparisons to familiar native games: think of the experience of Thumper or Devil Daggers, except Rez chills in cyberspace rather than horrifies in Hell. Read the rest of this entry »

Water Planet involves a cybernetic jellyfish!

Water Planet

I am a big fan of water and water effects in games (which is why I was so happy to see Pippin Barr’s water museum earlier this year). That’s why I’m surprised I haven’t looked into Water Planet [official site] before now. I’m watching a dev log video and the phrase “cybernetic jellyfish” has been used already!

Water Planet sounds like it’s a game that’s maybe also a music video set. The description lays out a single-player first-person adventure where you “Gather resources to fuel an interstellar ship as your on-board A.I. Gemini guides you through sunken ruins and ocean depths while listening to the music of VIRGO.” Read the rest of this entry »

Report: Oculus to announce $200 standalone VR headset this year

VR in Murder She Wrote

Facebook is planning to unveil a $200 (£150-odd) wireless Oculus VR headset later this year that you can use without connecting to either a PC or a phone, according to a Bloomberg report.

The new headset, codename “Pacific”, will be a fully standalone product. So you’ll be able to take it out of the box, strap it on your head, and start playing games and watching videos. That means it will have some kind of built-in display, which would be a first in the space.

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Spider-Man VR now gumming up cybergoggles

Spider-Man, they say. Spider-Man, they repeat. He does whatever a spider can, they tell us. Alas, spiders are incapable of releasing games on PC, so we’re not getting the Batman-lookin’ Spider-Man PS4 game that Sony flashed around at E3. Nope, our fanciest modern-day Webslinging™ option is a new virtual reality doodad promoting that there new movie Ian Hollywood has made. Spider-Man: Homecoming – Virtual Reality Experience [Steam page] is out now, a little doodad free for gogglenauts, and its launch mostly reminds me how much I like other games about swinging around. Read the rest of this entry »

Star Trek: Bridge Crew adds voice control

Bossy captains can now order their crew about simply by shouting in Star Trek: Bridge Crew [official site]. No, I know that’s how the VR spaceship-commanding game already how it works in multiplayer, but this is in singleplayer. Ubisoft have rolled in IBM Watson’s voice-recognition technology, which means AI-controlled crewmates can follow orders you holler. Voice control in games is usually a bit wonky but, having watched what happened when Pip & co. played Bridge Crew, I suspect even the worst voice control would be better shipmates than some real people. Read the rest of this entry »

Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision & Ubi making Transference

When actor Elijah Wood appeared on screen during Ubisoft’s E3 press conference, his little face wedged between scenes with banks of old TVs and weird technology, I briefly though Ubi were making a game based on the unexpectedly great Dirk Gently series off Netflix. Nope! Wood was there to gab about Transference [official site], a collaboration between Ubi and the production company he co-founded, SpectreVision.

Transference is a “psychological thriller” jacking into the digitally-recreated memories of a family to explore (and maybe alter) how they their lives got muffed up. Despite what this E3 trailer might suggest, virtual reality goggles are not mandatory: Read the rest of this entry »

Bethesda jack in for Doom VFR and Fallout 4 VR this year

The promised VR version of Fallout 4 [official site] will arrive in October for Vive cybergoggs, Bethesda announced during last night’s E3-o-rama. Curiously, Fallout 4 VR [official site] is a separate game rather than an update or add-on – one which will cost twice as much as regular Fallout 4 does.

Bethesda also formally announced Doom VFR [official site], a standalone Doom game made expressly for VR. This is a new game rather than a refit of 2016’s game, a new Doom first-person monster-mash. Have a look in this trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

4D Toys is a toybox with four-dimensional toys

As a stupid jumped-up monkey trapped within three dimensions, I am fascinated and wholly baffled by Marc ten Bosch’s upcoming four-dimensional puzzler Miegakure. It looks amazing and so far beyond me. Thankfully, before Miegakure arrives, Bosch is offering an easier way to play in four spatial dimensions.

On Friday he released 4D Toys [official site], a physics-driven toybox of 4D shapes to play with and get a feel for the fourth dimension. It has optional VR support too, though entering into four-dimensional space as a three-dimensional being seems like a surefire way to get yourself trapped in cyberhell. Have a look in this video:

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Star Trek: Bridge Crew drops out of hyperspace

Virtual reality Kessel Run ’em up Star Trek: Bridge Crew [official site] has dropped out of hyperspace and into cybergoggles. It lets players pop on their goggs to serve as crew aboard an Empire starship, each taking control of one specific bridge station and hopefully not totally botching it. It’s a bit like Artemis but less serious or Spaceteam but less silly. You can also play on your lonesome with AI crewmates, if you’d like. Star Trek: Bridge Crew is out now for Rift and Vive cybergoggles. Read the rest of this entry »

New VR Battlezone blasts into PC cybergoggles

Last time someone ‘rebooted’ Battlezone [read: applied a known brand name to a largely-unrelated game -ed.], we got a splendid FPS-RTS. This time, new owners Rebellion are rebooting closer to the series’ origins with arcade-y tankblasting in the game they call simply Battlezone [official site]. After jacking into PlayStation VR last year, Battlezone today arrived on PC exclusively for cybergoggles.

In more-important Rebellion news: did you see that they have got a live-action Judge Dredd TV show in the pipeline? Mate! Read the rest of this entry »

Ricky and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality blazing to 20/4

April 20th is a day to get a little wacky, a bit goofy, to mellow out and trip to another world – because it’s when Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality [official site] will come out. Finally I understand why the Internet is always saying “20/4 blaze it to the max, duuudes.” I’ve no idea how Internetnauts have known about this for so long, as the date was only announced yesterday, but hey ho. Made by Job Simulator developers Owlchemy Labs, Virtual Rick-ality is another kooky messing-with-stuff game, this time making cybergoggles see inside mega-ace cartoon Rick and Morty. Read the rest of this entry »