I’ve had PlayStation VR since launch and I had a lot of fun with it in the weeks proceding launch, and have had reasons to sporadically go back to it as the months have rolled on, but the genuinely great games have felt far between in the last 6-12 months.
This finally looks to be changing. With Sony recently dedicating their first State of Play livestream to PlayStation VR, I had to chance to go hands on with a bunch of upcoming PlayStation VR games and it was clear to me after playing each one, that developers are finally grasping how to best make use of the PlayStation VR unit as well as the PlayStation Move controllers and the platform’s best days are ahead of it.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR was obviously the one that I was most eager to try and it did not disappoint. Whilst the teaser trailer looked like an on-rails shooter, this is anything but. The game has you thrusting with either PlayStation VR controller whilst shooting with the other. It’s a full 360 experience that I can’t recall any other VR game providing, and nothing will make you feel more badass than thrusting to stay afloat with one hand, whilst shooting down enemies with the other.
BLOOD AND TRUTH – RELEASING MAY 28th
Blood and Truth is the follow up to The London Heist, but rather than being an on rails shooter (there’s still epic cut scenes that will see you driving over a cliff or into an air plane), it now allows you to move around from cover point to cover point in certain instances. There’s some pretty clever things being done with the PlayStation Move controllers. For instance, reloading is still done by putting your left Move controller up to the bottom of your right hand (although it feels much smoother than it did in The London Heist). You also essentially pull out your weapon by putting your PlayStation Move controller to your hip, or grab your assault rifle by reaching over the back of your shoulder, so there’s some more realistic movements that work well on-screen and add to immersion There were also several times where I’d use both my PlayStation Move controllers to picklock open a door.
NO MAN’S SKY VR – RELEASING WINTER
Using two PlayStation Move controllers, I was able to move my easily selecting pinpoints around my starting planet. Hello Games has also incorporated a clever feature where you hold the button down to select your next moving point, but then can twist your hand in order to chose your viewpoint, so if you want to move to the side of a mountain and be looking to the left, you can do that rather than it forcing you to move and then change your looking direction. I was assured that those that would like to move freely with a DualShock or the likes would be able to do so as well. It’s when I got to my space ship that I realised just how much work had been done to make this game run seamlessly in VR. Not only can you look around you whilst in the space ship, you fully control both your throttle and steering wheel with each hand using the PlayStation Move controller
EVERYBODY’S GOLF VR – RELEASING MAY 21st
I was surprised how well this worked. Literally put the headset on, pickup your PlayStation Move controller and swing until your hearts content. It’s the Wii Sports experience, but with PlayStation VR and literally anybody could pick up the controller and have a great time. You can take practise shots and then move up to the ball to take your shot.
FALCON AGE – RELEASING APRIL 9th
I’d seen a little bit of Falcon Age, but was surprised to see how deep the game was. Obviously, you’ll spend most of your time petting your beautiful, baby Falcon, but there’s actually enemies to fight (which you’ll need to use your Falcon to take down) and puzzles to explore. It’s good fun.
TROVER SAVES THE UNIVERSE – RELEASING MAY 31st
This one probably surprised me the most. It’s from Rick and Morty’s creators and it’s absolutely hilarious, but it actually plays incredibly similar to Astro Bot, which is a good thing. It goes between these hubs where you essentially point and click to move to these epic puzzle levels that work fantastically in VR.
CONCRETE GENIE VR – RELEASING SPRING
I’ve not played any of Concrete Genie outside of this demo, and it was one of two VR modes that will be available at launch. It was definitely a more passive experience than the other games on show, and a great experience for those who don’t necessarily want fast-paced action. You basically just paint your way through these absolutely gorgeous worlds using a number of different tools.
FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S VR: HELP WANTED – RELEASING AUTUMN
I’ve never played Five Nights at Freddy and don’t really have the stomach for horror in VR but the specific demo that I played had me still in an air vent. I was tasked with looking around and above me to unlock a number of switches whilst keeping an evil rabbit at bay. It was a fantastic little game that had me on the edge of my feet.
With PlayStation VR costing about $300 (including the PlayStation Camera), it truly feels like there’s no reason not to jump if you haven’t already got one. With stellar games such as Astrobot, Beat Saber and Tetris Effect all being available, and a bunch of promising games being on the way this year, it’s looking like PlayStation VR isn’t going away any time soon.