2016 will usher in the latest technological trend in video games, namely the introduction of virtual reality gaming. While some early detractors have dismissed it as yet another ‘fad’ in the vein of motion-control and 3D (seriously, can you remember the last time Sony even championed 3D? No, neither can we), there seems to be genuine interest among critics and gamers for the likes of PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift, with many hoping it will bring prove to be an emphatic shift in the way we experience video games. The jury’s still out on how successful it will prove to be, but for now, let’s take a look at some of our most anticipated PlayStation VR games for PS4 as we gear up for the device’s launch in the first quarter of next year.
Let’s take a look.
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The London Heist
The Guy Richie fan in us did a little fist pump when we first clapped eyes on this beauty, and those of you who like a bit of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (or any other Brit gangster flick, for that matter) will definitely want to check out the London Heist. While there’s currently no sign of Vinnie Jones or Jason Statham, this cockney-themed thriller looks set to be the hardcore gamer’s choice when PlayStation VR rolls out next year, featuring some brilliant use of Sony’s new headset in an on-the-rails setting, with adrenaline-pumping car chases, intense shootouts, interrogation, and more crammed into one action-packed adventure. Sure, we’d rather have a free-roaming London to soak up, but The London Heist seems like it ticks every box in terms of cementing VR as a compelling way to experience video games; after all, who doesn’t want to load up an Uzi and pretend they’re Carlton Leech?
The fact Media Molecule’s intriguing PlayStation VR title is named after a brilliant 80s Van Halen song is a bonus: the real pulling factor here is that this is the first virtual reality game from a developer who has consistently delivered innovative, compelling software on PlayStation, and we can’t wait to find out more on the game. For now though, it certainly looks like Dreams won’t be an exception to that rule, with gamers tasked with recreating their own dreams in a beautiful 3D landscape; not only is it visually impressive, but looks set to stimulate the more creative side of gamers’ minds, much how LittleBigPlanet did back in 2008 in its own unique way. Given that the E3 2015 demo of the game feature PlayStation Move as part of the experience, it’ll also give us a reason to dust off Sony’s motion-controller too.
While we lament the loss of Silent Hills, which Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida once said would have been a perfect fit for Project Morpheus, Capcom’s stepped up to the plate with Kitchen; a visceral horror outing for PlayStation VR that very well could be the scariest game you’ll ever play. Channelling movies such as Saw and The Ring, Capcom’s latest effort does a lot considering you can’t actually move much at all; you’re bound to a chair in grime-ridden kitchen, and can only watch as all manner of horrors unfold before your eyes, including a friend’s decapitated head spilling claret all over the floor at your feet, severed by only what looks like The Ring’s evil twin sister. You can look around, move your hands, but you’re firmly locked in place, adding to the tension as you try and ascertain where those strange sounds and shadows are coming from, your gaze piercing the filthy conditions as you eventually meet your maker at the hands of a bloody butcher’s knife. The screen then fades to black. Yes, technically Kitchen is only a demo, but we’re convinced that it’ll be made into a full game at some point—and from what we’ve seen, we can’t wait to be scared silly.
We’re suckers for a bit of retro rehashing here at PSU Towers, and Battlezone certainly taps into our inner 80s child in Rebellion’s updated version of the classic blast-’em-up. Boasting a futuristic, vibrant aesthetic, Battlezone uses the DualShock 4 and PS VR to control your craft and observe the warzone, respectively, as you attempt to complete your goal: simply, destroy everyone else before they do the same to you. From our hands-on with the title, the controls feel quite intuitive as you scan the battlezone for targets, selecting a variety of weapons to do your bidding for you. This isn’t a simulator though; Battlezone has its feet planted firmly in the realm of arcade gaming, and for that we’re pleased, as it’s a blast going around blowing stuff up without being bogged down with an intricate control scheme. Yes, it’s pretty simple and there’s a feeling it could get repetitive quickly, but we’ve got high hopes for this enjoyable blast-’em-up, which looks set to provide pick-up-and-play appeal out of the box.
You can’t beat a good old-fashioned puzzler, and Super Hybercube certainly scratches that particular itch. Putting a virtual reality spin on the classic Tetris formula, Kokoromi’s addictive head-scratcher again sees gamers fiddling around with floating blocks, only this time, you really do feel in charge thanks to the application of PlayStation VR. You’ll twist, turn, prod, and poke cubes in an attempt to squeeze them into place on a wall within a glorious 3D landscape. However, Super Hypercube loves to keep the Old Grey Matter working overtime, and as such it will spice things up by having the walls shifting all over the place as they come into view. You’ll need to make full use of the 3D environment as you look around corners and twist objects to see if they’ll fit into place, making it quite a physical experience; don’t expect just to sit in one place and move your arm around a few times if you want to come out on top.
Note – We still do not know whether some of these PS4 games will become a reality or stay as tech demoes.