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When pre-ordered were available for the PS VR, I was one of the first to click the button. I couldn’t wait… well, that’s not true, I’ve been waiting since the mid-80s for a real virtual reality experience. I am a fan of all genres of gaming… as long as the content is good and worthwhile, I’ll drop the dollars. VR brings several new genres to the market all at once.
Here’s what I’ve experienced thus far:
- Overhead control of a world (think Black & White or Dungeon Keeper)
- Third person view behind the back action adventure
- First person view action adventure
- First person Billiards
- First person ring toss, rock wall climbing, bow and arrow
- First person campfire chats
- First person space flight
- Driving Games
- First person shooter
- Horror games
- Horror games
- and more Horror games
PSVR does a few things very well automatically. It brings you into a world or environment with an enormous field of view. This instantly heightens the fear factor for any horror game… for example, off to your left behind a box is a monster. You can hear it with your 3d stereoscopic earbuds, but it wont move until you look in that direction. The jump scares are off the charts. Playing pool is something else. At times I actually lean as if to support myself with the table, only to realize it isn’t there. While this does break the immersion, it also adds to the mind-boggling complexity for all these new genres. Each one listed above has been done before… (maybe not the campfire chats – I’m not sure), but in VR, they are new and exciting.
Overhead control gives you the god power to move objects from one side of a map to the other. You can rotate the world with your godlike hands to get a better peak. Third person action adventure allows for you to be immersed as if you’re part of the action – seeing the whole world around you and allowing you to anticipate whats next without boundaries.
I suck at driving and flying games… but now with VR I can hold my own. What’s different? The realism. I know how to drive, so now the cutting of a corner or the checking of my rear view mirror happens naturally. I can feel when I am going too fast and know to break on time as opposed to when it’s way too late. I am no world beater, but at least I can play games I’ve never enjoyed before with this new adaptation.
The next thing I’ll chat about here is First Person Shooters. I’ve looked at my play history since the launch of the PS4. My FPS play time is as much as all other genres combined. 50% of the time I play games, it’s a FPS. COD, Battlefield, Battlefront. I’ve been loyal to those three, until now. Sony introduced a new weapon/controller in the AIM VR gun. It’s amazing. It’s one of those things you can’t really understand until you’ve tried it. The precision is impeccable, fast, fluid, natural. The catch? Only dual handed weapons can really be used here… so those who love to run around with 2 pistols can take a hike. That fad is a thing of the past. When you feel the power of the AIM controller, you’ll accept the loss of dual weapons. The AIM controller comes with a layout that just feels right. Unlike the move controllers, it has a L and R joystick for locomotion and movement. All your standard controls are there in the right spot. Developers are catching on too… some are going back and bringing AIM support in, while others are considering it for their future titles. The game this controller was built for though, Farpoint, is otherworldly. I wish that it had full FPS multiplayer support and am still crossing my fingers that it becomes a reality one day. I’ve never been more immersed than when playing Farpoint with the AIM controller.
Lastly, Superhot. I can’t quite give this a genre. Long story short – time moves when you move. You die (often) and come back to life, to replay the scenarios a different way and make it through. It a true VR looking polygon world with red bad guys. Still images of this game do no justice. You must play this to understand it. It’s incredible. It is games like this that will sell VR. Games like Werewolves Within where you sit around a campfire and try to lie to your group as to who you are under your skin. The ability to use your arms and head movement to convey emotion or frustration… it’s better than any dance emote I’ve seen.
Later this year we have a heavy hitter. Skyrim VR. This could be the straw that breaks the camels back and turns VR into a standard in most Playstation user’s catalog of games… and I can’t wait. I’ll be there, first in line (digitally….I download all my games now).