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Given the original Superhot wasn’t designed for VR, it’s surprising just how much fun the Touch version is to play. It’s a first-person shooter with a unique twist: time only passes when you move. Stay perfectly still, and enemies and bullets will do the same. Expect to regularly find yourself frozen in place, probably in a strange pose, when playing this game!
Superhot VR feels as much like a puzzle game as a shoot-'em-up, rewarding planning and careful movements as much as outright violence. You’re always outnumbered and outgunned, often having to let foes get dangerously close in the hope you can steal their weapons to use against them.
Set in a gleaming mashup world that combines futuristic tech with floppy disks, this is one VR game you’re just going to keep coming back to again and again.
Ever seen videos of people scaling the dizzy heights of Yosemite’s El Capitan, and thought you’d like to try out free climbing sometime...without the risk of imminent death? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out Crytek’s The Climb.
Mixing gorgeous visuals with a healthy dose of adrenaline, the game puts you in one of four landscapes from the frozen Arctic to sun-soaked cliffs in Southeast Asia. No matter where you are, the goal is the same: Get to the top without falling off the mountain.
Needing to monitor your decreasing strength and grip, while using the Touch controllers to ensure your hands stay firmly attached to the mountain, is an all-encompassing challenge.
With global leaderboards for the fastest times, 100+ achievements to unlock extra gear, caves to explore, shortcuts to discover, and a bouldering mode to perfect your technique, you won’t quickly tire of this unusual and exhilarating simulation.
Widely regarded as one of the best VR games on any platform, Lone Echo puts you in the virtual shoes of a robot (sorry, "advanced artificial intelligence") in the rings of Saturn, at a mining facility that’s developed more than a few problems.
High-tech tools and snappy dialog help with the problem-solving, as a deepening mystery opens up the more you explore. It’s all extremely well-crafted, with glorious graphics inside and outside the space station helping pull you into the game, and an engaging plot keeping you there.
While the main game is single player, the free companion title Echo Arena throws a multiplayer sports game into the mix. Imagine an extremely violent version of frisbee played in zero gravity, and you’re halfway there.
Elite Dangerous was one of the most hyped space simulation releases in recent times, promising hundreds of billions of worlds full of endless variety. It didn’t achieve those lofty goals on launch day, but recent updates have greatly improved things, and the VR experience is easily the best way to play.
Whether you’re mining and trading resources or fighting to take them from others, being able to simply turn your head to spot your next target or admire the stunning views out of the cockpit adds an entirely new dimension to the game.
Alien civilizations and new planets wait to be discovered, with the promise of untapped resources and new ship upgrades keeping you glued to your controller for just a little while longer. Elite Dangerous has a steep learning curve, but once you’ve got the basics mastered, this sprawling universe is there for the taking.
You’d think it would be hard to find a new spin on a zombie-killing game, and in some ways, the team behind Arizona Sunshine hasn’t tried to. There’s the usual mix of decaying enemies, limited ammunition, and post-apocalyptic landscapes, but it’s the humor, coupled with the immersive VR experience, that really brings the game to life.
Careful management of your ammo is key to making progress, whether you’re playing the lengthy single-player campaign, or facing down endless waves in the solo or multi-player horde modes. Careful headshots are highly effective and visually satisfying, but pulling them off as you’re being overwhelmed by half a dozen flailing zombies is far from easy.
Snide comments from your character bring laughs in between the gore, helping distract you from the fact that, yet again, you’ve got three bullets left and the undead are coming for you...
Compared to other genres like racing and first-person shooters, real-time strategy games have been underrepresented on VR platforms. Brass Tactics, from the team behind Age of Empires II, brings tabletop gaming to the Rift with gorgeous medieval-themed battlegrounds where you’ve got one deceptively-simple objective: Destroy your enemy’s castle.
Like any good RTS game, you need to collect enough resources, capture strategic areas, find the right mix of troops and more, if you’re going to have any chance of success. The single player campaign only lasts a few hours and is good preparation for the online 1-on-1 or cooperative multiplayer games you’ll likely spend most of your time on.
Managing it all could be difficult without a keyboard and mouse, but the smart Touch control system makes it an enjoyable experience. Zooming around the battlefield, selecting individual or multiple troops, and building towers is straightforward, and since each controller acts independently, you can even do two things at once.
If you’re a fan of virtual reality and real-time strategy, do yourself a favor and give Brass Tactics a try.
Futuristic VR shooters are a dime a dozen, and Raw Data is arguably the best of them. It spent over a year as an early-access game before the full launch, and it shows, with few of the weak spots that plague much of the competition.
The plot, such as it is, revolves around breaking into the highly-secure offices of Eden Corporation to steal files that expose its dubious business practices. In your way? A vast horde of aggressive robots armed to the teeth. You play one of four characters, each with its own attack style and weapons to be mastered, from pistols to shotgun, electric sword to bow and arrow.
Each stage has a distinct look and feel, and it’s not entirely about the violence — often, staying on the move or ducking for cover has a higher chance of keeping you alive. The action is perfectly paced all the way through to the frantic final battle, ensuring you’ll never get bored.
As fun as the single-player campaign is, though, the one-on-one online multiplayer deathmatches are even better. That’s when the adrenaline really kicks in, as you try to avoid taking damage while dishing out as much as you can to another player determined to do the same to you.
All in all, it’s a great example of how immersive VR can be, and firmly deserves its place in your games lineup.
For the ultimate co-operative experience, check out the amusingly-named Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. This bomb disposal game requires at least two people to play, with one tasked with defusing the various devices in virtual reality, and the other(s) armed with a complicated instruction manual for doing so. The Defuser can’t see the manual, the Experts can’t see the bomb and the clock is ticking. Let the arguments begin!
Each of the procedurally-generated bombs consists of up to 11 modules, and while some are of the traditional "cut the blue wire" type, others are significantly more challenging. Playable with a group in person, or by using voice chat apps if your friends are elsewhere in the world, it’s a truly unique approach to VR gaming.