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E3 2018 showcased a ton of new games, updated us on a few we already knew about, and even brought some classics to new platforms. But if you purchased an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive last year you might be anxious to know what titles are coming to VR, and who gave the best press conference when it comes to the future of gaming?
Though it wasn’t the same VR-wave we saw last year, almost every press conference had a title or two to share, including Bethesda’s huge push to bring its titles to new platforms, and a big range from Sony – who didn’t show everything they had up their sleeve during the actual presentation. Microsoft, on the other hand, despite a huge catalog of fifty different announcements, stumbled and fell when it came to the VR front.
Overall, there are still a ton of titles in development from big studios and smaller indies, and we’re excited to see where they’ll end up. Here are our top picks for the VR games you’ll be playing next year, and the ones that might persuade you to cross the line into virtual reality:
Alongside all-new game modes and Mooncrash DLC for Prey, Bethesda announced that a VR game mode will be launching this summer for players who buy Mooncrash, or the Prey Digital Deluxe edition. Typhon Hunter mode will put you back in the boots of Morgan Yu, finding your way through the overrun Talos space station – but this time it’s multiplayer.
You’ll face off against five friends playing as mimics, with the ability to transform into any item aboard the space station. Did that coffee mug just move? Was that chair always stood in the doorway? Prey: Typhon Hunter sounds like the ultimate VR paranoia experience, and it also comes with a singleplayer TranStar escape room experience.
The game mode should be coming to all Steam VR compatible headsets, and of course, can also be played on PC, so you’ll always have mimics waiting to hunt you down.
If punching Nazis on a computer screen isn’t as satisfying as you’d like, you’re invited to go the next step with Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, a standalone VR title to be released in 2019. Cyberpilot puts you in the cockpit of a Panzerhund: (bringing a new meaning to the more common ‘dogfight’ VR titles) a fire-breathing armored dog-tank, in addition to a range of pimped out destructive mechs, you’ll have all the tools at your disposal to wreak havoc on the streets of Paris.
Bethesda also announced that, in addition existing Elder Scrolls titles, their new game Elder Scrolls: Blades will be coming to all possible platforms, including everything from phones to VR. However first footage only showed the phone UI setup, and it’s clearly far from being adapted to VR platforms. We’d settle for Elder Scrolls VI and Fallout on VR instead.
From the developers of Dark Souls and Bloodborne: something drastically different. Déraciné, the French word for “uprooted” or “nomad”, is a new VR title exclusive to PSVR, and launching later this year. Sony showed off a mysterious trailer shortly after their E3 press conference, showing a young girl in what appears to be a British boarding school.
“Aren’t you excited? You’re going to be a fairy, and live in the world where time stands still, where nobody can see what you’re up to – ever again.” There’s something sinister at play in Déraciné, but we’ll have to wait for more announcements to learn more about how the game will work in VR, and where FromSoftware are headed with their strange new story.
Transference is “an escape room set in a deranged mind”, a horror VR experience that wants to get inside your head, and it looks sincerely unsettling. Ubisoft debuted a new trailer showing off Transference gameplay: exploring neon-lit claustrophobic hallways, we glitch between visions of figures watching us from afar and close-up live footage of our obsessive captor.
Transference seems to bleed between multiple perspectives and warped realities, simulating a corrupted consciousness, and shredding your nerves with a constant, ramping tension. The game will be available on Steam VR and will release in the fall of 2018.
In amongst Sony’s PSVR lineup was a gem in the form of Ghost Giant: a puzzle adventure game from the makers of Fe. You play as a strange, invisible giant, looking after a dollhouse town of furry residents as you befriend
“Peek into the windows, open doors and find hidden secrets all around town. Sancourt is full of discoveries for you to make, and people for you to meet.” At its core Ghost Giant is a game about loneliness and friendship, and about reaching out a hand to those in need. It looks like a charming, relaxing game to disappear into when the day is done.
Last, but not least, Insomniac delivered on a new title at the PC Gaming Show, presenting Stormland, an action game where you play as an android, destroyed in the path of a coming Tempest, you must search the cloudscape for your scattered friends, and fight your way to freedom. Stormland is aiming for an expansive open world that you’ll be free to explore: walking, hovering, and gliding through stunning environments.
The game has both a single player mode and the option for multiplayer exploration, raiding, and collaborative missions that benefit players everywhere. It looks like an incredibly ambitious game for VR, but it’s exciting to see Insomniac still on the cutting edge of game design. Stormland is coming exclusively to the Oculus Rift sometime in 2019.
Helen Jones is a Ravenclaw graduate who likes to apparate between her homes in England and Denmark. She spends her time reading fantasy novels, climbing mountains, and loves to play story-focused and experimental indie games like The Stanley Parable or Night in the Woods. She also covers tabletop and board games over at Zatu Games, and you can follow her twitter @BarnacleDrive for updates, blogs, and pictures of mushrooms.
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