Predicting The Most Important VR Games
When we look at VR gaming right now, we see a somewhat confusing array of titles. They come in all different genres, and from professional and amateur developers; some are essentially experimental, and some are striving to maximize every last shred of capability that the current generation of VR headsets has. It’s all fairly exciting in that there’s lots to try, and lots to read about even if you can’t try everything yourself. Where it’s confusing, however, is in providing any kind of clear indication of which games have staying power, or which ones we’ll be playing a few years further down the line.
Predicting specific games that will have near future impact is more or less impossible right now, because again, there’s quite a lot to consider by now. More vaguely though, what we can do is look at some of the current offerings and speculate as too which ones we may one day look back on as having been important first-generation trendsetters. These are games, in other words, that we can imagine one day seeing as pioneers that led to popular genres or future hits – even if we don’t know exactly what those might look like.
Marvel Powers United
Reactions to this Marvel game have varied quite a bit. It was essentially billed as a chance to embody a favorite superhero, and to some degree it accomplishes this, though even some nice reviews will acknowledge it’s limited in scope. It’s not a complete game nor one that will immediately change VR or even necessarily elevate Marvel’s gaming prowess. However, if there’s a future in which VR does allow us to take the form of favorite heroes – super or otherwise – in an effective manner, we may look back on this as a sort of early teaser of the idea.
Shooters in VR have been flawed in about a hundred different ways, and there isn’t one out there that’s close to perfect, so far as we know. Robo Recall isn’t perfect either, but it’s innovative in a few different ways that we could certainly reflect on one day as having established certain VR norms. For one thing, its point-and-click teleportation system solves a lot of the movement issues of shooters, and while not entirely unique it’s well executed. For another, this game blends a degree of melee combat with shooting in a manner that once you play it seems surprisingly necessary for the medium.
It’s typically difficult to find an animated slot or casino game that stands out from the pack. It’s a huge category, and most of them are essentially identically once you get past some introductory graphics. If anything, a game might stand out for what it has to offer in terms of unique bonuses or promotions, or simply whether it’s being featured at any given moment on any given site. Gonzo’s Quest has bucked this trend. It’s an animated slot game, but one that for a couple years now has been a headliner of sorts, basically because its animations are impressive and its general immersion makes it feel more like a full video game. Building on this success, it’s also been turned into a VR game, which puts it at the front of the line of games we might consider fondly one day if the casino category really makes it in virtual reality.
This is a complex game that we won’t explain in full here, but in a way that’s the point. Indeed, one of the most prominent sites for VR news and reviews cited this very game as proof that full VR-only games are nearly here, which basically makes our point for us. It’s a beautiful, original, adventurous game that is wholly new without feeling purely experimental. The hope of course is that VR produces whole categories of games that could fit that description, and if it does, we could look back in five or ten more years and call Apex Construct one of the first “true” games on VR.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
This game could belatedly prove to have broken down some barriers in a few different ways. For one thing, it could be one of just a few that we’ll say paved the way for adaptations relating to major entertainment properties, though it’s not wholly alone in this regard. More significantly though, it might be the best early example of how a sort of multiplayer VR mode can result in real-time collaboration with friends, which speaks to some of the medium’s most exciting potential. Basically, a game like this has the chance to advance a whole new kind of multiplayer that, in VR, feels all the more communal. It’s not even out of the question that we could one day see Star Trek: Bridge Crew in VR as having helped along the notion of social networking in virtual reality.
VR gaming remains a category that’s very difficult to define or even interpret. It could be that each and every one of these games essentially fades into obscurity within a few years. If the medium continues to improve an expand though, these are at least some logical reasons why some games such as these might be pioneers hiding in plain sight.