Virtual Reality: What's good these days?

So I’ve acquired an Oculus Rift, and I’m seeing a lot of “stuff” in the various stores, much of it “demos” or “experiences” or other momentary distractions. We’ve done this before, but the threads are old enough that the VR world has probably changed.

What’s your favorite? What “killer” apps should I have? What stands the test of time and you’re still playing after a while?

I’m mostly interested in Oculus-capable PC stuff, but the VR world is still pretty small, so if you want to talk Vive or PS4, please feel free.

I can’t speak from personal experience, since I don’t have a VR rig, but my impression is that the VR flagship right now is Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. I’ve seen some pretty jaded horror-game players react to it, and the VR seems to increase the immersion and scare-factor enormously for them. Also, its controls/gameplay are far better than most VR games, which tend to use the (IMHO) lame teleport-to-circle movement mechanic. It also allows you to switch between smooth turning and step turning, which helps some people who have VR nausea issues.

It’s PlayStation VR only right now, but Oculus and Vive support are supposed to be available in 2018.

House of the Dying Sun is really good.

The big hit in VR right now is the star trek game: Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Here's Angry Joe's preview:

Thumper, definitely, Thumper. Easily one of the best games I’ve ever played in VR.

I jut got House of the Dying Sun (50%, couldn’t resist). It is also a lot of fun.

Oh and “The Unspoken” is a lot of fun.

And Bethesda just announced that Fallout 4 VR is real (although maybe exclusive to the Vive, no way to know, yet).

Skyrim Vr is also a thing, also not sure about exclusivity to PSVR, we’ll see.

I hate all this stupid exclusivity shit. You can’t tell what the hell is coming out for what anymore.

I think it has a very good chance of killing the VR industry in it’s infancy. I have friends that basically say “I really want one of these, but I don’t want to make spend all that money and not be able to get the game my friends are playing, so I haven’t bought one.”

Are those of you with VR headsets generally enjoying your purchase? In the old thread from a year or two ago when all this was new I posted my concern: I had bought a prior-gen Sony 3d headset years ago and it gave me terrible headaches. I also found that the 3d WOW factor wore off pretty quick. I consider it one of the worst purchases of my life.

So I know the newer stuff is higher res, lighter weight, and has head tracking and all that. But is it really worth it? Can any of you really use these for more than 30 minutes without getting a terrible headache? I don’t mean the motion sickness nausea that some people get, but more the eyestrain of having a screen strapped inches from your eyeball.

Side note, why is it that Best Buy can not ever get a working demo for this stuff? Every time I’ve been in there, they have the demo display set up but it’s never working. Seriously, not ONCE. Multiple stores too. I wonder if they really want consumers to see what it’s all about.

It works for me for longer than 30 minutes at a time, but it’s too new to know whether the wow factor will wear off. If you used it before head (and hand) tracking, it’s an entirely different experience now, though. No headaches, but a little neck strain the first couple of days until I got used to the weight/balance.

I actually bought mine after a Best Buy demo, so there are places where it works (fancy a trip to Salem, Oregon?). But even there, I had to wait for the “Oculus Guy” to come in (on a specific schedule) to give the demo – the ordinary Best Buy blueshirts couldn’t do it.

I get nausea with even some non-VR 3D games (Borderlands is unplayable to me, I think because the “cartoon tilt” to everything), but it’s been fine with the Oculus except for a little mild discomfort in minecraft as I was playing with various VR settings – the frame rate there can get a little low/stuttery.

It’s worth noting that the limited VR stuff I’ve seen seems to be designed around short playtimes: 30 minutes would actually be on the long side for many of these, and they’re clearly aiming for short “experiences” except for things like Elite: Dangerous. My go-to demo app is “The Climb,” whose duration is largely dependent on how fast the user chooses to climb, but generally in the 15-minute range.

I’d say my limit is somewhere around 60-90 minutes, but it depends very much on the game. Adrift totally messes with my sense of balance and requires shorter sessions, but most other games are more gentle. Wearing a ski-mask with a screen strapped to your face gets pretty hot in the summer, though.

[Damn that five minute edit limit.]

Oh, and I meant my limit for motion sickness. I’ve only ever gotten headache once in a game and that was from Windlands. That camera movement did not agree with me at all.

I bought a used Oculus Rift and am enjoying the heck out of it!

My top games:

Gorn - OMG, so much fun! the video where the woman destroys the room playing it? Nearly me. Every time, I physically move just enough to smack my hand on something. The game play is a lot of fun and it’s just at the right difficulty level to keep me coming back.

Arizona Sunshine - An excellent VR game and a good story as well. This is the game where I finally saw VR do something that mouse/keyboard (or however you play with a monitor) couldn’t. I was able to shoot in two different directions with two different guns. Basically, zombies attacking from different directions and unloading in both directions, hoping I got them! I finished it on normal level, played the horde mode for a while, then was back in on the hard mode!

Superhot VR - a lot of fun as well. I played when I didn’t have as much room, though, so found it more difficult than it probably is. I also didn’t like some of the game decisions, like not easy to save and leave the game.

Bridge Crew is freaking awesome! OMG! I felt like I was on a starfleet vessel and in charge! The only bad thing is I’m waiting for a few friends to get it so we can all play, as the AI can’t keep up with the missions on single player after the third mission.

VR Dungeon Knight - This one blew me away. As a pen and paper tabletop RPG player, the notion of actually exploring a dungeon and figuring out a few traps excited me. It’s a lot of fun! I didn’t try multiplayer but single player was a lot of fun.

The Wizards - With one exception, more on that later, this is a fun game. You do hand motions with the touch to cast spells and then use them. I have no coordination for throwing the spells in the games, which can be annoying, but the visuals and game play is top notch.

Ranger: Lost Tribe - a good free game. Seeing the NPCs standing there and reacting to me was amazing.

If I have any complaint about VR, it’s bow games. Games where I use a bow in some manner. QuivR, Twisted Arrow, The Wizards (for the bow spell), Zombies v Vampires, and a few more all glitch on me eventually. Once the bow glitches and doesn’t line up with my hands, i.e. I can’t aim anymore, then it’s unplayable to me. The Wizards lets me have options and is based on more than a bow, so it’s not as bad. The rest, where that is the only function, end up requiring at least a shut down of the VR environment, if not a reboot for me.

I’m late to the VR but the cheap price and the games have completely wowed me and I love it! The only bad thing about the used OR was that I didn’t get the games that you might get for free from them when you buy it.

Oh, other things. I have had no problems with anything in game, in terms of dizziness or vision. I have had problems after I leave! but it’s more amusing than an issue. I have a friend who did an OR demo eighteen months ago who has inner ear problems and fifteen seconds into the demo, he was getting dizzy and nauseous and had to stop. He then was in mine for a demo and two quick games, with no issues. I have also played for hours at a time with no problems.

Technical: I run on an Alienware laptop with an nVidia 1050M, 16G RAM with no problems. What I didn’t know was that you need three dedicated USB 3.0 ports to run OR with touch. I did have that but had to find an adapter for the thunderbolt C USB, which is ridiculous imo.


I’ll have to check that out.