We’ve had some scattered threads a little bit about VR, but I’d be interested in discussing the games that are available.
I suspect there are a lot of new VR users who got an Oculus Quest 2 recently (including myself). I think this is finally the break into the mainstream VR package - self contained, simple, requires no PC (although can be enhanced by using one), very good technology, very affordable (probably a loss leader), actually cheaper than a playstation/xbox and IMO significantly better. The big downside, of course, is that facebook owns it, and requires you to use a facebook account to use the headset. Who knows what kind of unprecedented spying they’re up to, and what they’ll do with the VR market when they gain dominance in it. A lot of people won’t buy it for that reason - and that included me, until I received one as a gift and it didn’t seem like it would be right to reject it. Fortunately, unfortunately…? I’ve been nothing but impressed with it. I like it more than I thought I would.
But of course any VR headset/game is up for discussion, including the index, vive, g2, rift, psvr, WMR, whatever. Most of them all have access to the same games, except there are a few exclusives for PSVR and a few for oculus (quest/rift). I would guess that the PSVR also can’t run a lot of the stuff that require PCs with whatever headset.
I originally thought that if I had VR, I’d mostly use it for the sit down experiences (like driving games and flight sims) and the room space stuff would feel like a novelty. But actually I spend 75% of my time with it playing the room space/moving experiences and hardly sit down with it (and often that’s just to take breaks so I don’t sweat up the headset too much). The quest 2 really helps here, being untethered by wires makes moving a lot better. I actually don’t have much room in my bedroom next to my PC to do the room space stuff, but I can run the Q2 standalone or wirelessly connected to my PC via virtualdesktop to play stuff in the living room where I have more room.
So, games I like:
Beat Saber - obviously. This is the killer app for a lot of people. I love rhythm games and this is probably the funnest way to play them. A good workout, too, I kept pulling muscles in my shoulder/back from playing the game too enthusiastically, and then wanting to play so much more I kept at it without healing up. You can easily add custom songs that the community has mapped in either the steam or quest version of the game, and I would assume the rift version too. The default song list is not great, but there are thousands of fan made ones.
Eleven - table tennis. I know it sounds silly that a simple ping pong game can be great, but it is. It replicates the real world experience flawlessly. The movement you do maps out exactly 1:1 to the movement you would be doing in a real ping pong game. The oculus touch controllers are about the same weight/similar grip to a ping pong paddle. The physical impact of hitting a ping pong ball is light in real life, so it can be simulated well enough using the vibration on the controller. The physics are dead on. I have no doubt that the skill you learn from this game would translate to playing ping pong for real. It’s actually better than the real thing - you get all the realism of playing the game without having to chase down balls after they go flying off the table.
Google Earth VR - not strictly a game, but absolutely amazing. They used photogrammetry and supercomputers to use aerial photos from different angles to try to create a 3D map of the world. It’s still a work in progress - some areas have full 3D buildings and others don’t. And because of the limitations of the data they’re working with, it’s not perfect - buildings have weird shapes, power lines appear as weird blobs sometimes, etc. But you can fly through the entire world like you’re superman. Explore anywhere you want. See famous landmarks, go visit your home town, plan out future road trips. It integrates with 360 degree images taken for google street view or panoramic pictures people uploaded to google, so you can often experience 360 degree pictures of whatever you’re looking at. This one is free, try it.
Sports scramble - sort of like a wii-sports style collection of minigames. Baseball, tennis, bowling. It’s mostly goofy, where the “scramble” part is that you can activate powerups to change the game in the middle of playing, like forcing your opponent to bat with a pool noodle or changing your tennis ball to a beach ball. This stuff can be turned off to make it a little more serious if desired. It has a really cool tennis mode that’s almost sort of like beat saber - you get a red racket and a blue racket in each hand, and you then play with one red ball and one blue ball at the same time, and you have to hit the ball with the appropriate racket.
The Climb - a mountain climbing simulator that’s an interesting use of VR technology. I haven’t played that much yet, but it’s a fairly unique experiencing pushing/pulling yourself up a mountain using your hands. Very pretty.
Pokerstars VR - it’s funny, I hate playing poker for play money. I played poker for real for a long time and I’d never play poker for play money, but I tried this just to see what i was like and it turns out I actually really enjoy it. Not for the poker, but for the social aspect. It’s sort of a virtual chat room and while a lot of tables are quiet and boring you can just keep switching until you find one with fun people. I’ve had some interesting conversations. The feel of being in a virtual place, manipulating your cards and chips, watching where other people look and what they do with their hands (some real-life poker tells actually work) is all very good.
I tried VRChat a little bit, but it was more janky, the performance was uneven, and there were a lot more kids running around than in pokerstars VR, but I’ll try it some more in the future. RecRoom too.
Arizona Sunshine - seems pretty cool so far, the aiming for the guns requires quite a lot of precision and it feels good to make headshots.
Population one: a VR battle royale game. I just got it and haven’t played it much yet, but it seems cool. This one tries to simulate the body feel of running a little too much and gives me a little bit of motion sickness, I’m hoping I’ll get used to it. I like all the fiddling you have to do with guns like slapping in the magazine and pulling the charging handle. Playing competitive shooters in VR is pretty wild, you can really peek around corners or stick your gun around objects and blind fire at people and all sorts of stuff you can’t really do with a traditional shooter. I also got Onward to try another MP shooter, but haven’t played it yet.
Walkaround minigolf / Topgolf with Pro Putt. Both of these are minigolf simulators that are pretty fun. Topgolf has real/full golf swings but only replicates the minigame experience that you’d see at a real topgolf facility. There’s not too much meat to the game, but they’re well implemented, and it’s relaxing to play a virtual little golf game. I’m kind of baffled as to why there isn’t a full blown VR golf game - it’s such an obviously great match for VR. Swinging the club feels good (you usually play with one controller and grab it with both hands and do a golf swing) and inhabiting a virtual golf course would be great.
No Man’s Sky - I finally got around to trying NMS because it’s included in my gamepass subscription. They did a good job translating the game to VR, the way you interact with your inventory and point your mining laser at stuff like a gun and operate things by actually grabbing the controls in the world is really good, it’s not a half-ass VR port tacked on. The VR is well integrated. Unfortunately the underlying gameplay just… isn’t very interesting. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and it never did.
Synth Riders - a music game like Beat Saber but not quite as fun. But it’s different enough to want to play both. Beat saber is about attacking the music and being very active, synthrider is more like riding the music and kind of grooving with it.
Tetris Effect - has a VR mode, it’s a cool psychedelic twist on tetris. The regular game has cool graphics and sounds, but in the VR version they totally surround you, so it’s more immersive.
Superhot VR makes you feel like you’re Neo in the Matrix or some sort of superhero. I’ve only played through a few of the batches of scenarios, but it’s way better than the standard/non-VR version of the game, which itself is really good. Ducking and doging in slow motion, throwing stuff at enemies, snatching guns out of the air - awesome stuff.
There’s stuff I have that I haven’t played yet, and I’m sure there’s plenty more I’ll pick up when it’s on sale. I’m particularly interested in Until you fall and In Death: Unchained. Of course I’ll get Half Life Alyx at some point. I’m gonna try more racing and flight sim games - I have IL2: Battle of Stalingrad, MS Flight sim 2020, Elite Dangerous, Everspace, Project Cars 2, Dirt Rally 2 which all have fleshed out VR modes. I’m pretty interested in Pistol Whip as another shooter/rhythm game. And Blade and Sorcery seems like it will be a crazy, gorey highlight reel machine.
What are you guys playing? What do you like?
If anyone maybe wants to play multiplayer games sometime, add me on steam (same name) or PM me. I have some games there, some on oculus (I’ll tell you my oculus info on steam if we end up playing stuff). Some games are cross-play between the oculus platform and steam, some aren’t, but maybe we can figure something out. Most of my friends don’t have VR and the couple that do aren’t too interested in doing the room space VR stuff with me, but I’d dig playing sports scramble, eleven, population one, arizona sunshine, and maybe others with someone. Feel free to share your info in the thread, too, if you’re looking for people to play with.