As a recent owner of an Oculus Quest 2 headset, I’ve been having a great time with games such as The Climb 2, Pistol Whip, and Star War: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge. The hardware is innovative and exciting, and the future is bright for what is the most affordable and accessible VR headset to hit the market. This week Facebook held the Oculus Gaming Showcase to give updates on upcoming projects and to give us a glimpse of what’s next. There was a lot digest, but these were the most promising and exciting games shown during the event.
RESIDENT EVIL 4 VR – The highlight for myself was most definitely the Oculus exclusive remaster of one of the best survival horror games of all time. A joint collaboration between Capcom, Armature and Oculus. This version of the game which is coming later this year and is running on Unreal Engine 4 features upgraded textures, geometry, audio, and other enhancements to take advantage of the new perspective. It’s not a complete reimagining in the way many remasters are, but instead a faithful recreation of the classic game we all love presented in a new way which will make it feel like a new experience. This one is absolutely my most anticipated VR experience of 2021.
PISTOL WHIP: SMOKE AND THUNDER – Pistol Whip has gained a reputation as one of the best and most innovative VR games by creating a thrilling arcade experience which combines the fun of a first person shooter with the pulse pounding thrills of an on rails rhythm game. Last year developer Cloudhead Games released their story campaign with Pistol Whip 2089 and later this year they’ll do it again with a campaign set in the wild west. Combined with the release of The Concierge mode which allows players to fully customize their experience and it looks we’ll be blasting baddies to the beat for a long time.
CARVE SNOWBOARDING – One of the surprise announcements of the show was for what I believe to be the first VR snowboarding game. Carve Snowboarding comes from the creator of the iconic 1080 Snowboarding game for the Nintendo 64. While the SSX series always got most of the attention, 1080 was an absolute blast and I’m very curious to see if that thrill can be recreated for virtual reality. I’m also more than a little nervous about how flying down a ski hill at 60 mph could possibly make me blow chunks all over my VR goggles.
AFTER THE FALL – Arizona Sunshine is one of the most highly regarded VR games on the market, and Vertigo Games is cranking their zombie slaughtering action up to 11 for their follow up title, After The Fall. Taking inspiration from games like Left 4 Dead, After The Fall will have you and up to 3 friends hacking slashing, and blasting hordes of undead in this co-op first person shooter. Don’t worry if your antisocial or don’t have any friends though, the game is also playable with AI teammates so you wont need to worry about coordinating game night to crack some skulls.
STAR WARS PINBALL VR – Sometimes the most immersive experiences in VR as some of the simplest of ideas. This pinball collection promises to transport players to a Star Wars museum where they’ll play on 8 unique machines based on everything from The Empire Strikes Back to The Mandolorian. You’ll also play a number of fun mini games and unlock collectables to display in your fully customizable playroom. For Star Was fanatics, this will be a no brainer and provide countless hours in a galaxy far, far away.
There were lots of other updates on upcoming titles like Lone Echo 2, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, I Expect You To Die 2, and more. For longtime VR players or those who have just jumped in with the release of the Quest 2, there seems to be plenty to keep us busy all year long.