Top 10 Most Promising VR Games & Demos of 2016 (So Far)

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most promising VR GamesAlthough we are always a bit sad when E3 is over every year, this year’s event was definitely memorable. E3 2016 showcased a lot of highly anticipated games, and VR was prevalent in the various livestreams, and was mentioned in nearly every on-stage presentation. Virtual reality’s capabilities and possibilities have been talked about for many years, with many praising the latest innovation in gaming. However, minus some low-key releases and developer models, not many have been able to try it out. That is set to change, with major game companies stepping up to make games specifically for that purpose. 

There’s no doubt that virtual reality is starting to come to the forefront of the gaming industry. Will it thrive? Will it fail? Will it be a five minute gimmick? We aren’t entirely sure, but we do know one thing: the gaming industry is putting their faith in VR devices, which are soon making their way to consoles with AAA titles.

Although there is no current way to tell or review what VR games will be the best (since they are not released yet), we have a list of the top 10 most promising VR games from E3 based on presentation, gameplay, and overall potential to grow into something more.

Disclaimer: This list is not ranked.

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1. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Imagine walking alone in the hallways of an abandoned mansion, fully immersed in the creepy and disturbing setting. As soon as you walk one way, something grabs you from behind. We’ve all probably played our fare share of horror games, but can you imagine experiencing it without a screen to look away from? Horror is the perfect genre for virtual reality — or it’s the worst, depending on your preference. Its setting is a plantation mansion, which is full of many secrets and scares.

2. Fallout VR

Release Date: June 2017

One of the big surprises of the Bethesda conference, Fallout 4 VR was announced. Hearing that one of my favorite games being converted to VR was such a joy to hear, especially since it will be such a large, interactive environment and the first open world game of that magnitude to feature virtual reality. I cowered in fear over going in the ghoul infested tunnels or sneaking around high level enemies in the Commonwealth with just a TV screen. Can you imagine encountering some of the enemies, especially Deathclaws, like they are really attacking you? It’s a scary, yet exciting thought.

Although Fallout 4 has much potential to implement VR, there are a few concerns. It was announced for Vive, but considering that is a more expensive headset, we hope to see more options, such as the Oculus Rift and the Playstation VR. There are also quite a few controls and menus in Fallout that have to be tweaked to be VR friendly. Fallout is a huge game, and there will be a lot to tackle to make it fully functional and an optimal experience.

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Release Date: TBA 2017

Doom, along with Fallout, was also one of the Bethesda’s full games to be announced for VR. However, there was little to no information about it, other than the announcement. Many speculate that Fallout VR will come first, with DOOM  following behind.  According to the conference, it will be adapted into the newest game and will be in first person the entire game. One of the biggest questions is will it be enough to make players who already beat the main storyline to come back for more? It will be interesting to see how players will navigate through hell with the action packed shooter, as well as the multiplayer capabilities.

4. Star Wars Battlefront X Wing Battle Mission

Release Date: TBA

Although Battlefront disappointed many last year with its lackluster release, there’s no doubt that this Battle Mission DLC looks awesome for any Star Wars fans. The movies and previous games were always full of action packed space battles, and now players can finally experience controlling a ship of their own. The press release from Playstation says that players will be able to fight against Imperial forces and maneuver through the intense, action packed mission. Although it’s not a full game, it will be a great way to test player reactions for future games. It’s also free for any of those who already own Battlefront. Maybe if it is implemented well, people will jump on the hype train.

5. Final Fantasy XV VR experience (the future of JRPGs in VR)

Release Date: September 30, 2016

There is a lot of hype surrounding the release of Final Fantasy XV, as it is definitely one of the most anticipated games and JRPGS of all time. Although not much of the main game wasn’t shown at the Sony conference, we did get an unexpected surprise, Final Fantasy VR. Like many VR titles, it isn’t a full game, but an experience in the form of a free DLC. In this mission, players must defeat an iconic Final Fantasy beast, the mighty Behemoth in a first person shooter type setting, which some fans have mixed feelings about.

Final Fantasy looks more realistic compared to other anime-based JRPGs. What does this mean for the future of 2D and 3D JRPGS on the VR? It would be really cool to see how that will work or if it will have presence in future releases. Maybe this game won’t satisfy fans in the long run, but at least it’s free and a definite test for the future. It’s not the VR demo itself that has potential, but the future of JRPGs in VR.

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6. Batman Arkham VR

Release Date: October 2016

The Batman Arkham video game series has been a very successful and beloved franchise, and many fans are excited to see a VR twist. According to those who played the game demo at E3, players can fly, use their utility belt, and investigate crime scenes. The navigation included looking at objects and using the PS Move controls. Many labeled it as the best VR game in the show, and it has so much promise due to the accessible controls and gameplay. Those who played the demo said it was a bit short, and that there should have been more. This is a good sign for VR gaming, though, and Arkham VR may very well be the example and inspiration for the future of virtual reality.

7. Loading Human

Release Date: TBA 2016

We’ve had a good amount of episodic games with moral choices hit the market, from The Wolf Among Us to Life is Strange, but now we are getting a game in the genre that will set an example for VR story based games. The story of Loading Human is about a man finding a powerful energy source across space, which a last request from his father. In this game, players will face many moral choices, as well as the option to form an emotional bond with the main character’s love interest, Alice, who is a genetics expert. Players can use the motion recognition parts with their arms rather than a standard controller to explore their enviorment, read books, etc.  The art is awesome and this game has so much potential.  It’s nice to see something more story focussed that “gimmicky” or a test for the VR capabilities, which gives it lasting value. Loading Human will be available for the Playstation VR and Oculus Rift.

8. How We Soar

Release Date: TBA

When thinking of virtual reality, one thing that we all have a desire for is the ability to fly. How We Soar promises this in is a papercraft style game where players can take the role as a phoenix The focus of the game is exploration with a Dualshock controller. Players can also slide, swoop, and glide in the environment as well as travel between fantasy and reality, according to the official press release. The goal is to explore and piece together the story and secrets of the world . It is set to release to the Playstation VR in Q4 2016.

9. Serious Sam VR

Release Date: Early Access Summer 2016

Serious Sam, a classic gaming franchise, is going to make its transition to virtual reality in a side project that’s hoping to appease long time fans of the series.  Players will be able to fight off hordes of aliens in intense, action-packed gameplay that is nothing short of over the top. Reminiscent of 1990’s violent shooter games, Serious Sam VR is said to mix old with the new, especially with it’s maps. Many fans want the 4th Serious Sam game to release, but the VR game is said to be a “fun side project” by the developer.

10. Star Trek: Bridge Crew

Release Date: Fall 2016

Like Star Wars, Star Trek allows players to board and pilot ships, which has been a fan desire for many years. However, unlike the Star Wars Battle Mission, the Star Trek VR game is a multiplayer experience.  Here, players can with up to 3 people, each with different roles, such as the lead captain or a crew member. In this game, players can scan objects and navigate through space with various controls. There is also an element of strategy, and the game is said to be decision based. Fans are very hyped for this game.

Which VR game are you most excited for? Or are you not excited for VR at all? Sound off in the comments.

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