Now that the age of VR has begun with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive showing up in homes, we’re only left waiting for one more major entrant. PlayStation VR has already been confirmed as the cheapest VR option, with Sony announcing the $400 price tag and the October release date back in March (now officially October 13), and with over 40 million PlayStation 4 consoles sold, they’ve got a ready-made market. The only question that remains is the same question that dogs VR as a whole — are the games going to make all this worthwhile? After their E3 press conference, Sony thinks the answer is yes.
Batman: Arkham VR
At both the press conference and their E3 booth, Sony showed off tons of games in development for PSVR, including a handful that were announced at this year’s show. Understandably, most of the hype seems to be swirling around Batman: Arkham VR, because you actually get to be the Batman. The trailer only consists of an incredible amount of nudging and winking in a voiceover from Mark Hamill’s Joker, talking of putting on masks. We’re not sure what to expect when you put on that VR mask, though — the trailer didn’t show any of the game, which might be due to the difficulty of showing off VR gameplay in a non-VR setting. After all, it sounds like the game is nearly ready — developers Rocksteady (responsible for the Arkham trilogy) are promising an October 2016 release date, which would make it a launch title for PSVR. It’ll also be an exclusive.
Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission
This falls more into the realm of tech demo than full game, but it’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of getting into the cockpit of an X-Wing. Criterion Games and DICE are working together to create a special X-Wing mission that will pit you against Star Destroyers and other spacefaring Imperial menaces. It sounds like it’ll be just a couple hours worth of gameplay, but chances are it’ll have many coming back for seconds. When it’s ready, the VR Mission will be available as a free download for anyone who owns Star Wars Battlefront on the PlayStation 4, meaning this will be another Sony exclusive.
If space survival/horror is more your speed, developers Impulse Gear have something in the works for you. Farpoint uses the Aim accessory for the PlayStation Move controller, which turns the remote into a blaster complete with trigger. You’ll have to use that blaster against the inhabitants of whatever hostile planet you’re stranded on as you investigate your surroundings and figure out how to not be on that hostile planet anymore. Shooting and investigation are both natural fits for VR, so it seems like Farpoint has the right idea. No word on when Farpoint will be ready, so we’re assuming it won’t be a PSVR launch title.
Final Fantasy XV VR
Well, let’s be clear — the entire game isn’t coming to VR, although with development on FFXV taking well over 10 years, we wouldn’t have been totally shocked. No, the Final Fantasy XV VR Experience will be some kind of a limited combat mode from the looks of the trailer. We haven’t gotten a chance to try it yet, but we do know that early reaction to the combat-based shooter gameplay has been pretty unkind (not surprising, since it doesn’t really play to the franchise’s strengths). We’ll try to get our own take on it before E3 wraps up. Until then, we gather that this should be ready once the PSVR launches in October, since the full Final Fantasy XV game comes out on September 30.
Resident Evil 7
Hoo boy. Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 were alright games, but they weren’t and aren’t known as some of the scariest games in the series. We’ve got a feeling Resident Evil 7 will get things back on track. With a full PSVR release planned for January 24 of next year in addition to PC and console releases, the trailer for RE7 looks like it’s a return to the sense of dread the first games in the series were able to conjure up. That means a lot of doors, a lot of corridors, and constantly being terrified of something popping out of one of those doors (but it’s probably coming through the wall). Now, do all that in VR, where you can’t just throw down the controller and run away. Just watching the trailer is creepy enough, although, like with most VR games, the control scheme is really going to make or break this experience.