PlayStation VR hits store shelves (or doesn’t, thanks to pre-orders selling out shipments until early next year) this week, and we’ve hit up its launch library to do a quick evaluation of what’s on offer.
100ft Robot Golf
- No Goblin – PS VR Compatible
- $20 USD ($18 USD pre-order)
- Excitement level: Drunk guy on the 18th at Augusta yelling “get in the hole!”
I love everything I have seen of 100ft Robot Golf thus far. It’s a real-time giant mech golf game where you can destroy the terrain in the way of your shot. It’s the perfect level of ridiculous and I have faith in No Goblin to pull it off. Even though I question if this is a better experience in VR, this game would be a purchase for me either way.
- Rebellion – PS VR Required
- $84.95 AUD
- Excitement level: Guy who test drives a mid range luxury car but has no intention of actually buying.
Tank combat is a natural fit for VR, but I have my doubts as to whether that can be stretched out enough to justify the full price. I’m very keen to give this a go but it will have to be an incredible experience to see me putting down the cash day one.
Batman: Arkham VR
- Rocksteady – PS VR Required
- $20 USD
- Excitement level: Hearing about Batman v Superman but before knowing Ben Affleck was cast as Batman.
What I have seen of this so far has tempered my excitement somewhat but as one of the more high profile PS VR releases I still have high hopes for Arkham VR. As long as they don’t just rely on VR busy work like the blood sample scenes from the demo this will be fine, and a detective game is a unique fit for VR.
- Plastic – PS VR Compatible
- $29.95 AUD ($23.95 AUD with PS+)
- Excitement level: Your partner just told you how much they want to go to see a ballet.
I didn’t pay much attention to Bound at launch and I can’t say the movement heavy nature of dance appeals to me in VR. I’ll be waiting for somebody to tell me this is must play before giving it a shot. We’ve reviewed it, sans-VR, here.
- Evolution – PS VR Required
- $54.95 AUD ($24.95 AUD if you own the Driveclub season pass)
- Excitement level: Waiting in line for a cool rollercoaster with a lot of loops and you just ate questionable hot wings.
One of the few PS VR games I have experience with, unfortunately Driveclub VR made me a bit sick, a shame as I am a big racing game fan and really want the genre to work with VR. I have held some curiosity over Driveclub since its disastrous launch, my brief experience with it has been positive and I enjoy a more arcade racing style, but unless I can race for more than five minutes without wanting to hurl it is an unfortunate pass.
- CCP Games – PS VR Required
- $60 USD
- Excitement level: Anticipation for the final season of Battlestar Galactica knowing they probably didn’t have a plan but hoping it was good anyway.
A well known VR favourite of the PC headset launches, the only thing holding me back here is the focus on multiplayer and what could be a difficult task finding regular games. My experience with the Call of Duty: Jackal demo gives me great faith in VR space combat so I’m keen to see what the best on the market can offer, it is just hard to justify a full price if I’m only going to find a game in the first week after launch.
Harmonix Music VR
- Harmonix – PS VR Required
- TBA ($20 USD rumoured)
- Excitement level: The moment after you realise that even though the Saturn has a cool music player, you still have to listen to your music through the TV.
An interactive music visualiser, I’m hoping this has some Kinect Party or Double Fine Happy Action Theater extended novelty to it. It sounds like the type of thing you should be getting for free with the headset, at $20 USD it will want to do more than just let you paint palm trees to music.
Hatsune Miku: VR Future Live
- Sega – PS VR Compatible
- $15 USD
- Excitement level: Waching J-Pop videos at a restaurant with no sound on the TV.
I don’t think this one is for me, unfortunately. Not that I’ve paid much attention to the whole Hatsune Miku phenomenon, and as somebody who owns a set of Dreamcast Samba de Amigo maracas I am susceptible to Japanese rhythm games so who knows? It won’t be on my radar day one but never say never.
- Frame Interactive – PS VR Required
- $20 USD
- Excitement level: Waiting to be picked in schoolyard sports but pretty certain your mates will make sure you won’t be the unlucky last.
I didn’t particularly enjoy heading soccer balls in Wii Fit or dodging much of anything with the Kinect, so I’m skeptical here. The buzz around it is good though, so pending feedback I’ll probably give it a shot.
Here They Lie
- Tangentlemen – PS VR Required
- TBA ($20 USD unconfirmed)
- Excitement level: Your partner believing you are actually asleep when you lay with eyes closed after they selected “The Ring” for movie night.
I’m a real wuss when it comes to horror but if I was going to try anything that might leave me scrubbing off the lounge cushions it would be this. Pitched as psychological horror rather than jump scares, it is still very unlikely I get the stones to try this one but I’m curious to see what the reception is like.
Hustle Kings VR
- EPOS – PS VR Compatible
- $24.95 AUD
- Excitement level: Playing pool on a snooker table at the RSL because you don’t know the rules for snooker.
From what I have seen of the PS Move controllers in VR I don’t have much confidence that they could handle the precision required for pub pool on $3 tables with double wide pockets, let alone snooker. I have some affection for virtual pool and snooker but I’m much more excited for the insanity of Sports Bar VR. If word on the street is positive I will probably be swayed but on day one this is a pass.
- Owlchemy Labs – PS VR Required
- $30 USD
- Excitement level: 14-year-old receiving your first paycheck from McDonalds.
A well regarded Vive launch title, my only concern here is how well the Move controllers can handle replicating the fine movement of the HTC setup. Equal parts wacky and entertaining, this is a good one to show off the system and unless Move support is substandard I’ll be grabbing this day one.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
- Steel Crate Games – PS VR Required
- TBA (PC release $15 USD)
- Excitement level: Bomb detection dog rolling in a sand pit full of gunpowder.
I love this one on PC and that is without being locked in the VR headset. Another beautiful show off game that I am hoping holds up just as well on PS VR as it does PC. Getting a group of people to frantically guide you through the most confusing bomb defusal in history is the type of thing that turns a headset from bedroom novelty to centrepiece of a party.
- Untold Games – PS VR Required
- $40 USD
- Excitement level: Hearing that in 50 years you could pay the cost of a small house to fly into space.
Information is hard to come by on this one. An episodic adventure game that promises impressive levels of immersion, Loading Human started on Kickstarter back in 2014. This could become the game Arkham VR wants to be but at the price they are asking somebody else is going to find that out for me.
Sports Bar VR
- Cherry Pop Games – PS VR Required
- Excitement level: Your imagination running wild when you hear a new barcade opens in town.
I really like the idea of this one but am prepared for it to be little more than a novelty. Wreaking havoc in a sports bar playing pool and darts is my idea of a good time but if this is best experienced in multiplayer it may never reach that potential. Unless it is outright broken or ridiculously priced this will be a launch pickup for me.
Super Stardust VR
- D3T – PS VR Compatible
- $24.95 AUD
- Excitement level: Finding out how powerful an Amiga CD-32 was before you had any concept of the value of money.
I am still baffled as to how a game I remember playing on my Amiga as a ten year old is now a long standing PlayStation classic, but here we are as it launches alongside PS VR as not a top down twin stick shooter but a first person tank blaster. Owners of Super Stardust HD will get the VR upgrade for free so it will be worth a try, though I find it hard to imagine this will compete with Battlezone, EVE: Valkyrie or the other more fleshed out cockpit shooter experiences.
PlayStation VR Worlds
- Sony – PS VR Required
- $54.95 AUD
- Excitement level: Flipping through a $5 pre-owned games box and finding 40 copies of Kinect Adventures.
Like many I am surprised this wasn’t packed in with all PS VR headsets rather than just the premium launch bundle, and unless it proves to be more than just some glorified show floor demos I won’t be grabbing this one until it litters the pre-owned shelves. The games themselves look solid, “London Heist” I hope is fleshed out at some point and “Danger Ball” could be some fun. “VR Luge” from experience is little more than a novelty while “Ocean Descent” slots firmly into experience territory rather than game.
- Enhance Games – PS VR Compatible
- $30 USD
- Excitement Level: Four trance vibrators attached to your genitals.
RIGS Mechanised Combat League
- Guerrilla Cambridge – PS VR Required
- $90 AUD
- Excitement Level: Hearing they are making a Pacific Rim sequel.
RIGS ticks a lot of boxes for me, future sports and giant mechs the big ones, but this still feels like a try before you buy. Maybe it is the risk of motion sickness, maybe a question of how much depth this will have for a full retail price, but I’ll be seeking the RIGS demo out quick smart to get answers.
- Kokoromi – PS VR Required
- TBA ($30 USD rumoured)
- Excitement Level: Surviving 60 seconds on Hardest in Super Hexagon.
Part Hole in the Wall, part Tetris, Superhypercube may be possible without a VR headset but it is certainly a better game with it. Adding a degree of difficulty by having to change viewing angles to see around your puzzle pieces and obstacles, this one is right in my wheelhouse and I can’t wait to give it a shot.
- nDreams – PS VR Compatible
- $30 USD
- Excitement Level: Waiting for a job interview at a government department.
Already out for PC, this one sadly seems better outside of VR as others report sickness and immersion breaking elements. It sounds like an interesting premise, trying to bring a corrupt organisation down from multiple angles, but it is described more as an interactive drama than an adventure game. We’ll see how it holds up but for now I’ll be waiting on this one.
The Playroom VR
- Sony – PS VR Required
- Excitement Level: Just picked up the star in Mario Chase and started mercilessly barrelling your opponents.
The PS VR pack-in is a collection of asymmetric multiplayer experiences designed to bring other players into your VR world. The price is right and similar experiences on the Wii U have proven popular with my friends so hopefully the Playroom delivers.
- Drool – PS VR Compatible
- $20 USD
- Excitement Level: Wayne and Garth meeting Alice Cooper.
Thumper looks like Rez if it was a heavy metal music video, a fast paced rhythm game designed to overwhelm the senses. That sounds a lot like something I will enjoy, as long as my brain can handle it. This is one of the games that found its way to the US demo disc but not Australia but since it isn’t a VR exclusive there should be plenty of footage out there upon release.
- Supermassive Games – PS VR Required
- $14.95 AUD
- Excitement Level: Successfully extracting a tricky Jenga piece after ten minutes of delicate prodding.
This gives off some Boom Blox vibes to me, though I’m assured that is only part of the game. Another puzzle game that is priced nicely and will provide a less frantic experience and be something I can fall back on if cockpits and blasting get too much to handle.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
- Supermassive Games – PS VR Required
- $25 AUD
- Excitement Level: Ten year old waiting in line for the Easter Show haunted house.
This looks like the evolution of the light gun shooter; taking you on a roller coaster ride through a haunted house, shooting everything you see and some stuff you can’t. It will probably be something I watch others play first so I know what is coming, but as a big fan of Virtua Cop and House of the Dead back in the day this is one I’ll eventually get the stomach to give a try. Seems to be the most well received launch title thus far.
- Bithell Games – PS VR Required
- $26.95 AUD (free upgrade for existing owners)
- Excitement Level: Raiden showing up as a cyborg ninja.
Volume is one of those games I have been meaning to get to for a while. I don’t believe the original game is available in VR but rather Coda is a selection of new levels designed specifically for the format. I already own this one on PC so the VR exclusive content is going to need to be very good for me to splash out again, but it may at least inspire me to finally play the original game.
- Uber Entertainment – PS VR Required
- $20 USD
- Excitement Level: Forced to put together a 500 piece jigsaw that is mostly sky.
A pretty adventure game that from reports is a bit simple. It looks great and if I had kids it would be something I might consider to ease them into VR, but unless the world falls over itself for this one I’ll be passing.
World War Toons
- Reload Studios – PS VR Compatible
- Excitement Level: Getting a free tube of premium toothpaste after paying $1,000 for a teeth straightening.
I have serious doubts about a more traditional first person shooter in VR but at least there is a non-VR mode and the price means it will get a play regardless. We’ll see if it gains any traction as a VR game but it could be one of the few VR launch titles with a player base thanks to being free to play.
- Archiact Interactive – PS VR Required
- TBA ($10 USD on Steam)
- Excitement level: Your child has just seen something cute in a store as you are trying to leave.
Another puzzle game in VR, this one looks a lot like Lemmings as you attempt to both herd a group of dopey penguins to safety and build the path for them to do so. The price is right and the reception for a PC release has been positive, but it isn’t something I’m tripping over myself to play.