One of the only technologies I've ever been an early adopter of is virtual reality. Ever since I was a kid, VR always seemed just over the horizon, almost within reach. Little did I know then that I would have to wait almost 20 years to get my hands on an actual consumer virtual reality headset. But now that day has come, and the frontier looks... well, pretty grim to be honest.
Sure there are a lot of cool experiences to play, but not many actual honest to goodness games like we've come to expect. I can only play so many games where I stand in one place and shoot zombies before I need a little bit more to my experience. VR enthusiasts have been clamoring for better gaming experiences on their chosen platform since the release of the units, and now that day is nearly upon us. But let's take a step back for a moment so I can bitch about something.
Capcom released Resident Evil 7, a first-person follow up to the lackluster Resident Evil 6, which followed the path of Capcom's transformation of the series seen first in Resident Evil 4 and continuing in 5. RE 7 released to magnificent reviews, rejuvenating the ailing franchise with a fresh new take on horror. Well fresh for Resident Evil, first-person horror games are nothing new, but first-person horror (FPH?) games that are actually done well? So imagine my excitement when this game was announced for VR. Now imagine my exasperation when it was announced that RE 7 would be a Playstation VR exclusive, at least for the first year. We are in a make or break moment with virtual reality, the initial hype is gone, and the general public has moved on to the next latest and greatest innovations. (HDR and 4K anyone?)
All that said, we are on the precipice of the release of three VR games that, yes, you probably have already logged tons of hours into, but are games that people have been wanting (and hacking) to play in their headsets for some time.
Fallout 4 VR and DOOM VR will release this December, with Skyrim VR having released already this November. Now these are some seriously great games that have received tons of praise, and for good reason. Now, regardless of whether or not they are that well received in VR, I would urge you, if you own a VR platform or plan to very soon, give one of all of these games some of your hard earned money. I say this because game developers need to see that there is a market for actual games released in VR, encouraging them not only to port games to VR, but also make dedicated experiences that will be even better.
Yes, essentially I'm saying buy these games even if they suck. Remember, these are games that weren't even built with VR in mind to begin with, they had to go back and redesign them to work. However, those games are solid performers in franchises that people love even years after release (I'm looking at you Skyrim, with your six or so releases), so who knows, maybe we could get the next Elder Scrolls game with native VR support, or a new Fallout game, or heck a new IP that's just as good.
This is the shot in the heart that virtual reality needs if we don't want the platform to fade away into obscurity. I'll hold the syringe, I just need you to smash that plunger. Smash it like a like button. SMASH IT!
I mean after all, we need to justify that ridiculous amount we spent on these damn things anyway, right?