It’s hard to believe that the PlayStation VR headset is more than a year old now. It feels like only yesterday that I was getting stuck into it for the first time and uncovering the horrors of Kitchen and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, taking part in the frantic racing of Drive Club VR, and battling alongside friends against neon tanks in Battlezone. Good times.
That was just the launch line-up though – we’ve had a whole year of releases since, and what a year it has been. 2017 brought a ton of excellent new titles to the PlayStation VR headset and with sales of the system continuing to rise, it looks like 2018 is going to be even better. Heck, Sony have said themselves that they’re expecting to see double the amount of games released this year, so it looks like we’re going to have plenty of exciting new titles to sink our teeth into.
Baring that in mind, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the stand-out releases of PlayStation VR over 2017 and highlight the games that you simply need to check out. These aren’t necessarily the highest scoring releases of the year, but the games that we personally think gamers need to experience and that really benefit from being played in virtual reality. You know what’s best of all? A lot of them are on sale right now, so you can grab them for a cheaper price (up until January 19th anyway). You’ve got to love a January sale, right?
PlayStation VR’s multiplayer catalogue is growing bigger and bigger, but Sparc stands alone as the system’s only real competitive ‘sports’ title. It’s like a mixture of dodgeball and squash, putting players in one on one battles featuring high-speed ball-smashing action.
I’ve had a ton of showdowns with other players online in Sparc and they’ve always been tense and exciting affairs. Plus, it’s a good workout too – it’s a little disgusting how sweaty you’ll get playing the game, but it’s all worthwhile when you’re blasting out some massive win-streak.
It demands skill, perseverance, and it’ll take a hell of a long time to master all of the game’s little tricks, but once you get going you’re guaranteed to have a good time taking on other players from all over the world.
9. Raw Data
Whilst there’s no shortage of decent wave-based shooters available on PlayStation VR, none of them have the same exciting variety of weaponry or attention to detail that Raw Data has.
This is a game where you can take down countless robots with a pistol, bow and arrow, shotgun (which you have to manually reload two-handed) or, perhaps most satisfying of all, a sword. All of these weapons can be upgraded too, which makes for some incredibly exciting action-packed showdowns with your robotic foes. It all looks fantastic and allows gamers to move around freely across some impressive environments, so there’s absolutely plenty to see and do.
If you’re going to pick up any wave-based shooter on PlayStation VR, it simply has to be Raw Data.
8. Megaton Rainfall
You know how almost EVERYONE would love to be a superhero who flies through the skies at an incredible speed and get to blast away at villains with their super powers? Well, Megaton Rainfall allows you to live out that dream, but in virtual reality.
This means flying around cities, blasting away at aliens, watching those aforementioned cities crumble around you, flying halfway across the world in mere seconds, and then back to outer space to blast more aliens without a loading screen to block your efforts. It’s incredibly impressive how Megaton Rainfall manages to make all of this work in PlayStation VR, and it makes for one of the most jaw-dropping experiences that gamers can have in the headset. Plus, it’s a hell of a lot of fun – what more could you want?
Megaton Rainfall has become one of the titles that I actively try to show newbies to virtual reality just to blow them away, but I think veterans with the hardware will be mighty impressed at what the game allows you to do too.
Every so often a game comes along that’s so bat-s*** crazy that it’s hard not to be totally enamoured by the experience. Accounting+ has been one such title for me, with its crazy world and bizarre cast of characters proving to be one of the highlights of PlayStation VR’s 2017 calendar.
It’s hard to put into words what exactly Accounting+ is, but I will say one thing: don’t expect to learn a single thing about accounting. What you can expect though is an epic highway chase, a court appearance, a test of how ‘badass’ you are, and even the murder of a king. Oh, and it features the talents of Justin Roiland of ‘Rick and Morty’ fame too, so that’s another highlight for you right there.
If you’re a fan of outrageous and totally anarchic experiences, you really need to check Accounting+ out.
6. The Lost Bear
I’d always been a little sceptical at how well a 2D adventure would work in PlayStation VR, but The Lost Bear completely changed that mind-set thanks to its fantastically charming atmosphere and heart-warming little tale.
Whilst the main action takes place on a giant stage in front of you, it’s the way the world around your character changes and interacts with the main game that’s most impressive. There are so many clever little ideas in place that it’s hard not to be in awe of the whole thing.
If you’ve ever been dubious of how well a 2D game would work in virtual reality, you really need to give The Lost Bear a playthrough; I think you’d quickly change your mind…
5. DOOM VFR
I didn’t know how well the brutal quick-paced action of DOOM would translate to virtual reality, but thankfully it’s turned out to be one of PlayStation VR’s most epic shooters. There are no corners cut and it really is the DOOM experience you’re looking for; it looks fantastic, the weapons pack a hell of a punch, there’s an enjoyable story to see through, and you get to kill a s**t ton of demons. What more could you ask for?
It’s the all-out action that fans have come to expect from the series, whilst the integration of the PlayStation Aim controller makes the experience feel all the more immersive (even if the fact weapons are one-handed seems a little odd). It’s just a hell of a lot of fun to play, plus it offers a whole new adventure that takes place alongside the 2016 release.
Be warned though: those with a weak stomach might not to want to play the game with free movement activated…
Puzzlers aren’t typically my favourite genre of game to play, but there was something about Statik that hooked me in almost immediately. I love it, and simply can’t recommend it enough to EVERYONE.
It’s not like all of the other games in this list where it uses virtual reality elements in a variety of atmospheric ways, yet I couldn’t imagine playing it any other way – the whole concept of having a box of enigmas fixed to your hands just works perfectly in PlayStation VR, whilst the way the dual-shock controller handles each perplexing puzzle is absolutely perfect.
With the addition of an intriguing and surprisingly dark narrative (what would you expect from the guys who created Little Nightmares?) as well as the sheer variety of puzzles on offer, Statik is simply a fantastic title and is certainly a must own for PlayStation VR gamers who really want to really put their mind to the test.
3. SUPERHOT VR
I was a huge fan of SUPERHOT when it originally launched, so naturally I’d been incredibly excited to play SUPERHOT VR from the moment it was announced. I always had this lingering doubt of how well the quick-paced time-bending action would translate to virtual reality though, especially with a lack of movement in-game. Thankfully, it works absolutely perfectly and at times even manages to surpass the main game.
Imagine being able to swiftly dodge bullets all whilst throwing shurikens at the countless enemies that are constantly marching your way, and then picking off any remaining foes with the machine guns you just so happen to have waiting by your side. Now imagine doing this but with time only going forward when you move your body. Sounds pretty rad, right? Well it absolutely is and it’s why SUPERHOT VR is one of 2017’s must play PlayStation VR titles.
The whole structure of SUPERHOT feels like it was made for virtual reality and with SUPERHOT VR it seems to have proven it. It shouldn’t take you too long to make your way through everything that the game has to offer, but don’t be surprised if it keeps you coming back for more time and time again anyway – it’s just that good.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
It’s impressive enough that Bethesda managed to release DOOM on PlayStation VR, but to bring the entirety of the epic adventure of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to the system too? Simply jaw dropping.
Before playing the game, I’d heard so much about how it didn’t control that well, how the world didn’t feel as impressive to explore, or how enemies were incredibly dumb and simply lined themselves up for you to kill. Don’t believe any of that stuff – this is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as you remembered it, but with the added immersion that virtual reality offers. And you know what? It’s absolutely superb.
I think this could be one of the first genuine system seller for PlayStation VR and gamers couldn’t have found a better place to start than with Bethesda’s amazing adventure – I simply don’t think I could go back to playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in any other way now that I’ve experienced it in virtual reality. It’s breath-taking stuff and with all the DLC included, it will easily last you well over a hundred hours.
It’s just a shame that PlayStation VR has so many other great releases on offer, otherwise I’d find myself permanently fixed into the world of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. However, it didn’t reach number one on this list thanks to one incredibly frightening release…
1. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
I’ve been a huge fan of the Resident Evil series from its very inception, and, despite the radical change to the series with the use of a first-person perspective, had been very excited to play Resident Evil 7 on PlayStation VR since the game’s reveal at E3 2016. Still, I was a little sceptical as to whether or not the hardware could handle the game all that well, especially since it’s in its early days.
Thankfully, It managed to deliver absolutely everything I could’ve wanted from the game: it’s a frightening experience that blends together survival-horror action, creepy puzzle solving, and a grotesque narrative into one gore-filled package. It’s a true return to form for the series after the lacking Resident Evil 6, and best of all it cut no corners as far as playing in virtual reality is concerned. It simply looks and plays superbly, both in and out of PlayStation VR.
It was one of the first AAA games to fully utilise PlayStation VR integration as more than just a small side feature, and it came together perfectly. Just get ready to be terrified – getting pursued by the vicious monsters of the Baker Estate is a hell of a lot more frightening in virtual reality, so it’s not for the fainthearted.