2017 is promising to be the year in which we finally see big developers take VR headsets seriously. As a result, we can expect a slew of new games, and more importantly AAA titles. With the spotlight aimed at this technology, there should be great improvements in software and hardware. As it stands now, we have just started to explore the possibilities of virtual reality and the possibilities within VR Headset Games.
We will also begin to see more and more indie companies work on these units and produce titles that aren’t merely ports.
To get you excited for what’s to come, we’ve put together a list of upcoming VR games, both big and small. There’s something for everyone here and every system. Not to mention the wide range of Google Cardboard Games which are being released to the android marketplace.
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
Oculus Rift, HTC Vive
Serious Sam, an FPS game that has almost a cult following thanks to its fast-paced style of action, is coming out in VR. If you’re not familiar with this series, two words can describe it: guns and mayhem.
Thanks an overwhelmingly positive response during an alpha demo shown in 2016, the studio behind this title has decided to make a full VR game. As of now, you can get try out this title through Steam’s early access while it’s being developed.
As with all other games in this line-up, you won’t have to spend more than a few seconds thinking about the plot. You start on Earth during a war with the “Mental” and try to save the galaxy with your team of resistance members. At your disposal is everything from handguns to the excesses of sci-fi weaponry.
Paranormal Activity VR
HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
Although this title was one of the last to be added to our list of Oculus VR games, it might be one our favorites. After earning almost $1bn since the first movie came out in 2009, the next step for the series was to come up with a game. The people in charge saw the potential of virtual reality and decided to take advantage of the emerging technology.
Paranormal Activity is a realistic VR game in which players start off in a suburban home at night. In this survival horror, you will have to interact with the environment and use objects to your advantage to complete this title. Your primary goal will be to explore the haunted house you’re in and unravel a mystery while facing an unknown presence.
Oculus Rift, Touch
Judging by online demos, Arktika is a beautiful VR game with lots of smooth and fast paced action. This title comes from 4A Games, the same team that made Metro 2033. While there are some similarities between them, regarding colors and lighting, they also have differences.
The game-play in Arktika seems to be more oriented towards action while employing fewer elements of survival horror. As a bonus, it is going to work with Oculus Touch. This means you will get sensory feedback when shooting weapons, reloading, and the like.
HTC Vive, OSVR, Oculus Rift
Essence is going to be one of many VR games for PC to come out in 2017. This a crowd-funded project that was close to being shut down, but, luckily for everyone involved, it is due to be published in March through Steam.
As an adventure, Essence leans on classics like Myst and Fable for its style of game-play and looks. This mean you’ll be walking through stunning landscapes and enjoying incredible sights. At its core, this will be a puzzle game with narration added over, and the ultimate goal of uncovering an ancient past.
HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
In our opinion, some of the top VR games of 2017 will be survival horrors. The very nature of the technology and the immersive experience it provides is ideal for this genre. Adding to the claustrophobic feeling that virtual reality can sometimes have, Syren is set in an underwater facility.
The story starts when experiments to bring back mermaids go horribly wrong. The team behind this title aims to create a mix of survival, escape room and stealth elements. Even though it is their first foray into video games, it looks promising. Before starting this project, they’ve only made VR films.
Oculus Rift, Touch
This is a familiar tale of robots going crazy in a simple, but exciting shooter game. Standing behind this project are world-famous Epic Games, perhaps best known for Gears of War. They are another big developing team that is going into virtual reality and promising to make VR gaming better in 2017.
Robo Recall will have a real story, unlike their other games for VR, which are more tech demos than anything else. Each player will start as a repairman and get a quick promotion to a Recaller. As you soon find out, this change in jobs is due to a robot break-out. Your task will be to locate and take these robots gone wild out.
Judging by early demos, Robo Recall will have a lighter, comic book tone, unlike the darker feel of Gears of War. But, you will still have great gameplay and a heap of awesome weapons at your disposal. To top it all off, this will be in the free VR games category.
One of the most exciting announcements for 2017 came from Bethesda, developers of Fallout. But, don’t hold your breath just yet. At the moment, they are tied up with the latest Elder Scrolls 6, so it might take a while before you go on post-apocalyptic adventures.
Demos released during the summer of 2016 didn’t show too much, but we do know a few things. Since the Fallout Universe is huge, and not ideal for long traverses in VR, teleportation will be used. Other than that, you can use the Pip-Boy, and both your hands to shoot and interact. Except for that, there’s not much information about the game. Bethesda is probably waiting until they have more to show.
Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR
ARK Park will feature everyone’s favorite extinct animals, the dinosaurs. This will be an educational puzzle game in which players start off on an adventure from a virtual base. You will be able to go on foot, by vehicle or even on the shoulders of one of these prehistoric behemoths.
If you want to see some dinosaurs, you will first have to solve a few different puzzles. Some animals are harder than others to lure out and require a bit of ingenuity to see finally. Among long-gone creatures, we also saw a Dodo while playing the demo.
ARK Park seems to have a significant budget standing behind it because it looks incredible so far. It’s going to be among the most exciting steam VR games for kids and adults alike when it comes out.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive
Imagine being on board a starship and shouting “Shields up, red alert!”. The dream of every Star Trek fan is going to come true when Ubisoft finally release this VR game sometime in March 2017.
This title will involve four players. Each will be able to take the role of Captain, Tactical, Helm or Engineering officer. Star Trek: Bridge Crew is going to be all about team-work. Each of the four different positions will have specific tasks. The best way to communicate will be by playing in the same room. Working together, you will operate a console each to fire weapons, cloak, raise shields, and fix the ship. The fate of the ship will rest on the shoulders of you and your teammates.
Your primary goal in this game will be to find a new home for the Vulcan population. Thus, you will be sent to an uncharted sector called “The Trench.” To make your job more difficult, the Klingon Empire is also exploring this region and will be a threat to Federation plans.
Planned as a Co-Op and single-player title, Raw Data will come out sometime in 2017. Right now, you can test it through Steam Early Access. This is a wave-based shooter which differs from other similar titles thanks to the large choice of weapons available to each player. Among the weapons, you can use a bow and arrow or a samurai katana. As you make progress new weapons will get unlocked while the ultimate goal is to steal data from the Eden Crop.
The enemies you encounter will adapt to your style of play and vary in type. There are stealth opponents, units with heavy armor, as well as drones, to name a few. The best thing about this title is that ability to play cooperatively in a shared VR-space.
Since this is a VR game for the HTC Vive and its controller, players have to fire, reload and aim manually. This is accomplished through a series of specific gestures which make the whole experience much more immersive.