Following Mark Zuckerberg’s stunning reveal of several upcoming titles on Oculus Quest, a move made in conjunction with Facebook’s rebranding amid privacy breaches, the VR landscape has garnered a lot of attention. buzz lately.
While the medium – and Oculus as a brand – has been around for nearly a decade, in recent years the platform has garnered much-desired attention from AAAs, with tiles like “Half Life: Alyx” bringing back the PC franchise icon after nearly 13 years in “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond” bringing the iconic WWII shooter (which was created by Steven Spielberg of All People) back to VR for the premiere times. Still, many of the best titles to play in VR are on a smaller, more experimental scale. Here are a handful of delicious titles to check out if you want to get the most out of VR.
Virtual, Virtual Reality (2017)
My favorite VR game, this indie gem from Tender Claws is a short storytelling experience for those looking to truly push the boundaries of VR as a storytelling medium. You are a newly recruited human employee of a wonderfully energetic company of robotic assistants taking jobs from inanimate objects in need of assistance. Essentially, the whole world is made up of objects, all with distinct personalities, and you are the last repairman in the world. Don’t overthink the premise, as it gets darker and darker the more you question it. The silly antics of helping a pinwheel blow in the wind, melting a slab of butter, or helping a tumbleweed chute set a positive, uplifting vibe. It’s an engaging and fun experience that makes full use of virtual reality for its many gags. All I can say without spoiling its true story is never to answer the phone.
Red Matter (2018)
Another indie gem that takes players on a storytelling whirlwind is Vertical Robot’s “Red Matter”. The VR game is set in an alternate sci-fi cold war, fought between the fictional nations of the Atlantic Union and Volgravia (shameless analogies of the United States and the USSR). You play as Agent Epsilon, Agent of the Atlantic Union. After crashing into Moon Rhea, the player begins to explore the base to find a mysterious set of documents related to the end of the Cold War. Despite its fictional universe, the atmosphere and artistic design are very reminiscent of the 60s space race and atom-punk aesthetic, offering a unique and cool world to explore in every nook and cranny. Most of the game is about collecting and reading the diary entries of the abandoned inhabitants of the base, so the slower pace gives the industrial and claustrophobic sound design room to shine, immersing you in such a way that you yourself will remember it long after the credits roll. .
The cabin (2016)
The shortest on this list, with a total playtime of just around 30 minutes, small package from Pelican Party Studios is completely free to buy and play. A short film translated into VR, everything looks normal (and boring) in a colorless office cubicle. Like at the start of “The Matrix”, this simple illusion of normality slowly crumbles as the office space becomes more and more disturbing with every glance. It uses virtual reality effectively enough to sell its unsettling atmosphere as your cabin embarks on a descent into madness. The short run time and free entry fee make this one of the best first steps one can take in the indie VR scene and a perfect example of the narrative force that only VR is capable of flexing.