I’ll be honest, I was very sceptical of virtual reality’s potential to make an impact in today’s gaming landscape. It’s probably because the two platforms I use (Xbox One and a very basic laptop) are both incompatible with the current, and upcoming, headsets on the market. There was a small part of me that wanted VR to fail as a result.
While I was hacking away at 6ft skeletons and being dwarfed by an even more terrifying GLaDOS, I thought of a couple of games that would benefit from the implementation of virtual reality. As it’s the only VR set I’ve yet to try, my ideas are naturally focused around the Vive and its hardware, but Sam has helpfully stopped this piece becoming a total HTC love-in by coming up with a title he’d like to see make it to PlayStation VR.
XCOM is all about surveying the battlefield whilst deducing a plan of action appropriate to how the conflict is playing out - attack, defend, or more often in my case, retreat. VR would allow for a closer engagement with the battlefield, giving players a better idea of how the forthcoming conflict is likely to play out. The Vive’s use of spatial tracking could also go a long way in making players feel like a real commander, allowing them to walk around the map and quite literally hand pick units with the motion controllers.
This freedom of movement could also benefit the combat experience. Rather than relying on a lottery, as is the current XCOM set up, selecting a unit to attack with would instead see the player step into the role of that soldier and take control of things personally. With the Vive it would be possible to peek around cover, dodge incoming fire and line up shots for yourself, making the turn-based combat system that little bit more fluid.
I know it’s being done with Arkham VR, but hear me out, a solo sleuth-’em-up this ain't.
During my time with Vive, there were numerous moments when the demo handler would call out advice to me as he watched my actions play out on a PC monitor. This backseat gamer got me thinking that while VR headsets may not be the most inclusive way to game, there is scope for some sort of co-op.
The person wearing the VR headset could play as Batman and explore Gotham, while another person would step into the role of Babara ‘Oracle’ Gordon. While Batman would handle the combat side of things with motion controlled punch-ups, the other person playing as Oracle on the PC could use the character’s hacking and espionage skills to aid Bruce and his alter ego in detective work, offering up completely different yet tandem experiences.
It could also work in reverse, the PC player controlling an Arkham-like experience, whilst the one with the headset enters the matrix, so to speak.
The idea appears to have already been explored in DC’s Birds of Prey comic series, but it’d be great to see it come to fruition in this medium.
The PlayStation Move controller is literally a perfect fit for wielding the series' signature net and baton; whilst I realise that ground has already been trodden, instead of giving us an on-rails bastardisation, give us a full-fledged adventure this time around. The game would still work perfectly on the DualShock 4 as well, just like it did on the controller’s great grandson, offering that all important inclusivity PSVR titles like to tout.
Ape Escape's titular primates have character to spare, so it also makes perfect sense to bring players up close and personal with them like never before. We'd be in for a raucous treat similar to Ubisoft's Rabbids VR Ride, only housed in a fleshed out game.
Come on Sony, forget working on the rumoured Knack 2 - nobody wants that - make lightning strike twice and showcase your new tech with Ape Escape instead!
So those were three virtual reality game ideas we at PTC would like to see become genuine reality. What franchise would you like to see get the VR treatment? Let us know over in the forums or comment below.