Let’s discuss the use of AR/VR in games, a trend that is rising in popularity and is definitely going to be the future of gaming. You will find out which games offer the best VR experience now, and how they implemented the latest tech into their gameplay.
Augmented Reality and Gaming
While artificial reality is finding many uses in business and real-life situations, gaming is where it naturally belongs. Video games are virtual reality themselves, and VR/AR devices put the whole experience on a new level.
Games always had the power to suck us in, and the latest technology will push the boundaries, making games more life-like than ever. You get to be in the game, not only play it, which is something unprecedented before VR headsets.
The most prominent VR headsets currently available, PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive, all work best with games that are VR-optimized. While there are many games that have VR support, some have very limited use. That is the case with most remakes that are adapted to be VR-ready.
On the other side, you have games that are made as VR-exclusive. These give you the full VR experience, completely utilizing locomotion. Most require you to move while playing and may serve even as a light workout.
And then you have AR games, which are designed for mobile devices. Here you walk around the real world and interact with real/invisible objects via your phone. The prime example of Augmented Reality is Niantec’s beloved Pokemon Go. Everyone remembers the explosion of players flooding the streets when it released in 2016, but catching pokemon is far from the only use for AR games. And because these games often have the player exploring real-world locations for objectives and resources in-game, players gain the benefits of physical activity and exploration of their city.
If you loved Guitar Hero you will love this one. Beat Saber exploits the familiar concept, but with a double twist—virtual reality + lightsabers!
The idea is relatively simple: you slice blocks with your lightsaber and avoid obstacles coming your way. This will require you to move a lot, making this a full-body experience, and a great first stop, if you have just begun your VR gaming journey.
This game is available on Oculus Rift, Rift S, PSVR, Windows Mixed Reality, and HTC Vive.
Yes guys, the king of all fantasy games, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, has a virtual reality version. This game needs no introduction, as players enjoy it even today, eight years after the initial release. Now it has a full VR version.
Not only that it includes the original game, but Skyrim VR also has Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn expansions as well. You will have hundreds of hours of fun with this one.
If you are looking to try a AAA VR title, this is the one you should go for. But be careful: if you haven’t played Skyrim before, you will be reluctant to go to work, it is that addictive!
For those of you who like puzzle games, here’s a great one, fully optimized for virtual reality. The Talos Principle was a great success, and its VR remake is even a better game.
This game has full VR support, and even two modes, for sitting or standing gameplay. Room-scale is also there, which means TTP VR has everything you could want from a virtual reality game.
Even the non-VR version was one of the best puzzle games ever made, but this one is something else. VR will put the whole experience to a different level, making the puzzles even more immersive.
Ingress is among the first AR games that hit major, worldwide success. This game was released back in 2012, and it is still going strong.
The goal here is to conquer the world. There are two factions, The Enlightened and The Resistance, and they are fighting for world domination. You play the game by interacting with real-world places which will capture them for your faction. You can find these on famous monuments, but also street art, scattered across cities worldwide.
This game is all about walking around and exploring new places, and having fun while doing it. Ingress was among the first ones to successfully apply this principle. You can play it on Apple and Android devices.
This one is an Oculus Rift exclusive, but that’s probably the reason why Robo Recall is as perfect as a VR game can get, at least at this point. This is a VR thoroughbred, and if you want to fully enjoy all this technology has to offer, Robo Recall is the game you should play.
Developers of Borderlands made this, and you can expect Robo Recall to be super funny and action-packed. You basically shoot through hordes of robots, using unique weapons as well as abilities such as bullet time and teleport.
This fast-paced game is one of the brightest examples how far the VR has come, and we definitely recommend you trying it, you will not regret it.
Zombie GO is an augmented reality shooter available for Android devices. You explore your surroundings, trying to find and kill zombies that infested our planet.
Because this is a horror game, the experience will be much better with AR glasses and headphones, but you can play it just with your phone. Beware, it can get spooky when you have your glasses on, at least the first couple of times until you get used to zombies jumping in front of you. But if you love Horror games, this is a good one to have in your library.
VR/AR is pushing the technology limits, and gamers are at the front line of this advancement. Game designers find new ways to harvest the power of VR, while equipment manufacturers look to make their gadgets even more immersive. Thus creating a virtuous cycle that is pushing the boundaries of reality, merging the virtual and physical worlds.
That was unimaginable a few years ago, let alone decades. We can all be grateful that this technological revolution is happening in front of our eyes.
Embrace it now, and brag how you were one of the pioneers later. You can tell your future grandchildren how you were a visionary and played Robo Recall even before anyone else even knew what VR was. That will be a story to tell!
Gregory Miller is a writer with DO Supply (https://www.dosupply.com/) who covers Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality. When not writing, he enjoys hiking, rock climbing and opining about the virtues of coffee.