Virtual Reality has been around for a long time, the first headset being created all the way back in 1957, back than virtual reality was little more than a personal cinema. But in 2018 VR is more immersive then ever, with headsets like the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift players can now be immersed in a digital world.
That is the key part of VR, making the players believe that they are in a virtual world, almost blurring the lines between reality and the game itself. I recently purchased a HTC Vive to try it out for myself, this isn’t the first headset I’ve owned though, I have a PSVR but it’s list of VR game’s is very small and can’t really compete with the Vive’s ever-growing list of games. The first games I purchased were Beat Saber and Gorn (I will talk more about these two later in a separate review) these were recommended as great games to play for first time Vive users, and I can see why.
Gorn and Beat Saber are both made specifically for VR, these aren’t ports like Skyrim or Fallout 4 which take an existing game and make it playable in VR, these are full games that a player can’t play without a VR headset. What really makes them stand out from other games such as Skyrim or Fallout is the immersion, while playing a game like Gorn (which you play a gladiator in an arena facing off against other gladiators for the amusement of a bunch of floating heads) I became completely immersed in the world I was in. I was the hero fighting these weirdly proportioned gladiators, I was no longer in my small spare bedroom flailing my arms about like a madman, but I was the champion of Gorn, smiting down my enemies one by one, that is until I accidentally punched the wall with my controller, leaving the wall with a black mark on it.
This is the same for Beat Saber, which is a rhythm game in which a player must hit different colour boxes with (you guessed it) lightsabers, that represent the beat and lyrics of a song. Players get a different kind of immersion while playing Beat Saber, unlike Gorn in which you physically have to move around the room to fight enemies, Beat Saber requires you to stand still and hit the boxes (sometimes moving out of the way of incoming barriers) but otherwise it is straight forward, the immersive part of the game is the music, players really get into the song they are playing, especially if it is a song that they know and love, and similar to Gorn players start to forget where they are because they are concentrating solely on the game and not their surroundings.
But that is what makes VR so exciting to play, you can truly immerse yourself in virtual world. But is it the future of video games? I can see it becoming a bigger market for developers and companies to create games for. But at the moment VR is a novelty, the Vive by itself is $800 Australian dollars, so its REALLY expensive, that also isn’t counting the PC required to run it and its games. But is it worth it? I would definitely say yes just to play Beat Saber and Gorn, those two games are worth the price and hassle of setting the headset up. But if I was you, I would wait a few years, I see VR really taking off to the point where we will be getting AAA titles being made solely for the VR rather then just ports. But that may be in two years, or ten years. But in the end, VR is the future of gaming, I just can’t wait to see what they bring out next.