The 5 best VR games at PAX AUS
Escaping into a virtual world was one of the highlights of PAX. Here are the 5 VR games that caught our eye at PAX AUS.
Even with three full days pounding the show floor down at Melbourne's PAX AUS conference, there were far too many games for us to get our hands on every single title. But one trend that did stand out was the growing network of virtual reality games from both local and international developers.
Using all three VR platforms – HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and PSVR – we got our hands on as many VR titles as we could manage, and watched others enjoy the games we couldn't quite get our hands on. Now that we're back in actually real reality, it's time to run through the best VR experiences from PAX, so you can keep an eye out for the games to play on your VR rig.
1. Raw Data
Hidden away at the back of the Intel booth at PAX was Raw Data from US developed Survios. A FPS that uses the HTC Vive to let you virtually blast away robots, Raw Data is notable for the fact that it can be played co-operatively with a friend, though they'll need their own VR setup to avoid accidental punches in the face.
Raw Data was incredibly polished to look at, with clever power-ups available that let you charge up your dual wield pistols, and shoot off a powerful explosive bolt when you place your weapons (controllers) together. A warp functionality lets you move around the room effortlessly, and bypasses any potential nausea from the device.
Raw Data is currently in Early Access on Steam, and only available for the HTC Vive - the devs told us they will work on other VR platforms as the game progresses though. If you own a Vive, this game is an essential purchase.
2. The American Dream
Americans love their guns. And the rest of the world loves hassling them about it. Local devs Samurai Punk (the team behind the incredible split screen title Screencheat) has taken the gun control satire to the extreme with its VR title The American Dream.
A virtual reality theme park ride, the demo we played gave a look at what life would be like if guns were literally used for everything. From being fed by your mother from the barrel of a 9mm to fulfilling your day job of putting holes in bagels with a pair of pistols, The American Dream offers tight shooting controls with the Oculus Rift and a hilarious narrative that almost definitely won't enact any change in the US gun control system, but will entertain the rest of the world.
Samurai Punk is hoping to release The American Dream across all major VR platforms in 2017.
3. Primal Carnage: Onslaught
This is what VR was designed for, namely standing in a room strapped into a HTC Vive and shooting dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes until they eat you.
While the controls on Primal Carnage were a little off - you had to hold down the side button of the Vive controller in order to hold on to your weapon - and the gameplay didn't match the polish of Raw Data, shooting dinosaurs in the face (or slicing them with a large knife if they get too close) was still a lot of fun.
Developed by Aussie indies Pub Games, the Primal Carnage series is available on PS4 and Steam, so hopefully we'll see a multi-platform release for the VR game.
By far the most entertaining VR game to watch other people play, VFC is a virtual fight club, where the only rule is to punch your opponent until they cannot fight back.The VFC stand at PAX Aus had two Vive units set up back to back, and there was a real humour in watching a father relentlessly deliver the beatdown to his daughter in virtual reality.
VFC cleverly had poles holding up the cables on the Vive headset to avoid potentially disastrous tangles, and while we didn't get to play the game, the concept could be a real system seller if the end result gets its collision detection and animation right.
The game is being developed for both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, with full body motion capture to allow for a fully immersive fighting experience.
5. Kept VR
While a lot of the early VR games have all focused on the technology aspect of virtual reality and how it can impact gameplay, Kept VR takes the approach of delivering a narrative experience to the virtual world.
Kept VR was built with the HTC Vive and encourages users to naturally explore their environment to further the story, which conveys the passage of a spirit between worlds to save a forsaken soul. Despite its narrative focus, Kept VR is spectacular to look at and is definitely worth keeping an eye on for a full release.
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