So, you bought a VR headset for Half-Life: Alyx. You’ve just spent a week enjoying one of the most polished, immersive gaming experiences you can have. Now you want more.
So, what else is on the horizon?
Chances are you’ve already sifted through VR’s back-catalogue and have games like Boneworks and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners ready to play. But fear not, there are plenty of other high-quality, ‘big’ games coming to PC VR headsets this year. Not quite the size and scale of Alyx itself, perhaps, but still games that will hopefully ensure your headset won’t gather any dust in the coming months.
We’ve split this list into two parts. The first is for games that are coming to all PC VR headsets, so you won’t need to worry about compatibility. But there are also come games that are ‘exclusive’ to the Oculus Rift and Rift S that are too big to ignore, so we’ve put them in at the bottom. Plus the Reverb hack can get you playing Rift exclusives on other headsets, but just how well these new games will work with the system remains to be seen.
After The Fall – 2020
If you were hoping Valve might bring its famous Left4Dead franchise to VR before Half-Life, then After The Fall might soothe that disappointment. From the developers of Arizona Sunshine comes a massive co-op zombie shooter in which you explore the frozen wastelands, gunning down endless hordes of infected enemies. From what we’ve seen, After The Fall doesn’t boast the robust physical immersion of Half-Life or The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, but it does offer arcade action but the barrel, with the promises of endgame content to keep you coming back.
Population: One – 2020
The number of battle royale wannabes out there may finally be declining, but our most anticipated take on the genre for VR, Population: One, is still waiting in the wings. First announced a few years ago, developer Big Box is taking its time with extensive beta testing to ensure this is a polished, first-class multiplayer combat game. In this take you can build, fly and climb across maps, promising a versatile and active experience that’s truly unique to VR.
Sniper Elite VR – TBA
Rebellion’s popular Sniper Elite series is one of those franchises that just makes perfect sense for VR. Fortunately, a VR-exclusive spin-off is on the way, promising immersive sniper action. Set in World War 2 Sicily, you’ll play as a member of a resistance group that picks off the Nazi threat from afar. We’re looking forward to really leaning into our scopes and lining up our sights when the game sneaks onto PC VR headsets.
Vertigo 2 – 2020
Zulubo Productions returns with a sequel that looks like a big step up from the original Vertigo. This undeniably Valve-inspired adventure takes a few fun jabs at the games it owes a debt to, but more importantly looks to stand on its own as a genuinely exciting first-person shooter (FPS). Battle an alien invasion with some of the best-feeling VR guns in a full story-driven campaign. You can also try a free demo right now, to see what we mean. There’s a remaster of the original game on the way, too.
Lonn – 2020
Another indie adventure to look out for; Lonn caught our attention for its impressive display of physics in a linear single-player campaign. Set in a cyberpunk future, you take the fight to an evil corporation, armed with a sword and telekinetic powers. Lonn looks like an excellent physics-driven adventure with thoughtful puzzles and engaging combat. We’ll be keeping a close eye on its development.
The Walking Dead: Onslaught – 2020
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners might have set the bar high for zombie VR shooters, but we’re hoping the highly-experienced team at Survios can rise to the challenge. Set in the world of the show rather than the comics, Onslaught brings a similar brand of gruesome zombie killing to VR, but also adds in cooperative support.
Rift Exclusive Games
Lone Echo II – 2020 (Rift Exclusive)
Even in a post-Alyx world, Lone Echo remains one of the most polished, immersive adventures you can have in a VR headset. Its sequel is looking to build on that groundwork with a deeper story and more of the powerful zero gravity gameplay that set Lone Echo apart. If you want something that will match Alyx on a visual and presentational front, Lone Echo II is probably your best bet.
Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond – 2020 (Rift Exclusive)
If Lone Echo hopes to match Alyx on presentation, then we’ve got our fingers crossed that Medal of Honor will reach the bar it set for gameplay. Why? Because Above and Beyond is made by Respawn, arguably one of the few developers out there capable of making games as good as Valve. The first trailer for the game hinted as some promising physical mechanics and campaign variety. With over 50 missions promises, we’re eagerly awaiting more information.
Solaris: Offworld Combat – 2020 (Rift/Quest/PSVR)
First Contact Entertainment made a name for itself with its PSVR-exclusive multiplayer shooter, Firewall: Zero Hour, and now it’s bringing its expertise back to PC. We’re yet to see much of Solaris, but the talent involved is enough to make us look forward to this arena shooter, which seems to take some cues from games like Unreal Tournament. This is coming to just Oculus and PlayStation platforms for now.
Phantom: Covert Ops – June 25 2020 (Rift/Quest)
A lot of the time we all have to make a few concessions in VR, be it with walking or physical interaction. With Phantom, though, developer nDreams has designed a stealth game that perfectly fits the current limitations of the platform. You infiltrate a hostile facility by kayak, cutting a path through the base to sabotage equipment and take down anyone that spots you. We’ve played Phantom a few times now and it really does look like a fully immersive experience.