And that’s a wrap on 2017. We’ve played some amazing games in VR this year but, as always, we’re wondering what’s next. It’s a bit of a tradition here now to round up all the big releases we’re looking forward to in the coming year, so that’s exactly what we’ve done. This year’s list is the biggest one yet, and that’s without including scores of promising titles already in Early Access. With VR headsets now cheaper than they’ve ever been before, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year to jump in on the fun.
Ace Combat 7 – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
It might not be the full game, but Ace Combat 7’s VR mode still sounds like it will be a worthwhile and thrilling affair. Hop into the cockpit of an elite aircraft and pull of cinematic stunts as you engage in massive dogfights. We were hoping to play this in 2017, but delays suggest that developer Project Aces is making sure it nails the experience.
The American Dream – Rift, Vive, PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Imagine a world in which we use guns for everything; not just firefights but also our jobs in the doughnut factories, driving to work and more. The American Dream provides a bit of satire on the state of gun control in the US with what promises to be a thoughtful, memorable journey through a world gone mad.
Alice’s Lullaby: Albino Lullaby Episode 2 – Rift, Vive, PSVR
Albino Lullaby’s first episode arrived alongside the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive a year and a half ago now, but we’re only just starting to learn about the next promising installment. This is a horror series that doesn’t rely on jump scares but instead psychological tricks that will keep you on your feet. We have high hopes for the second episode.
Once canceled but now back in development, the P.T.-inspired Allison Road still sounds like one of the most terrifying games on its way to VR headsets right now. We’re almost not looking forward to the game’s brand of terror, which doesn’t hold back on the jumps and screams. For the steel-hearted only.
Alvo – Rift, Vive, PSVR
The developers of Alvo knew what VR was missing, so they set out to build it for themselves. Alvo is a Counter-Strike-inspired multiplayer shooter that’s set to support a range of headsets and input mechanisms. We’re hoping for intense street shootouts in which we need to depend on teammates to take the upper hand.
Anamorphine – Rift, Vive, PSVR
A journey into the tricky subject of mental health, Anamorphine looks like one of 2018’s most unique and memorable VR experiences. Revisit the past of a troubled couple as they reach an impossible point in their lives, exploring dream-like memories. Will protagonist Tyler find a way to move forward with their lives or will he succumb?
Apex Construct – Rift, Vive, PSVR
There’s been a lot of archery in VR so far, but Apex Construct remains hugely promising by offering a full adventure based on that mechanic. We still have much to learn about this new world that’s seemingly overrun with robots, but we’re looking forward to uncovering more as the year goes on.
Ark Park – Rift, Vive, PSVR
Ark Park may have quietly slipped away from its late-2017 release date but it’s not getting away from us that easily. This spin-off to Ark: Survival Evolved promises to make good on where that game’s VR support fell flat with a mix of educational exploration and team-based wave shooting. Maybe holding back until the year Jurassic World 2 releases was a good idea.
Bebylon Battle Royale – Rift, Vive, PSVR
Senza Peso developer Kite & Lightning has been working on its first full VR game for some time now, but we’re hoping 2018 is the year we get to play it for ourselves. Set on a strange planet in which humans have stopped aging, deformed ‘Bebys’ battle it out for supremacy. The team’s recent work with facial capture on the iPhone X has been especially interesting to watch.
Blood And Truth – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Sony London builds on what it learned with its popular London Heist demo here. Blood and Truth promises a full, highly-polished first-person shooter campaign on PSVR, with realistic shootouts thanks to PlayStation Move. Step into the shoes of a former SAS soldier and take the fight to the gangs of the UK capital in this sweary shooter.
We haven’t heard any more on Blunt Force since its announcement in 2016, but the high amount of visual polish has us hoping it’ll resurface this year. It’s a World War II-set shooter with a story from Hollywood screenwriter Mark Bristol that aims to provide a full gaming experience within VR. Here’s hoping it lives up to that promise.
Bow to Blood – PSVR
Ship combat could work very well in VR, but flying ship combat could work even better. Bow to Blood promises to keep players busy as they balance protecting their own ship with destroying their enemy. We’re looking for pirate-infused action that will keep us coming back for more.
Brass Tactics – Rift (Read Our Hands-On)
Hidden Path Entertainment’s new Oculus Studios game may have slipped out of its original 2017 release window, but we’re very excited for it. This is a real-time strategy game that reimagines the genre as a table-top board game with pieces that come to life. Capture points on the map and defend them from invading forces either in single or multiplayer modes.
Bravo Team – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games makes a departure from its horror series with this straight-faced military shooter built around the new PlayStation Aim controller. Engage in intense firefights on war-torn streets using a cover system that sees you darting between locations and then physically hiding behind whatever you can to avoid incoming fire. Will this nail the VR FPS formula?
Budget Cuts – Vive
Budget Cuts promised a full gaming experience on Vive at a time when such experiences were few and far between. The industry has moved on quite considerably since those days, but developer Neat Corporation assures us that its project is still very much in development. Will a full game’s worth of sneaking around vents and taking out sentry bots prove as fun as the 18-month old demo was? We hope so.
Classroom Aquatic – Rift, Vive, PSVR
Some of us have been writing about Classroom Aquatic for close to three years now, and we’re not exactly sure how much closer it is to release (it seems to have fallen of the face of the earth). Still, the original concept, which casts you as a foreign exchange student in a class full of dolphins that you must cheat off of in order to pass tests, is enough to keep us hoping that we’ll finally get to play it in 2018.
Chimera Zero – Rift, Vive, PSVR
We know very little about this VR debut from former PlayStation figurehead Shahid Kamal Ahmad right now, but we’re still excited byt it. It shares its name with the 32 year old action-adventure, Chimera, which Ahmad also worked on. That said, he’s promising an experience quite different from that debut. What does he have in store?
Coatsink/Fierce Kaiju Project
Coatsink and Fierce Kaiju are two UK-based indie developers known for their early adoption of VR hardware, both releasing games on the Innovator’s Edition of Gear VR. After releasing games like Viral EX and Augemented Empire, the two are pairing up for an unannounced project which we really hope will reach even greater heights than either of them have yet achieved on their own.
Dark Eclipse – PSVR
The MOBA genre continues to thrive on PC, so it’s no surprise to see someone take a stab at it on VR as well. This Sunsoft-developed game promises diorama-like battles in which you control various heroes in warzones. Can VR add anything to what’s becoming an over-populated genre? Fingers crossed.
Derail Valley – Vive
We’ve played around with the demo for Derail Valley already and it promises a lot of fun for train fans. In this breezy experience you explore an island by rail, collecting cargo and making sure not to come off the tracks.
Echo Combat – Rift
Echo Combat remains one of Rift’s breakout success stories of 2017, perhaps even more so than its single-player component, Lone Echo. With a rock solid foundation for zero-gravity eSports now laid, we can’t wait to see how Ready at Dawn builds on the game with this action-focused update. Stay tuned for more details in the coming year.
Eden Tomorrow – PSVR
Eden Tomorrow debuted at Gamescom several years ago with a promising demo that let you walk with space dinosaurs. It’s been away for sometime since, but now it’s back promising a full adventure that we’ll hopefully get our hands-on next year. We’re looking for more amazing moments out of this one.
Espire 1: VR Operative – Rift, Vive
When done right, stealth can be even more thrilling in VR than it is on a standard screen, and Espire 1 is looking to truly capitalize on that. This could be VR’s very own Splinter Cell, casting you as an elite agent that infiltrates bases, completes top secret missions and then evacuates before getting caught. Sam Fisher may soon have to eat his heart out.
Evasion – Rift, Vive (Read Our Hands-On)
We’re hoping the standard for VR shooters picks up in 2018, and Evasion’s bright visuals, cooperative multiplayer and smooth locomotion options certainly have us thinking it’ll meet that bar. With a full campaign for one to four players and class-based gameplay, you can be sure that this isn’t just another wave shooter.
Failspace – Rift, Vive
Inspired by the likes of Spaceteam and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Failspace promises hours of co-op fun in VR. One to five players team up to take care of their ship as it falls to pieces around them. Expect loud squabbles and screams of panic as you work against the clock.
Firewall: Zero Hour – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Revealed just a few days ago, Firewall has quickly become one of our most anticipated VR games of 2018. In this PSVR exclusive, two teams of up to four players each go head-to-head in tactical skirmishes, controlled either with the DualShock 4 or PlayStation Aim controller. It looks like a Rainbow Six game, but bringing it to life in VR could be like holding a paintball match into your living room with none of the mess.
Golem – PSVR
Another game we had hoped to have played by now, Golem promises a memorable adventure on PSVR. With its intriguing use of just one Move controller for exploration and sword combat, we’re excited to see if the game manages to set any new standards in VR gaming. At the very least, it’s ancient ruins look like a joy to explore.
Gungrave VR – PSVR
A curious VR remake of a PS2 game, Gungrave VR looks absolutely crazy. Expect a mix of first and third-person action that will have you unleashing a storm of bullets upon massive enemies. We’re looking forward to finding out exactly why anyone thought this would be a great fit for a VR game.
ILMxLAB’s Star Wars: Darth Vader Story
So far ILMxLAB has released two pretty excellent Star Wars experiences for VR headsets, but its upcoming piece starring Darth Vader remains one of our most anticipated projects on the horizon. Get ready for an interactive journey starring the Dark Lord himself that we’re hoping will break new ground and shine a light on the character in new ways.
The Inpatient – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
A true prequel to Supermassive Games’ beloved Until Dawn, The Inpatient is a hugely promising psychological horror game in which you’re trapped in an insane asylum and must make a hasty escape. The game uses PSVR’s built-in mic to let you actually speak dialogue that appears on screen and make a deeper connection with the characters around you.
In Death – Rift, Vive
The developer of the graphically astounding Everest VR returns with a very significant departure from its first project. In this Dark Souls-esque action game you take on demonic enemies with a bow and arrow. Roguelike elements promise that we’ll have more to come back to, too.
Jupiter & Mars – PSVR
Fans of games like Echo the Dolphin might want to check this enchanting new title. Together with a friend or AI partner, you explore the remains of mankind, left to drown in a neon-lit ocean. It looks utterly breathtaking and a perfect example of VR’s ability to amaze through discovery. Prepare to have your jaw dropped.
Marvel: Powers United VR – Rift (Read Our Hands-On)
The dreams of many a comic book fan are about to come to life; Marvel: Powers United VR brings together your favorite heroes for a superhero showdown like no other. Team up with three friends online and step into the shoes of Rocket Raccoon, Deadpool, Thor and Hulk (well, feet for Hulk) amongst others as you battle scores of enemies and take on iconic baddies. This may be Rift’s biggest game of 2018.
Megalith – PSVR
Announced back at Paris Games Week, Megatlith looks like a promising new VR shooter. You become a titan that uses their size and firepower to win a contest to become a god. With free locomotion and destructible environments, this might be one of next year’s most polished action games.
Mini-Mech Mayhem – PSVR
Coming off the back of the excellent Tiny Trax, Velocity developer FuturLab is already taking its next stab at VR gaming with this cutesy robot battler. It’s early in development right now, so wouldn’t expect to see anything until late 2018 at the latest, but given the studio’s pedigree, this is one you should already be getting excited about.
Moss – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Having stolen our hearts at E3, Moss quickly became one of our most anticipated PSVR games on the horizon. Building on the third-person VR adventure genre seen in the likes of Chronos, you control a small but brave mouse on an adventure like no other. We’re looking forward to intense battles and clever puzzles as we form the most unlikely of friendships.
One Piece: Grand Cruise – PSVR
The wacky world of One Piece is finally coming to PSVR with an exclusive experience that’s looking like it’ll please fans of the series. Jump on board a pirate ship and meet the cast of characters, all faithfully recreated within VR. This might not be the longest experience coming to VR next year but it’s sure to provide fan service by the bucket load.
The Persistence – PSVR (Read Our Impressions)
With procedurally generated levels that have players stealthily lurking through ships hoping to avoid enemies, The Persistence looks like a disturbing brand of VR horror. Each time you die you’ll take on a new crew member, which will hopefully lend a weighty consequence to this promising title.
Pixel Ripped 1989 – PSVR
All signs suggest that the long-delayed Pixel Ripped 1989 may finally be released in 2018. Though we’ve been waiting since the days of the Oculus Rift DK1, the concept remains no less endearing; revisit your childhood gaming years playing through a fictional gaming series on a virtual screen across different generations of devices. There’s a nostalgia-fuelled promise here that we can’t wait to dive into.
Raiders of Erda – Rift, Vive (Read Our Impressions)
We’ve been paying close attention to this promising debut from UK-based Cooperative Innovations for a year now. Not only does Erda promise hours of co-op questing with friends but the team behind it has taken a long look at the current state of VR sword combat in hopes it can provide a much richer experience than what’s come before.
Reboant – Vive (Read Our Impressions)
This graphically stunning first-person shooter appeared seemingly from thin air with a demo that gave us just a tease of the game last month. You’re a space marine that joins a squad of other gruff soldiers exploring a murky world filled with monsters. It might not be the most original concept, but Reboant promises visuals not yet seen on VR headsets.
Rolling Line – Vive
Echo Grotto developer Gaugepunk Games returns with its third VR project, a charming model train simulator set on New Zealand that you can enjoy either as a tabletop diorama or explore at human scale. Given the studio’s penchant for delivering highly-immersive experiences, we’ll be expecting a lot from this.
Shaman: Spirithunter – Rift
Former members of The Climb developer Crytek assemble here for one of 2018’s most intriguing VR games. Take on the role of the last shaman of a tribe, searching for the reason behind the weather that has wiped out all of his tribe. Stealth-based gameplay takes center stage in this chilly adventure that will have you fighting the elements.
Smash Hit Plunder – PSVR
We were pleased to see Smash Hit Plunder revived for PSVR earlier this year; Unseen Diplomacy developer Triangular Pixels had originally planned to release it on Gear VR but we’d since thought it may have been canceled. The good news is it’s still on track, and it promises all the loot-grabbing, stuff-smashing action you could ever hope for in a VR game.
Space Junkies – Rift, Vive (Read Our Hands-On)
Arcade shooter thrills await you in this multiplayer jet-packed fueled action game from Ubisoft. Expect zero-gravity shootouts with the Touch controllers and Vive wands as you jet around enormous maps, grabbing guns and dodging incoming fire. Think Echo Arena but with guns (and no, not Echo Combat).
Sprint Vector – Rift, Vive, PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Raw Data developer Survios is back with a new game that’s every bit as polished as its popular wave shooter, yet mechanically completely different. You swing your arms to race down tracks as fast as possible, grabbing power-ups and firing weapons at opponents. This could be VR’s very own Mario Kart.
Star Child – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Lucky’s Tale developer Playful Corp is back with its latest project that marks its first game for PSVR. This is a 2D platformer of sorts in which the player’s character, Spectra, forms a strong bond with a giant robotic companion as she explores an alien planet. Expect classic platforming action with a few twists in this imaginative adventure.
Torn – Rift, Vive, PSVR
We really don’t have much to go on from Torn other than some striking initial imagery. It’s a mystery game in which you explore a house in the Vermont forest that belongs to a man that’s been missing for 64 years. Expect puzzles and mysteries aplenty as you make your way through a richly detailed environment.
Transference – Rift, Vive, PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
Ubisoft’s second wave of VR content includes this strange VR thriller tackling the subject of PTSD. It’s difficult to get a grip on what the full experience will actually look like, but that very much seems like the point of it all; a jarring, uncomfortable journey through the psyche that will leave you anxious. Sounds lovely.
Unknown Fate – Rift, Vive
This one might be flying under your radar right now, so make sure you take note. Unkown Fate promises a full first-person adventure for VR in which you’ll explore a fantastical new world filled not only with wonder but strange enemies and a range of puzzles. This looks like it could have some of the most surreal sights yet seen in a VR game.
Windlands 2 – Rift (Read Our Hands-On)
One of VR’s first full games gets the sequel it deserves. Windlands 2 promises full co-op support, letting groups of friends swing through scenic environments together before taking on giant bosses with a new bow and arrow mechanic. Developer Psytec Games really seems to be building on what it learned in the early days of VR here.
Wipeout VR – PSVR (Read Our Hands-On)
It’s finally happening: Wipeout is coming to VR. What many considered to be a no-brainer for Sony’s PSVR headset is arriving a year after the kit’s release as a free update to Wiepout: The Omega Collection. Expect to race around classic tracks at break-neck speeds with a cockpit view that truly puts you in the experience for the first time. This mode will include all game options and every track, so it promises to be a meaty game.
Vacation Simulator- Rift, Vive, PSVR
After spending 2017 with Rick and Morty, Owlchemy Labs is finally returning to the series it made its name with. In many ways Job Simulator served as a template for the current state of VR gaming and now the studio is going on vacation. Announced just a few weeks ago, Vacation Simulator promises to deliver more slapstick VR worlds that we love to get lost in, now complete with the shining sun, crystal clear waters and maybe a new job bot or two.
Valve’s Three VR Games
Nearly two years on from the launch of the Vive and we’re sadly no closer to learning exactly what Valve itself is making for it and other SteamVR headsets. We do know that it will be releasing three full games for the platform, though. We hate to beat a dead horse but, when you’re talking about the developer of Half-Life, Portal and Left4Dead, you could stay silent for another year and these would still be some of our most anticipated projects.
Zone of Enders VR – PSVR, Vive
Konami’s VR debut sees the company revisit its beloved mech combat game, this time from a first-person view inside the cockpit of the legendary war machine, Jehuty. We’re still not sure exactly how the entire game will fit into VR, but we’re hopeful for a faithful port.