Upon entry into Oculus Game Days the UploadVR team was presented with a list of 41 games coming to the platform, but not all of them on March 28 when the Rift ships. The list is not a complete representation of launch titles either because developers can submit new content at any time, but it does represent much of the work created by developers who started buying into Palmer Luckey’s vision of PC-powered VR as far back as 2012.
The games came from developers working on their own as well teams numbering in the dozens, or even hundreds when including contributing artists. They braved incomplete hardware heading into an exciting but uncertain future to create the inaugural class of PC-powered consumer VR software. They are most certainly pioneers, but what’s our verdict about what they made?
We played through the list as thoroughly as we could over the course of a couple days and found ourselves most enamored with EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale, both of which are bundled with $600 Rift pre-orders. We also want a number of the games planned for Oculus Touch later this year with newly revealed games like wild west multiplayer shootouts in Dead & Buried created Oculus itself and wild dunks in VR Sports representing some of the most fun we’ve had in VR.
Of the 41 games, 30 are coming on March 28. 11 of them, however, launched on Gear VR first, including Dead Secret, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Darknet, Omega Agent, Audio Arena, Dreadhalls, Esper 2, EVE Gunjack, Herobound Spirit Champion, Vektron Revenge and Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games. If you bought the game on Gear VR and you want to play it on Rift you should expect to have to buy it again. We’ll dive into the differences between the Gear VR and Rift versions of the games in another post.
There are also five games arriving over the next few months, including shooter Damaged Core, collectible card game Dragon Front, innovative flying game Eagle Flight, third-person action-adventure Edge of Nowhere, as well as Crytek’s gorgeous rock-climbing simulator The Climb. Six additional games are expected to arrive after Oculus Touch ships, including Dead & Buried, Fantastic Contraption, I Expect you to Die, Job Simulator, Rock Band VR, and VR Sports.
For a glimpse of what to expect when the Rift launches later this month, here’s a look listed from most to least expensive.
Elite Dangerous: Deluxe Edition
Developer: Frontier Developments
Space pilot simulation game Elite Dangerous puts you among the stars trading, exploring and, yes, battling, but the game originally for PC immerses you in a fully realized universe in which you try to survive in a challenging and changing universe.
EVE Valkyrie Founder’s Pack
Price: $60 (Bundled free with Rift pre-orders)
Developer: CCP Games
Genre: Action / Shooter
The team building EVE Valkyrie backed the original Oculus Rift Kickstarter project. Starting back in in 2013 with seven people, the team ultimately grew into a group of about 35 based in Newcastle, England working on an intense multiplayer space-fighting game ideally suited for the seated VR experiences of the Rift.
Chronos (Oculus Exclusive)
Developer: Gunfire Games
Genre: Adventure RPG
This role-playing game is like Zelda meets Dark Souls in VR. Each time your character dies he ages a year, gaining new powers along the way. It’s expected to provide at least 13 hours of gameplay.
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
This highly realistic driving simulation game started on PC and features more than 100 cars and tracks as well as realistic weather. If you’re looking for a racing game on Rift, this is it.
AirMech: Command (Oculus Exclusive)
Developer: Carbon Games
Genre: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
AirMech is a great example of the kind of tabletop diorama-style games that give players the perfect vantage point in VR surveying the battlefield from above. Controlling an airship or a tank, you have to keep an eye in either direction as wave after wave of enemies come after your base. The game promises cooperative and competitive multiplayer with voice chat.
Defense Grid 2 Enhanced VR Edition (Oculus Exclusive)
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
Genre: Tower Defense
This popular tower-defense game on PCs feels entirely different presented diorama-style with incredible detail to reward players if you lean in. You can swap between an overhead view and a ground-floor view from your towers at any time and examine the whole scene up close.
Developer: Tammeka Games
This intense racing game puts vehicles along a rail that might seem stomach-churning in VR but the the developers have put in a lot of effort to provide visual aids that help with comfortability.
VR Tennis Online
Played third-person, this game lets you play a colorful multiplayer match of tennis. It’s a bit like the Mario Tennis of VR.
Smashing The Battle
Developer: Studio HG
Genre: Action / RPG / Arcade
Made by a one-person studio in Korea, this hack-and-slash game offers players two characters to control.
Developer: Three One Zero
Genre: Exploration / Adventure
It’s easy to compare to the movie Gravity and the game is unlike anything else available at Rift launch. Players are in a damaged space suit trying to stay alive in zero gravity.
Developer: Psytec Games Ltd
Genre: Action / Adventure / Exploration
This first-person game gives players a grappling hook to let them explore secrets in an ancient world.
Developer: HandMade Game
Genre: Casual / Puzzle
A miniature diorama-style puzzle game has players find the exit by moving rooms.
Pinball FX2 VR
Developer: Zen Studios
Fans of pinball games rejoice, because this is exactly like playing pinball in VR.
Fly to KUMA
This puzzler lets players pick up and rotate blocks to help cute little bears reach the goal. But if you mess up they fall to their doom.
Developer: Ape Law
Genre: Adventure / Horror
This game, set for release on the PC first, is pitched as a horror game that doesn’t rely on jump scares.
Shufflepuck Cantina Deluxe VR
Developer: Agharta Studio
Genre: Sports / Arcade
Play air hockey on an alien planet that feels inspired by Star Wars.
Developer: Targem Games
Genre: Racing / Arcade
This multiplayer racing game is played third-person overlooking the course as you try to survive all manner of obstacles.
Lucky’s Tale (Oculus Exclusive)
Backed by Oculus early on, Lucky’s Tale by Playful is aiming to be Sonic: The Hedgehog, Crash: Bandicoot or Super Mario Bros. of VR. From what we’ve seen it looks colorful, charming and adapts the platforming model we’ve all come to know by heart to an entirely new medium.
Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Price: Not Announced
Developer: The Astronauts
Genre: Adventure / Thriller
An acclaimed traditional title, the VR version of the game drops players into a world with very little hand-holding on a mission to solve puzzles.
Feature Video Credit: Tony Allen