Virtual Reality Gaming at Its Finest
For a limited time only, The Oculus Rift + Touch controllers bundle is only $399 at Amazon
Virtual reality gaming has come a long way in the last few years. With the announcement of a huge price drop on the Oculus Rift, I thought it was finally time to write the review I’ve meaning to write. I purchased the Oculus Rift about a year ago, it was an impulse buy for the most part, and I regretted it at first. The main reason I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would was the lack of quality content. Every game seemed to be tailored for a multiplayer VR experience, and that wasn’t something I was interested in.
After the release of the Oculus Touch controllers, things have quickly become much more enjoyable. The Touch controllers make you feel so immersed in virtual reality that you almost forget you’re playing a game. The feeling of the controllers in your hand can almost perfectly capture the feeling of actually holding a gun, sword, or a bow.
Even without the controllers, the first time you put on a virtual reality headset can be a mind-blowing experience. You want to reach out and touch things that don’t actually exist in the real world. The feeling can be a bit disorienting at first, but in my experience, you get used to it pretty quick. You can also get some serious exercise by playing certain games, which is great for people like me that love playing games, but hate working out.
The process of setting up the headset and controllers is relatively simple. The biggest issue with the Oculus Rift is the system requirements. Only mid to high-end PCs will be able to run the Oculus smoothly. Low end rigs cause low framerates, which tends to make people sick in virtual reality. The system requirements are listed below. There’s even a nice system checker that Oculus provides here if you don’t know what your specs are. Remember to make sure you can run the Oculus before you buy one!
The best experiences I’ve had include playing such games as; Drunkn Bar Fight, Vanishing Realms, Robo Recall, and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. These games each have a unique concept that really takes virtual reality to the next level. Here’s a quick review on each of these games. If any of these games sound appealing, it might be time to look into virtual reality gaming!
Drunkn Bar Fight
Drunkn Bar Fight, quite simply, is exactly what it sounds like. You are placed in a bar full of people, you use the Touch controllers to pick up object, punch people, and cause utter chaos. Virtual reality fighting games have always had an appeal to me, and Drunkn Bar Fight satisfied that desire. It’s easily the least polished of the mentioned games, but it might be the most fun. Using the Touch controllers, you can throw punches, break bottles over heads, and even turn on the jukebox. Good tunes is a necessity when having a good bar brawl.
Vanishing Realms is a dungeon crawler type game with a focus on sword and shield, bow and arrow, and magical combat. The part of this game that really stands out is combat, regardless of which weapons you prefer. Sword and shield combat is engaging, using the bow feels realistic, and the magic…well I haven’t gotten that far yet so I really can’t say. Definitely a must try for any lover of dungeon crawlers or RPGs. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re fighting face to face with a skeleton with only a shield protecting you, this game is a must try.
Robo Recall is an intense first person shooter. You are tasked with powering down a host of renegade robots by…shooting them repeatedly. The gunplay is fantastic and engaging. As a result, you can have some amazing moments by redirecting bullets back at your robotic enemies by grabbing the projectiles out of the air with your hands and throwing them back. Grabbing robots, ripping their arms off, and then beating their friends to death with the severed limbs is a very entertaining experience.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a great party game and it requires at least two people to play. After printing out a “bomb disarming guide” on the game’s website, you’re all ready to test your fate. One person puts on the virtual reality headset, and then the other handles the disarming guide. The person in virtual reality sees a bomb with complicated switches and puzzles that can only be solved by clear communication with the other person. The guide has all of the answers to solving the puzzles and disarming the bomb. But communicating the answers can be much tougher than it sounds. This game is hard to describe in detail, but if you enjoy puzzle games that make you think and cooperate in order to win, then you’ll enjoy this game.
As a gamer, I can say that virtual reality gaming is finally at a point where you can experience the full potential. I'm truly excited for what comes next. The game selection is at a point where you can have a ton of fun while only spending a small amount of money. If you do buy an Oculus, I suggest first going on Steam or the Oculus store and downloading some of the many free games to discover what you enjoy most. Then, you can start spending money on more polished games in the same genre.