The centrepiece of the gaming year, E3 2017 is where a lot of the biggest games and consoles get revealed. This year is absolutely no different, with a more powerful version of the Xbox One, The Xbox One X aiming to be the most powerful video game console ever released, and the forever rumoured sequel to cult hit Beyond Good and Evil is finally poised to be released.
For Sony, the current market leader in tethered VR however, E3 was particularly special, with no less than seven major games announced for Sony’s glowing headset. All of them look to be particularly unique, particularly special or both, and so we will take you through what there is to get excited about.
A familiar name at this point for VR gamers, Piotr Iwanicki’s incredibly popular and fun Matrix-Em-Up has seen releases on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive already, so that is has finally touched down on Sony’s headset isn’t much of a surprise. That won’t take away from the fact that the unique “enemies move when you do” game play is as amazingly intense as ever. Amazingly enough this is the first time that Superhot in either of its incarnations has made it onto a Sony console and if you have a PSVR it is an absolute must-play.
An utterly beautiful game by Playful, the same developers between Creativerse and Super Lucky’s Tale, and while precious little is known about it other than presumably being some flavour of sci-fi puzzle platformer, what is clear is that the aesthetic is utterly amazing, filled with a neon sci-fi look that I imagine will look especially vibrant on the PSVR’s OLED screens.
Final Fantasy XV: Monster of the Deep
The latest spin off from Square Enix’s increasingly ironically named Final Fantasy series has you fishing in virtual reality. Yes, really. In terms of Final Fantasy spin offs there are certainly odder examples, and it keeps the road trip style of Final Fantasy XV, with plenty of banter between the four main characters, hanging out around a campfire and cooking food. I have an inkling fighting monsters might come into it too somewhere. Monster of the Deep casts off in September.
A rather traditional VR first person shooter may seem like an odd move for the developers of cinematic horror game Until Dawn. Supermassive Games did work on Killzone HD however so it isn’t entirely out of left field. Not a lot has been revealed about this game outside of a very familiar aesthetic.
Supermassive’s far more interesting game, set in a psychiatric ward 60 years before Until Dawn. Clearly inspired by a mix of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in some ways similar to the Oculus exclusive Wilson’s Heart and very much wedded to its 50s aesthetic, it looks to be a very interesting conceit, although with absolutely no gameplay footage, there’s not a lot to go on.
Looking ever so much like Lucky’s Tale done right, Moss is an absolutely adorable adventure by Polyarc starring a mouse and an aesthetic based somewhat heavily on the watercolours of the late Brian Jacques’ Redwall novels. Gameplay wise, while it is clear you have a higher vantage point, it appears that you control a blue sprite that guides the main character through a series of locations, so the game may well be more of a puzzle adventure than a straight platformer or adventure game. Very little was revealed in the trailer so it will be fascinating to see what direction the gameplay goes.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
Bethesda have gone on quite a tear with VR this E3, with Fallout 4 VR and DOOM VFR being announced as well as this, a VR enhanced version of their very popular 2011 RPG Skyrim. The graphics appear to be from the updated Special Edition, with regular locomotion (presumably after the mixed reaction to the “blink” teleportation that was originally present in Fallout 4 VR), motion based combat and all the dramatic fights, questing and dragon encounters present in the Special Edition. Bethesda are firmly pushing their VR games as full experiences, and so it will be exciting to see just how much changes in the land of Skyrim when you can properly look around.
Set Faces to Stunned
Sony have really pulled ahead in terms of VR sales, which is unsurprising given that more people have a PS4 than any other console currently out and the VR add on is significantly cheaper than its main competitors, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and seven PSVR games being part of their E3 presentation is a major statement of intent. Much of the excitement currently is for the impending PSVR release of games that already out, but that is as much to do with the coy marketing of their other games as anything else.