As always, games are a major focal point in the latest round of VR announcements, and Oculus used its keynote at Oculus Connect 4 to show off some new titles coming to the platform. Virtual reality is an opportunity for small, independent developers to stand out, but it could also be another way for major studios to garner a larger audience.
Coming Later This Year
Some of the titles featured at the event are coming later this year. Downpour Interactive’s military simulator shooter Onward is currently available on Early Access, but its development is nearly over. Oculus announced that a release date is scheduled for sometime in November. There’s also Turtle Rock Studios’ Face Your Fears, which challenges you to confront your phobias in virtual reality. Next month, you can use the game to experience a new piece of content, which will allow you to explore the interesting, yet terrifying world of Stranger Things. Considering that the show’s second season arrives at the end of October, the VR tie-in is designed as a compelling way for fans to engage with the fictional world.
Disney, specifically Pixar Animation Studios, is also throwing its hat in the ring with Coco VR. The experience will serve as a companion to the movie Coco, which hits theaters in November. You’ll get to explore the colorful Land of the Dead, play instruments, and take pictures with some of the film’s characters.
Insomniac Games, which created the spell-casting VR title The Unspoken, also revealed an upcoming, single-player expansion called “Acolytes.” You’ll wander through the streets and rooftops of Chicago as you discover the city’s magical past. However, your main objective is to investigate the murder of an acolyte. Five different classes and thirty spells are at your disposal, and you’ll need them to take down terrifying Demons and Wraiths. The expansion arrives later this year as a free update.
Games For 2018 And Beyond
Oculus also has a few titles slated for release sometime in 2018. Ready At Dawn has two VR titles under its belt with Lone Echo and Echo Arena, and the studio is already working on an first-person shooter expansion on the latter game called “Echo Combat”. The short trailer didn’t reveal much about the new content save for a mysterious figure and a note that it's coming next year. Fans will also see the next step in the story of Jack and Olivia at some point in the future, although the studio was mum on additional details.
After you watch the recently released Blade Runner 2049, you can further immerse yourself in the science fiction world with Magnopus’ Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab experience. You’ll explore the memories of other people, but it seems that you’ll encounter a strange recollection that could put you in danger.
If you want to be a superhero, you can try out the upcoming Marvel Powers United VR, which is a collaboration between Oculus Studios and Sanzaru Games. In it, you’ll take on the role of a franchise character — in this particular trailer, it was Thor, but the Hulk featured prominently as well — and fight the many enemies that stand in your way. Depending on the hero you choose, you can use your Touch controllers to wield different powers and weapons.
As a final treat, the company featured a brief video from Respawn Entertainment, the studio that created the popular Titanfall series. It seems that it’s working on a virtual reality title as well, although the developers didn’t reveal any details, and the brief gameplay footage shown onscreen was blurred out. Unlike the other titles above, we’ll have to wait until 2019 to try out Respawn’s first step into VR.
More For Your Library
The continued stream of content, especially games, for Oculus is a sign that virtual reality is still a popular platform. From basic standing experiences to fully interactive titles, there’s a wide gamut of VR titles available for everyone.
Respawn’s entry into the VR space is also noteworthy because it’s one of the first AAA developers to make the jump from traditional platforms to VR. If its maiden game is deemed a success, it could lure even more customers to try, and eventually purchase, an Oculus Rift.