Since its inception, virtual reality has been swaying between innovation and too much of a hassle to deal with. The very concept of VR is an awe inspiring one and at times can be downright mind-blowing. That concept has been sold to us time and time again throughout the years, especially in gaming, and has yet to make itself anything other than a niche product that takes the backseat to what gaming’s best has to offer.
My experience with VR gaming is brief, as I’ve only owned a PlayStation VR Headset. I very much enjoy using the headset, and I’ve yet to play a game in VR that I didn’t think was cool or fun. I’ve played titles such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Job Simulator, and my personal favorite Trevor Saves the Universe. While these games are all great experiences, I’d still rather sit down in my chair, hold my controller, and my play on my TV/PC. Skyrim is the perfect example as how cool and immersive VR can truly be. While playing, I found the experience to be a great way to pass some time and fool around with the headset. Could I see myself beating it in VR? Absolutely not. I can barely slog through Skyrim normally, I certainly don’t want to stand for 70+ hours, swinging my arms, and gripe about the clunky controls every 5 minutes. If someone out there has completed it in VR, congratulations man, you’re more dedicated a gamer than I.
Other titles like Job Simulator, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, and Accounting+ are all hilariously fun to pass around with your friends, but they are short and gimmicky. They aren’t fully-fledged experiences and aren’t quite as fun the second time around. These are the types of games VR gets by on. It keeps selling us the idea of how great VR truly is without offering any blockbuster titles that make players say, “now this I have to try.” The one exception for this is Trover Saves the Universe, the grotesque improvisational-toned titled from the mind of Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty. The game was truly innovative and managed to tell a silly but well-structured story. The gameplay mixed VR with platforming and beat ‘em up elements to make it so you should play the game sitting down, and it was optional to actually play in VR. It truly is the one title I can say is best in VR, and it was in consideration for game of the year for many publications.
VR is a fun way to play games, and is getting better each and every year, but with its lack of heavy-hitters, I expect it to stagnate where it is marketwise. Most of the headsets are expensive and fail to offer real value to your gaming experience. Don’t expect Ready Player One to be a reality for a good 10-20 years, guys.