The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is a maritime tale that’s been retold countless times and reimagined just as many. 2018’s Titanic VR is the most notable in the VR space, aiming for historical accuracy to help educate players on the tragedy. Titanic: A Space Between, on the other hand, weaves a futuristic, time-travelling tale in amongst the events of that fateful night. Whilst chaos is going on all around you have a mystery to solve, but other dangers are stalking those water-logged corridors. Shame it’s all third-class cabin fever and not more first-class survival.
Two years ago Rebellion brought its Sniper Elite franchise to VR for the first time. Dropping players into 1940s Italy, it was a decent instalment – although not the best in the series – with all the X-Ray Kill Cam goodness you’d expect. Now Meta Quest fans have been treated to a sequel Sniper Elite VR: Winter Warrior, but as we find in our review its not quite the sequel you’d expect.
Fast Travel Games first meddled with the World of Darkness with 2021’s Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife. That was a suspenseful horror, full of atmosphere and vengeful ghosts. Action-oriented it was not. This year the studio returns to the World of Darkness once more in Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice. This time, however, you’re not on the back foot. Instead, you find yourself in the shoes of a vampire hunting for answers in Venice, Italy. And whilst you’re still sneaking around, this time you get to be the blood-thirsty killer.
In the early years of VR’s resurgence, when standalone headsets were sheer fantasy and rooms were covered in cables, developers were getting very creative. This was also the era of the ‘VR experience’ when games were fairly short to see what ideas worked. One of those was Turbo Button’s Floor Plan, a delightful puzzler where you spent all your time in an elevator. Now the studio has brought this little slice of VR nostalgia back, which meant XR Source had to review Floor Plan Remastered.
During the course of 2023, I’ve been looking for that one game that truly sells virtual reality. Some have come close like I Expect You to Die 3 and The Light Brigade but I’m still after something with panache. Well Told Entertainment’s The Foglands seemed to be a good contender as an atmospheric roguelike shooter. However, as this The Foglands review will detail, the experience gets caught up in its own gloom.
We might be used to seeing the odd ’90s videogame reemerge and remastered but they do tend to be more well-known IPs. What’s very rare – almost unheard of – is bringing back a CD-ROM mystery puzzler. Especially one with FMV-heavy graphics. But that’s exactly what Vertigo Games has done with The 7th Guest VR. And you know what, combining modern volumetric video capture with VR has worked (mostly). With our review discovering that The 7th Guest VR is one of the more unique VR games of 2023.
Locomotion in virtual reality has always been a tricky, mixed endeavour. Over the years methods have evolved from fixed point-to-point teleportation to swinging your arms and even grappling hooks. The ideas that tend to work the best for a broad range of players are the ones that apply some physical movement to trick the brain. Gorilla Tag did this by simply allowing you to push off the virtual ground with your hands. Outta Hand, the latest title from Capricia Productions takes this theory a step further. As we find in our Quest 2 review, Outta Hand gets seriously handsy – in the right kind of way.
Donkey Kong, Super Monkey Ball, Gorilla Tag, there’s something about monkeys and apes in videogames that we all just love. Needless to say, when Agera Games and Vertigo Games announced TOSS! for virtual reality (VR) headsets, the colourful title looked like it could be a welcome addition to any game library. And in our TOSS! review for Meta Quest 2, we found a game full of boundless energy and physical gameplay.
Schell Games’ I Expect You To Die series is a very rare breed in VR. Not only has the franchise survived several hardware generations, but it has also got better with age. The original was funny, tense and inventive, making for an almost perfect escape room experience in VR. Now in its third instalment, somehow, Schell Games continues to make the quintessential VR escape room. As XR Source finds in its Meta Quest 2 review, I Expect You To Die 3: A Cog in the Machine is as much of a mystery as the world-ending event you’re trying to thwart.
It’s astonishing to think that videogames have existed for over 40 years. And that in their infancy they were no more than a few lines on a screen. One of the most iconic companies to emerge from those early years was Atari, dominating the landscape in the ’70s and ’80s. Atari might not be the company that it once was, but ARVORE’s latest Pixel Ripped instalment harks back to those simpler times. The third game in the franchise, Pixel Ripped 1978 is a title full of nostalgia, and interesting ideas, yet doesn’t quite have the same magic as its predecessors.