We've been having some fun with Oculus Touch
Your Oculus Rift can be greatly improved with Oculus Touch controllers. The ability to reach out and interact with the virtual world is incredible, and while not every Oculus game and app will support this setup out of the box there's plenty of things on the way that do. We've been spending some time exploring a lot of the Oculus Touch experiences that are either slated for launch very soon or expected to be available within the year, and walked away more than a little impressed.
As is always the case in VR environments, the immersive feeling offered by moving in VR makes the experience so much more compelling. Here's what we think about what we've experienced so far!
There's a good chance you've seen Oculus showing this game off at E3 and in other demo spaces, and now we know why. Insomniac Games has absolutely crushed it with The Unspoken. You teleport around from pad to pad and battle other Oculus Rift players to see who is the better sorcerer. Throwing spells feels ridiculously good with Oculus Touch controllers, and the way the gameplay comes together really makes you feel like you're coursing with magical energy. It's a rush every time, and being able to fight online to see who's best is going to be an incredible experience. This is hands down the best Oculus Touch experience we've had so far.
A good puzzle game in VR can be relaxing and challenging at the same time. A good sandbox creation experience in VR can be soothing and entertaining. Luna combines the two in a remarkably elegant fashion. Complete a series of small puzzles to unlock pieces of a scene, which you then get to create. Once finished, you can experience that scene in a first person view and unlock a new part of the story. It's beautiful, calming, and powerful all at once. This is a VR experience anyone can enjoy, and Oculus Touch lets you really reach in and be a part of the story.
Rock Band VR
Rock Band VR on the Oculus Rift looks similar to the game you may have played on the Xbox years ago. The objective hasn't changed much either: All you have to do is ensure that you're pressing the right buttons—essentially, musical notes—and that you're strumming along in rhythmic fashion. The game focuses more on your ability to keep the rhythm rather than hitting the buttons at the right time, and that's so you can freely roam the stage and peek at the crowd instead of worrying about where your fingers are on the guitar controller. This helps make the game more immersive, too, and you'll likely find yourself with your knees on the floor, jamming along like an 80's hair band halfway through a song. I certainly did.
This is an intense zero gravity space game with a detailed story mode and a ridiculously entertaining multplayer game mode. The single player mode puts you in the body of an Echo unit, following the story of a space station in quite a bit of trouble. The multplayer is a disc throwing sport mode, where you and your four teammates fly through arenas to score against the opposing team. In both game modes you're weightless all the time, using your hands to stabilize yourself against surfaces with small booster to help control your movement. It's unsettling at times how real all of this feels, leaving your body in the real world occasionally leaning and stumbling despite standing perfectly still.
If you already love Superhot, you're in for a real treat when you get to experience it in VR. If you've never experienced Superhot, prepare to be amazed. This game only moves when you move, which means you can stand perfectly still and analyze what is about to happen and then spring into action once you've solved the puzzle. The graphics are unique and intense, and every swing of your fist and squeeze of your trigger in Oculus Touch completes this already impressive game. Most games ported to VR feel like an afterthought, but Superhot feels like it needed VR to be complete. Now it does, and it's fantastic.
We've seen several great art games for Rift and Vive, but none of them have the style Kingspray is offering. Instead of painting in the world around you, Kingspray puts a spray paint can in your hand and sticks you in one of several virtual environments. The objective is simple, paint something on the wall in front of you with all kinds of colors and textures. You'll be able to play with friends, and Oculus Touch controllers really make you feel like you're creating something unique on a brick wall downtown. This game is a must have for any artistic VR user.
The zombies have surrounded your food truck, and to keep them from feasting on your tasty human flesh you're going to bust out all of your epic rapid food prep skills to serve each one of them a burger. Operate the grill with speed, toss some quality toppings between the buns, and toss your creations out the serving window to stay alive. This game is deeply entertaining, and just as fun to watch from outside Oculus Rift as the player scrambles around inside of a tiny food truck.
Space Pirate Trainer
The crazy shooter made famous on HTC Vive is headed to Rift, and feels right at home with Oculus Touch controllers. Reach out with both arms and shoot all the robots flying around you, or reach behind you and pull out a shield to see how far you can get when you're not worried about dodging the laser blasts. This is straightforward, arcade-style fun that you can play for minutes or hours and feel great while doing so.
VR Sports Challenge
Have you ever wanted to land a perfect slam dunk, stop the winning shot from sliding across the ice into the goal, or perfect your football throw? What if all you really want to do is see a bloody fist fight through the eyes of an angry hockey player? VR Sports Challenge isn't one game, it's a series of fun minigames. You can live out the exciting parts of your hockey, football, basketball, and baseball fantasies through these games, and rank your score against the rest of the world while you do. The games are brief but fun, perfect for inviting friends over and seeing who can get the highest score. Oculus Touch completes this experience by making all of the motion parts of this game feel great.
Japanese manga is already great in plain paper form, but it's even better in virtual reality, and that's precisely the kind of storytelling that SquareEnix is exploring with Project Hikari. This interactive experience places you in the middle of the black-and-white manga, Tales of the Wedding, which follows along Hime as he investigates what's happened to his childhood crush, Satou. Project Hikari enables you to experience every riveting moment of the story from beginning to end. The narrative moves along as you physically reach out with the Oculus Touch controllers to turn the pages. This particular virtual reality experience is best if you're laying down on a couch and are looking for a bit of passive entertainment at the end of the day. And it sure beats reading a book backwards.
This game may be the last on our list, but it's still a deeply satisfying game. Zombie shooters aren't exactly in small numbers in VR, so Zombie Riot focuses on the part you enjoy doing the most. Grab a pair of guns and keep squeezing that trigger until your fingers bleed. You can move from station to station and pick up bigger and louder guns as you go, which is good because the zombies are going to get bigger and faster as you continue to progress. This game doesn't focus on hyper-realism, so you get to enjoy watching your score go up without worrying about your ammo count or whether turning your head will result in accidentally wetting yourself.
Serious Sam VR
There are two kinds of people in the world — those who played Serious Sam growing up and those who spent time outside. It's the game that makes fun of all the other early first person shooters, and now you get a taste of that old school experience in VR. You don't move around in this version of the game, but just like the original it is deeply satisfying to unlock big weapons and cover the map in the blood of your enemies. Just be prepared to flinch every once in a while, when the bad guys get all up in your face space.
Have you had any Oculus Touch experiences yet? Share them with us in the comments!