With demo stations all over the US and Canada as well as several spots opening in the UK, there have been many opportunities to sit down — or stand up — and get some quality time in with PlayStation VR demo games. There's still a lot left to learn about the headset itself and how it functions within the PlayStation 4 ecosystem, but when it comes to the games we've tried it's clear there are some favorites. We've decided to rank our PlayStation VR experiences to date, including which games we will absolutely be buying at launch and which we're going to probably leave as a mostly positive demo.
This is at the top of the shopping list for most of us. The folks at CCP Games have been fine tuning this masterpiece for over a year now, and it has gotten noticeably better with each update. This is one of the best space flight/shooter games available today, and does a ridiculously good job taking advantage of making you feel like you are wearing a flight helmet in VR. It also helps that this game is already available to play elsewhere, though to Sony and CCP Games credit the quality remains high on PSVR.
Russell Holly had this to say in his initial hands on:
It's no surprise that my NVIDIA GTX 980ti-powered Oculus Rift generated a more complete experience, but this was the first opportunity I've had to compare the same game through both systems and the differences were clear. Those differences matter a whole lot less when you're flying through space shooting other pilots, especially when head tracking and motion in the demo were just as flawless as on the Rift.
The only reason this game isn't tied for first is not all of us have played this demo yet, as it has been kept in the UK and trade shows instead of Best Buy stores where kids could be watching. This is one of the more prominent PlayStation Move Controller demos for PSVR, and everyone here that has played the game so far loves it. The demo gets up in your face and lets you get your FPS glory on, but it's clear there's potential for a truly compelling story here.
Here's Richard Devine on the game that sold him on PlayStation VR:
When the action heats up you aim your weapon by moving your hands in space. When you're out of ammo, you use the other hand to pick up a clip and insert it in the bottom of the gun. All simple stuff but makes a shooter infinitely more exciting than just aiming with a controller. As does peeking through an open door and the reactions of the other character when bullets whistle past his face.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
RIGS is one of the PlayStation VR launch titles you might have ignored, but you really shouldn't. It's like a cross between Titanfall and Rocket League, mixing sports with mech shooting action.
It's a fast and furious adrenaline rush, as Richard Devine found out during his preview session with it.
I could feel the adrenaline pumping towards the end of my time with RIGS. Truly a sensation that I've not experienced playing a console game in a long time. This is the VR effect in full swing. You're not just playing — you're inside the game — and it's terrific.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
We're starting to see AAA titles hit VR, and it's no shock that Call of Duty is one of the first. The upcoming Infinite Warfare release is all about Call of Duty in futuristic environments, so it makes a certain bit of sense that it would be available on PlayStation VR. Shoot your way to victory, and enjoy the incredible visuals we've come to expect from this Activision franchise.
Take a look at Paul Acevedo's first experience with this game:
The Infinite Warfare VR experience takes place within the cockpit of a Jackal. Looking around, you can witness the cockpit controls, your pilot's arms on a pair of flight sticks, and his legs in the seat. You play this VR demo with a DualShock 4 controller, using the analog sticks to pilot the ship. As you move a thumbstick, the pilot's arms move accordingly in VR. Quite cool to see!
This frenetic puzzle game is heaps of fun with friends, and in VR where all you can see is the insane light show against the puzzle piece you're trying to fit into the slot you have to move around to see, it's ridiculous. This is a challenging experience in the best of circumstances, and in VR it's easy to lose an hour to the positively psychotic soundtrack and the acid trip visuals. Whatever you do, avoid playing this under the influence.
Have you ever wanted to be a Soccer goalie but didn't want any of the potential head injuries? Headmaster is for you. Instead of a gamepad or Move Controllers, you use your head to bounce soccer balls and whatever else is hurled at you to their intended target. This is a great party game, especially if you have friends who have never experienced VR before, and clearly the kind of experience where the highest score will be a point of pride.
Cale Hunt on his first Headmaster experience:
Even from the first attempt I could tell where my head had to be, and everything felt very natural. I'm no soccer player (something about running back and forth across a pitch for 90 minutes), but I felt like I could take a corner kick from some of the best.
Hop in a brightly colored tank and get ready to fire pixels at other tank-like things! Battlezone prides itself on not being hyper-realistic and instead letting the user have a lot of fun in VR, and it works!
Here's our Jez Corden on his Battlezone VR fun times:
The cockpit is wonderfully rendered, full of realistic screens, switches, and levers. And somewhat embarrassingly, I even reached down and attempted to grab a lever - wondering if the PlayStation Eye camera would track those sorts of gestures. Alas, I probably just looked foolish to the demonstrator.
It's clear from all of the games we've seen announced for PlayStation VR so far that horror games will be coming to this platform in waves. People like being scared, and VR makes that experience even more real. The Deep demo puts you in a shark tank at the bottom of the ocean, where a shark has decided you are worth the effort and tried to break into the cage. It's a chilling experience, especially if you aren't big on enclosed spaces to begin with, but fairly tame when compared to things like Resident Evil.
Do you have a PlayStation VR demo experience that tops these? Tell us all about it in the forum!