These experiences might be cool but they don't add much to gameplay.
It seems like only yesterday when Sony was announcing the details about the upcoming PlayStation VR to the world. We got the specs, a look at how PlayStation VR will work, and of course plenty of games to salivate over and get excited for. Along with more than a dozen fantastic new games, there was an announcement about some additions to existing and soon to be released games.
We saw a clip of being able to play the upcoming Final Fantasy XV in VR, and heard about being able to wander through the Croft Manor from Tomb Raider. Plenty of folks - us included - got excited to see tons of new content for games that we've already been enjoying for a while. I mean, who wouldn't want to fully explore the Croft Manor, home of Laura Croft? However, these experiences aren't as awesome as we had initially hoped.
What happens in VR?
The first thing you should realize about these add-on experiences, is that they're small updates to existing games. While they do add a layer of VR to games you may have already played and beat, they aren't large. In fact they're basically just bolted on experiences, to get you hooked on VR.
From what we've seen so far, and of course this might change in the future, these VR experiences are small and separate from the main game. They're using a game that tons of people have already enjoyed, and the pedigree of that game, to get you more interested in VR than you might have been initially. After all, two of those add-on experiences come from seriously popular game franchises.
The experiences might link to the main story, or game that they are attached to, but they obviously weren't part of the games to begin with. This is fairly obvious too, they can feel out of place, like they were essentially stuck in at the last minute just to show off the new VR. This makes them feel bolted on without much rhyme or reason.
What can you expect to see
Each VR add-on to an existing game is going to be a bit different obviously. However the big goal seems to be to really suck the player fully in to the world. With Tomb Raider you'll be exploring Croft Manor to uncover it's secrets, while the Final Fantasy experience lets you fight a behemoth and then take a drive in the car.
So far it seems like these experiences are meant to show off PlayStation VR, help to further immerse players in their game of choice, and give you a chance to see a bit more of the world they are playing in. That doesn't necessarily tell us how well they work though. They seem to be working a bit like a sidequest in a larger game, something that can distract you for a little while, without actually adding to the game at large.
We can't be sure how well they'll be executed until PlayStation VR makes it's debut in October. While these bolted on experiences might not add a lot to the games they'll be a part of it, it is pretty cool to see developers taking advantage of new VR technology available to them to add to their games. We can only wait and see what the results will be.
PlayStation 4 games with VR content added
- Tomb Raider: Blood Ties
- Final Fantasy XV experience
- Star Wars Battlefront VR experience
- Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 (Japanese exclusive)
- Project Cars
Which PlayStation 4 game would you like to see get a little PS VR bump? Sound off in the comments!