First person shooters are some of the most popular games on traditional gaming systems like the Playstation or Xbox. They’re the addictive titles that players enjoy online for hours and hours, and arguably some of the best-designed games around. VR shooters have some hurdles to jump.
For one, gamers of classic shooters have been trained to use a controller and joystick to look around and shoot. Using a traditional joystick to look around in VR can make for an unpleasant experience that includes dizziness and nauseous. The solution is to use Room-Scale VR on the Vive or the Rift, but it takes away the movement with the joystick. Adding a hurdle for anyone developing VR shooters who have to rethink the genre at a basic level.
Luckily, a few publishers have taken to the task of developing shooters for VR. They may not rival Call of Duty or Battlefield yet, but they’re still full-featured games that’ll keep you on the edge of your seats. In this feature, we’ve put together a short but exciting list of the best VR shooters that will have you jonesing for a VR headset like never before.
Platform: HTC Vive
Hover Junkers is a multiplayer game where you try to destroy flying Junkers or help fortify flying Junkers. The game’s built exclusively for VR: using the motion controllers exclusively to duck, shoot, walk, and aim to help destroy enemy ships. In a future barren desert fill world, junk hunters scrape together what they can in order to defend against other junkers ships.
The games one of the most fun and intuitive VR games around. You’re able to aim down the barrel of the gun, with the movement of your motion controllers, or duck in real life to also dodge in the game. All the movements make you feel like you’re actually inside the game battle enemy junkers. The only downside is while hovering on the junkers you can feel feeling sick, but you’re quickly able to adjust to the hoover. The games beautiful, and with motion controllers, you’ll feel like you’re moving around all the action. All-in-all, it’s a great online multiplayer first person shooter for the HTC Vive.
Platform: HTC Vive
Once again, another Vive game. A-10 is a fresh VR take on a classic shooter. When you start up the game, you’re thrown into outer space where you’ll hone your sharpshooting skills. The simplistic game is fun, but also a great way for anyone any age to dip their toes into VR. They get to experience how Room-Scale VR works, and learn how to use the motion controllers while shooting. A global and local leaderboard will encourage competition while you’re spending hours honing all your shooting skills.
There’s a total of 4 game modes. The first mode, practice mode, which is a great way for kids and non-gamers to get comfortable in VR. Then, time mode, will test your aim when you’re pressed for time. Survival mode is where enemy targets will emerge from portals. You’ll need to shoot down the enemies before they reach you, and along the way, there will be bonus targets. Lastly, there is attack mode is where you have to dodge enemy fire while trying to take down enemies before they reach you. There’s a mode for everyone, no matter the skill level, and everyone will have loads of fun playing.
Hot Dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Platform: HTC Vive
Besides the crazy name, Hot dogs, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades is a sandbox shooting range and is easily one of the most satisfying VR games so far. Everything from reloading to shooting is handled with care and the attention to detail is unparalleled. It provides an authentic shooting range experience with a variety of guns and even grenades for good measure. There’s an impressive arsenal of weapons with an impressive number of game modes to keep you entertained for hours.
The landscape around while you’re playing is flat, and feels like a stock Unity game, but the guns are where the game excels. They’re exceedingly detailed with a range of guns and accessories for the guns. You’re able to use Room-Scale VR to move around the virtual shooting range, or teleport around in the game if you don’t have room for Room-Scale. Overall, if you enjoy shooting or blowing things up in games and own a Vive – this game is a must buy!
Space Pirate Trainer
Platform: HTC Vive
Space Pirate Trainer is a refreshed classic arcade game made especially for VR. When you’re thrown into outer space, you become a space cadet, with guns, grenades, and other alien weapons that’ll help you stay off enemies. The goal of the game is to defend yourself from alien attackers, and with each wave, there are more aliens that are harder to defeat. There’s a leaderboard to show off how far you made it, and if you’re daring there’s a hardcore mode to try your skills at.
The game’s incredibly polished with graphics that you’d expect to see in a top tier title. Everything from each wave of incoming enemies to how you aim and fire feels perfected in the game. There’s also little features; when you get shot at from outside of your view the side of the screen that you’re getting shot at from pulses so you can look and take down your enemy. It’s a small but important feature that gives the game a great overall feel in a time when wave shooters are exploding again. And yes, you guessed it, it’s just for the Vive.
Platform: Oculus Rift
Breaking away from the Vive-only affair, here’s a shooter that is exclusively for the Oculus Rift. Damaged Core is a first person shooter with a storyline, unlike many VR shooters round. The VR shooters on VR have mainly focused on online gameplay, attention to detail with the guns and graphics, and leaderboards. Otherwise, many of the VR shooters, even on this list, don’t have a full-fledged story mode. Damaged Core is a breakaway from the pack with a full featured, ten plus hour story mode. The story was written by Drew Holmes, who helped create and write the Bioshock series. The dystopian future filled with robots that rebelled gives you hours of story, and also dozens of ways to play.
The robots that rose up to take over the world were created by humans. Now another humanoid creation, made entirely from code, is going to help save humanity. The code is a software virus which can overtake other robot bodies to become the enemy. You’re playing as the ‘code’ who jumps from robot enemy to robot enemy to become them. There are 17 different enemies you could potentially become to help save humans before they just become a footnote.
Last Sniper VR
Platform: Oculus Rift
Back to Vive games. The Last Sniper VR throws you into the world where you get to experience what fighting like a soldier was in World War II. In the game, you’ll become a soldier who’s jumping out of an airplane during a crucial battle on Omaha Beach. Not only will you get the thrilling and somewhat nerve racking experience of jumping out of a plane, but you’ll also get to be a rogue sniper during the surrender of Paris. The realistic feel lets you see what a weapon would feel like during the period.
The game is trying to simulate the sounds and feel of massive scale war during World War II. And manage to get pretty close to everything, at least by what I know. The game feels like you’re actually in a war and everything from shooting a gun to jumping out of the plane gives you a rush of adrenaline you’ve never felt in a game before.
In the end, the games that are our favorites take advantage of Room-Scale VR, and have made gameplay realistic but also providing some storyline. They offer hours of gameplay, but also let you play online with friends and strangers. A lot of the shooters available now are on the HTC Vive now, but there is some shooters trickling to the Rift. The Rift and PlayStation VR both have a handful of games planned for them, but they’re still in the development and demo phase and should hit the headsets later this year. In the meantime, we have a short list of games that we think are the best shooters for VR.
Have you played any shooters in VR that has blown your mind, and we left off the list? Tell us in the comments below which ones you think have made the cut!