While there are dozens of fantastic, officially licensed titles with VR compatibility, many of our tried and true favorites are not among them. And who hasn’t dreamed of sitting inside the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun, discussing the day’s dragon kill with your adoring fans? Or visiting the Commonwealth Weaponry and having a chat with Arturo about specialized ammo? Thanks to third party mods, there are a number of great games available in full VR. Here’s the list of our favorites.
Editor’s note: All the videos contained below the property of their respective owners and were not made by VR Source.
Fallout 4 may have been the most hyped game of all time. With its hungry fan base and devoted group of modders, it’s inevitable that someone would have created a way to play Fallout in VR.
VorpX is the solution. VorpX is a 3D driver for Direct X9-11 titles and works with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Because Fallout 4 is already a first-person game, implementation was very easy. The VorpX driver supports full head tracking, allowing players to become more immersed in the world than ever before. And for those who want to take things even a step farther, there’s the Virtuix Omni — seen in the demonstration above. Obviously this accessory isn’t required, but it’s still pretty darn cool.
Imagine traipsing through the Wasteland with a gun in your hand, your character’s motion controlled by your own feet while the world is broadcast straight into your eyes. It would be hard to distinguish the real world from Fallout. And that’s just the way we want it. Of course, for those that would rather use a traditional controller while playing in VR, that’s completely possible too.
World of Warcraft
No world has taken more hours of my life than Azeroth. Whether running Naxxramus during the weekly raid or tackling Ragefire Chasm for the first time, Blizzard’s world has a massive amount of detail. Thanks to VorpX, you can explore it in gorgeous first-person.
That’s not to say it isn’t without its problems. The frame rate staggers, and the world has trouble loading if you look around too quickly. Your raid leader is also likely to skewer you with Thunderfury if you try to finish a raid in first-person VR; World of Warcraft simply isn’t designed to be played that way. That said, the world is immense and full of detail. Strapping on a VR headset and flying the skies of Azeroth is a fantastic way to see the game in a brand-new way.
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
The world of Tamriel will never be the same once you’ve experienced it in VR. If I had to pick only a single game to play in VR, it would be Skyrim (or one of the entries in the Elder Scrolls series, anyway.) Whether exploring ancient burial tombs, fighting dragons, or saving the world with a combination of sword and sorcery, Skyrim embodies everything that virtual reality should be.
VorpX comes to the rescue again, allowing players to mod their game with 1:1 head tracking. If you use the HTC Vive to play Skyrim, the controllers function as your sword and magic. And like Fallout, Skyrim is compatible with the Virtuix Omni. Skyrim is a massive environment, however, and using the Omni ramps up the difficulty when you have to rely on your own non-Dovahkiin body to escape an angry dragon.
Grand Theft Auto V
Los Santos is a city of contradictions, and one of the biggest is how a game that seems so well suited for VR is not. San Andreas is a beautiful, breathing world with a lot to see and do, and while it’s great to look at in virtual reality, the gameplay is something else. Grand Theft Auto V works with the VorpX mod to be compatible on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, although playing using the Vive’s hand controllers would be a bit challenging to say the least. GTA is a game better suited to a keyboard and mouse or gamepad.
Driving works well, but many of the other in-game activities do not translate well to a virtual reality headset. GTA’s often-hilarious ragdoll effects are hard on the eyes; after all, do you really want a first person view of the spin after an angry driver hops the curb and rams you?
GTA V works great in VR for driving around and exploring. If you want to play the game seriously, though, it’s probably a good idea to switch to third-person.
Alien is one of the most bone-chilling science fiction films in history, and Alien: Isolation captures that feeling of creeping dread perfectly. Countless players reported taking frequent breaks while playing, and strapping on a VR headset ramps up the intensity even further. Imagine creeping through Sevastopol with nothing but your motion detector, knowing that you have no way of defending yourself should the Alien appear from nowhere.
The difference between playing a game like Alien: Isolation on-screen and in VR is simple. When you’re playing on-screen, no matter how immersive a title might be, reality is all around you. You can see the room around you, feel the air on your skin, and realize it’s not real. But humans are primarily visual creatures, and when our optical input seems to be from somewhere else, the brain suffers a sort of disconnect. You can’t tell if it’s real or not. And that’s terrifying.
Here’s a video of people playing Alien: Isolation in VR. Warning: explicit language.
First person shooters have always been uniquely suited for virtual reality. They combine the thrill of playing laser tag with the ability to reach players all over the world. Battlefield: Hardline works great in VR; turning your head to look around makes the stakes feel higher and pulls you deeper into the gameplay. Whether you’re trying to make off with millions in cash or you’re trying to put a stop to the heist, Hardline brings all the thrill of the Battlefield series into beautiful virtual reality.
And for those who want to take things a step farther, Battlefield: Hardline is also compatible with the Virtuix Omni, just like Fallout and Skyrim. And because it requires you to run between cover, you may be able to replace your daily workout with an hour-long gaming session.
CS: GO is one of the most competitive shooters available at the moment. It boasts a number of different tournaments and is competing alongside League of Legends as one of the most watched e-sports. It’s no surprise that VorpX allows it to be played in virtual reality. Players can explore all of their favorite maps and take on the terrorists in a more real way than ever before.
On the other hand, until you get used to the differences in gameplay, it’s probably a good idea to try to improve your rank the old-fashioned way. Aiming with your head is easier said than done.
Mirror’s Edge rose in popularity alongside parkour. While most of us lack both the guts and the agility to leap from rooftops and catch a drain pipe on the way down, the game allowed everyone to experience the rush of adrenaline. Now that Mirror’s Edge is compatible with HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets thanks to VorpX, it may be time to experience the City of Glass in a brand new way.
Mirror’s Edge does contain a lot of sharp turns and speed blur, so those prone to VR sickness may find it a bit difficult to play. On the upside, it could be a fantastic way to get over your fear of heights. Nothing says ‘face your fears’ like balancing 80 floors above the street.
Flight Simulator X
Flight sims have always been about immersion. Diehard players have a tendency to hook up numerous joysticks in order to emulate the feel of a cockpit, but no matter how many peripheral accessories they used, it never quite captured the feel of being there. Virtual reality changes that. Flight Simulator X is the latest installment in Microsoft’s long-running flight sim series, and even though title was released a decade ago, it still holds up.
Now you can look around the cockpit and out the plane window thanks to the VorpX mod. When you combine the immersion of VR with the peripherals already available to flight sim players, you’ll feel like you’re right there in the cockpit, ready to steer the plane to safety (or disaster, if that’s your thing.)
Keep in mind these are just 9 of the many games that are technically playable in VR, thanks to hte power fo the VorpX mod. One important thing to keep in mind is that this driver is not free, priced at $39.99. That said, if you really want to experience your favorite non-VR games in a new way, it’s probably a price worth paying. Any other great games that you’ve played in VR that weren’t originally designed with it in mind? Tell us about them in the comments below.
*Post written by Patrick Hearn*