E3 2016 has come and gone, and while we’re still riding high from all the excitement produced from it, we have to sit back, relax, and reflect on what all went down at video games’ biggest show of the year. Numerous things happened in the VR block, which goes to show that we’re going to be seeing some great stuff later in the year. Even though we saw a string of hardware, including a prototype model of the Gloveone, it’s yet again the games and experiences that pave the way for all the anticipation and hoopla.
For many of us that covered the big show, it was the first time we actually attended it. Without a doubt, Sony was single-handedly the biggest winner, mainly because the Playstation VR was showcased to the masses in full-form. Along with that, some of the games announced for it were playable, indicating to us that Sony is anticipating an aggressive shift in the market by the time the holiday season is upon us.
Well, it wasn’t just Sony that delivered the goods when it comes to virtual reality games, seeing that the current competition, namely the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, also had some compelling titles that caught our attention.
So, with that, let’s briefly look back at the best VR games announced during E3 2016 that we managed to check for ourselves in action.
Here They Lie
As we’ve mentioned, E3 2016 was the breakout event for the Playstation VR – the games announced for it were relentless. Starting off our list, however, is the psychological horror game in Here They Lie. This game might be compared to another survival horror game that we’ll talk about later, but Here They Lie is more of a cerebral ride that’ll have you guessing what’s going on, as opposed to blasting away mindless zombies at every opportunity.
Check it out: Hands on with Here They Lie
In this first person perspective, we see the world through our character who is exploring this nightmarish hell on earth type of setting. Quite frankly, the game reminds us of a Stephen King novel because of how our mind is meticulously picked apart as we dove deeper into the demo. From endless corridors, to masked strangers slowly creeping up on us, Here They Lie blends an engrossing story with good pacing that kept us glued in our seat.
Even though we didn’t personally get to see any exclusive titles for the Oculus Rift during E3 2016 (there were some though), there was one game that we found to be extremely fun playing with other gamers. That game is Eagle Flight, which puts us in the role of an actual eagle that calls the city of Paris its home – searching for food in the process. While the premise might sound a bit obnoxious, it’s actually a fast paced game that’ll have you doing some crazy movements with your head.
Check it out: Hands on with Eagle Flight
Seeing the city of Paris through the eyes of our eagle is one thing, especially when the game realistically replicates the city and its vast historic landmarks, but the action of flying through all the places trying to out-duel rival eagles for food is totally another. For starters, the VR aspect in this game makes it so that navigating our eagle is achieved by moving and rotating your head. And secondly, the joy of being able to play and compete against real life players makes this one a game that’ll make you believe you’re an eagle doing some amazing aerial moves.
Steering away from those first person survival horror games that are already beginning to saturate VR, Farpoint for the Playstation VR opts to go for more of that sci-fi element than anything else. Yes, it’s a first person shooter, but what sets it apart from everything else is in how it incorporates the new Playstation VR Aim – a light gun accessory that makes it feel like you’re actually holding the weapon in the game.
Check it out: Hands on with Farpoint
This is one step at bridging that experience, since the Playstation VR Aim is used to target enemies. Visually, the game is already looking polished with the landscape you’re thrown into in the game. Farpoint seems to heavily rely on the Playstation VR Aim, to give players that realistic experience of wielding a weapon. The realism is apparent, especially given that shadows react to the way it’s being held.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Another title that we played on the Oculus Rift, but will also come to the HTC Vive and Playstation VR, gave us that experience that every hardcore Trekie dreams of – and that’s being on the bridge of a Federation starship. In Star Trek: Bridge Crew, we’re put into the role of an officer that’s on board the USS Aegis. This co-op Star Trek game is as realistic as they come, more so when you’re seated in your station on the bridge, doing your job to complete the mission.
Check it out: Hands on with Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Not only does it make us feel like we’re actually part of the crew, since we’re given specific roles, but the level of engagement is aided by the game’s use of the new Oculus Touch controllers. Unlike the usual gamepad, the Oculus Touch provides for more dexterity by allowing us to have finer motor skills with our fingers and hands. It’s necessary in interacting with the instrument panel that’s in front of us! So, if you ever dreamed about being at the helm during an encounter with a Klingon bird of prey, or diverting power to the warp cores like good ‘ol Scotty, then Star Trek: Bridge Crew will undoubtedly bring them to virtual life.
Okay, it’s technically wasn’t first announced at E3, but Front Defense for the HTC Vive continued to amaze us at the show. Our friends over at Android Authority got the chance to check it out at Computex, but we managed to experience it ourselves at E3 2016. In this exclusive title, you take the roll of a soldier battling on the front lines of World War II. Knowing how the HTC Vive differentiates itself from the other VR experiences out there, Front Defense is one of those titles that really capitalizes on the platform’s immersive quality.
Check out: Hands on with Front Defense
This first person shooter has no equal in the space at the moment, mainly because it makes great use of the Vive’s controllers – like how you hold and shoot a weapon, as well as reloading it. No more is it just a simple press of a button to reload or switch your weapon, but rather, you have to remove empty clips and magazines, insert a fresh one, and then properly hold the weapon to fire. Furthermore, your stance in the game will be the difference between life or death, as covering behind sandbags and other things, while laying down suppressive fire, will help you go far in the game.
Resident Evil 7
All of this brings us to the most anticipated VR game announced at E3 2016! This prestigious award goes to survival horror game Resident Evil 7 for the Playstation VR. During Sony’s press conference, they teased the game with its unconventional first person approach – one that’s clouded around the edges, giving the view a vignette look. At first, the game didn’t see all that intense like the previous games in the series, since there was more exploration than survival.
However, things definitely took a turn when a brief glimpse of someone caught the character’s view. Now that gamers are transported into the eerie world of Resident Evil, the VR aspect will certainly send a new degree of chills to players who were already apprehensive playing the game alone, in the dark, and by themselves. Resident Evil is the perfect game to bring into the VR realm, so we’re most excited about what other scares and surprises it has in store for everyone when it launches on the Playstation VR.
What do you think?
Those were just some of the best games we personally were able to check out, though we didn’t get hands on time with games like Batman: Arkham VR – which is unfortunate. Out of all the VR games announced at E3 2016, what was your favorite? Was it one on this list, or not? Share your thoughts down in the comments.