After a few slow weeks, the post-holiday dry spell is over. This week’s new Oculus releases are Rift-heavy – sorry, Gear VR players – but offer a variety of out-of-this-world exploration opportunities, from deep space dog fights to underwater base-building:
from Orange Bridge Studios
Having started as an arcade shooter for Google Cardboard and then making it to Gear VR, End Space finally makes its way to the Rift. It’s a match made in heaven, and even Gear VR users that have already played it will want this version, since the Rift’s expanded processing power is perfect for rendering the game’s awe-inspiring visions of dazzling deep space battles and awe-inspiring star-scapes.
Essentially a VR expansion into the venerable genre of outer space dog fight simulator, End Space has an advantage over EVE: Valkyrie – the game it most closely resembles – in that it’s a story-driven, single-player campaign, so player-matching and server support won’t arise as potential issues to the immersion factor.
Oculus Rift | 1.6 GB | $19.99 from Oculus
from Unknown Worlds Entertainment
Perhaps this week’s most expansive offering, Subnautica finally swims its way out of Early Access with loads of aquatic environments to explore on an alien water planet. Combining exploration with crafting, you’ll need to keep on your toes – or swim fins, rather – gathering parts and crafting equipment for your undersea station while avoiding the massive predators that hunt beneath the waves.
Though it’s not an exclusively VR-based game, its undersea world really does seem ideal for the medium…though perhaps not for the claustrophobic.
Oculus Rift | 20 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or $24.99 from Steam
from Stonepunk Studios
Still in Early Access, this ambitious story-driven action game is already getting loads of positive press and Steam reviews. A big part of that is its setting: an intriguing hybrid of science fiction and fantasy with a hint of psychedelia, it looks like the more interesting bits of Avatar with maybe just a touch of Zeno Clash and Frank Frazetta in the mix.
With a single-player campaign already playable and loads more levels on the way, Primordian already looks like a must-have for hardcore VR gamers.
Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $24.99 from Steam
A Handful of Keflings
The third in a series of casual, family-friendly city-building sims from NinjaBee, this marks the first foray into VR for Kefling-kind. While the titular little creatures themselves might be a little too cloyingly cute for some – they look a bit like garden gnomes – A Handful of Keflings looks like a pleasant and relaxing diversion for VR players needing a break from high-speed space battles, bloody monster-bashing or underwater exploration.
And the perspective – players don’t enter the village directly, but hover over it like a tabletop game – ensures a comfortable experience unlikely to provoke motion sickness even among the most sensitive.
Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam
The Perfect Sniper
from Sinn Studio Inc.
Inspired by old school cop vs. gangster movies, The Perfect Sniper tasks players with finding and assassinating mob targets in an attempt to take back the streets by any means necessary. Its release has been marred by delays – it was initially pushed back a week, then launched with part of the story campaign missing – but we love the way this looks, combining slightly campy Mafia motifs and frantic car chase scenes with low-poly character models.
Oculus Rift | 15 GB | $16.99 from Steam
Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases
from Oh!WHATif Inc.
BattleSky VR is a multi-player aerial combat game. Just released in Early Access, it only has two characters to choose from, but given that they’re a dragon and a futuristic flying armor suit in the vein of Iron Man…there’s really no way to make a wrong choice. And the flying mechanic is already quite solid, so this is worth picking up even in its current state.
Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $4.99 from Steam
Be sure to check back next week for more news about the latest and greatest Oculus Rift and Gear VR games.