This week’s new Oculus releases feature arcade racing for both Rift and Gear VR. There are also several high profile shooters making their way out of Early Access. Not in the mood for action? Take a deep dive into underwater exploration:
by The Revera Corporation
Far more than a VR music video, Water Planet is an otherworldly adventure set to the music of Elizabeth Ann Clark, a.k.a. ambient musician VIRGO. Set on a distant aquatic planet, the game tasks players with guiding a cybernetic jellyfish through the underwater ruins of vanished civilizations. Its ethereal seascapes and dreamy electronic soundtrack remind us a bit of a science fiction-oriented version of ABZU, and we’re dying to take a deep dive into this one.
Oculus Rift | 3.5 GB | $19.99 from Steam
Cargo Racing VR
by Virtual Arts Ltd.
A cartoonish-looking truck racing game, Cargo Racing VR is deceptively simple but designed for easy accessibility. Between its single-button control scheme and a third person perspective – a decision based on comfort testing and shown to be less likely to cause motion sickness – it’s meant to be a casual and easy entrance for VR newcomers. We also like that it looks like slot car racing, though without the ozone smell from burning engines.
Gear VR | 164 MB | $2.99 from the Oculus Store
by Ninja Whale Studios
An idea so brilliant in its simplicity we can’t believe we didn’t come up with it ourselves, Tractorball is more or less a VR take-off on the ever-popular Rocket League. As indicated by the title, players drive rocket-powered tractors rather than rocket-powered cars, but the general concept is the same: high speed vehicular soccer, complete with rocket boosts and power-ups.
Probably the biggest release of the week, Raw Data – now out of Early Access – is a cyberpunk FPS with loads of features, multiple playable characters, cross-platform co-op and PVP modes, and a storyline straight out of an early Neil Stephenson novel. It’s also won loads of awards, including Best VR Game at the Game Developers Conference.
by Tapps Games
Sunken is a simple hidden object game for mobile VR, but we love its setting and the concept of exploring a long-sunken ship. Between the sound effects – whale songs and SCUBA bubbles – and the setting, complete with sharks and cetaceans passing by the portholes of the rusted wreck, this packs a lot of atmosphere into a basic mobile hidden object game.
Gear VR | 540 MB | $1.99 from the Oculus Store
Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:
Dead Effect 2 VR
by BadFly Interactive
Another fairly high budget project just leaving Early Access, Dead Effect 2 VR is the latest game in a science fiction/horror series originally released for mobile. The premise is hardly original – zombies on a spaceship – but the slick graphics and RPG elements, like gear and skill upgrades, give this more depth than the typical VR shooter with a storyline that takes over 8 hours to complete.
Oculus Rift | 14 GB | $24.99 from Steam
Crowe: The Drowned Armory
by The Rogue Initiative
Originally released for HTC Vive and now making its way to the Rift, Crowe: The Drowned Armory is the first in an episodic series of action adventures set in a science/fantasy world that reminds us a bit of Avatar, complete with elfin aliens fighting off waves of mechanical enemies. Though criticized for its short length – a couple of puzzles and a shooting sequence – it does have some gorgeous visuals and a pure exploration mode for players looking to absorb some of the planet’s atmosphere (pun intended), as well as an arena battle mode if wave shooters are more your thing.
Be sure to check back next week for more Oculus releases and the latest news in avant-garde VR developments from this year’s IndieCade.
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