5 Games that could save VR
The reason why those launches felt like a wet blanket, wasn't because of the technology or the hardware itself, because that part of the equation absolutely works. The real reason is the software.
Due to the hype around VR, we've seen a veritable gold rush of small indie developers and upstarts pushing their try-hard "emotional experiences" at ridiculous price points. It was especially the Oculus stream that showed just how poor the launch library was, lacking any quality games about destroying stuff or killing something... Which is what real games are all about.
The HTC Vive did one better with Hover Junkers, which thanks to the special controllers, put 2 and 2 together and came up with an actual game about shooting guns at other people.
I'm not trying to be down on walking sims, because they were pretty novel a few years ago, but now that we're figuratively swimming in them, it's just too much. Listen here; if I wanted to experience a flower or be sad about my own mortality and identity in an oppressive dystopian future ruled by mega corps, I'd go outside. One thing I can't reasonably do outside is to murder someone or destroy something.
It doesn't have to take a lot. Even the simple pleasure of smashing plates at a carnival fair could be multiplied 100-fold in VR by giving you a bat and just letting you go to town in a nice looking kitchen or glass boutique. It's frustrating when a simple piece of Unity-store-asset-flip-Youtuber-bait looks a 10 times more interesting than most of the other VR "experiences" available right now, by virtue of allowing the player the simple pleasures of having a handgun and stuff to shoot at.
Not all hope is lost though. PlayStation still have their VR headset on the way, with promising titles such as PlayStation VR Worlds, Battlezone and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. Even at their basic techdemo-ish state, they still look like actual games that are improved through VR, with the kinda gameplay familiarity VR really needs to be marketable.
The real challenge to making a game for VR is that the player need an anchor point. You can't just slap VR onto any old FPS game, because it causes the players to get motion sick. If you put players in a cockpit or make something that effectively utilizes the limited area that Vive's Room Scale allows, they won't get motion sick, so the question remains: How do you make a VR game with actual substance that makes you want to come back and keep playing?
I've thought about it for quite a while and come up with 5 ideas that I think could save VR.