WELCOME TO OUR VIRTUAL FUTURE

 

Every time video game developers talk about the future of gaming, Virtual Reality is seen as the zenith, an unattainable dream only realized in movie screens. VR has been a staple of science fiction for so long that it’s weird to see it sold in stores.

But in truth, VR is not that new since VR Games started popping up as early as 1997. It’s been a fringe market since with odd games coming out here and there. The tech just wasn’t ready then, but now it is.

We’re seeing the first fruits that bear from the years of research and development. Games will be measured before and after VR. Such is the impact of the new technology. VR games are touted as the future of gaming and these few games are a peek at what they could be.

PAVLOV VR

 

PAVLOV VR is the dream every kid has had ever since he fired up Counter Strike. But for those who believe gaming competition is reliant on fast twitch muscle memory of the fingers PAVLOV is the higher proving ground.

Winners are no longer determined by a flick of the wrist or a twitch of a finger. It now takes considerable effort to line up a headshot. [B1] Players have to implement tactics used in real life shootouts such as the use of cover fire and shooting behind corners effectively.

Reload time, which is one of the most crucial seconds of a firefight, is now determined by the actual speed of the player’s reload. This game takes advantage of the inherent realism in VR games. 

This could be the seed that grows to be the next generation of competitive professional gaming. They won’t be strapped to a chair but instead running around an empty arena in real life and navigating corridors and rooms in the virtual world. 

Have we seen the future? With Pavlov you’d think it’s already here. A first glimpse of what the future of competitive gaming looks like.

 

Déraciné

Known for their dark fantasy action games, From Software developed Deracine, a VR game that focuses more on atmosphere and the interactive discovery of a narrative that isn’t spoon-fed to the player.

Deracine is a video game yes but it’s more akin to an interactive horror novel. The player is a fairy and the game takes place in a boarding school while traveling between the present and the past to solve puzzles and to discover more of the story. The player interacts with the ghost of a girl who’s a former student.

There are puzzles to solve but they’re relatively easy. The game is more interested in providing chilling atmosphere and an unnerving tone of understated dread throughout. 

The game has to be experienced to be understood. There have been numerous games with the same concept but the VR element puts it in a league above.

ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN

Here is an example of new technology putting a new spin on a known commodity. Ace Combat has carved a well-deserved niche as one of the best and longest running flight combat games in gaming history. It tows the line between realistic and arcade gameplay that allows it to cater to a wide variety of players.

Where previous installments it plays as a third person flight combat, Ace Combat VR elevates it to a different experience by virtue of the first person perspective. Gone are the days of turning a joystick to look around, instead the player has to actually turn his head to get a bead on the enemy planes behind him. This turns it to an almost completely different game. The simple act of changing the perspective wouldn’t be as effective without the added 

 

These are just a few examples showing the massive leaps videogames have taken in the past decade. These games have existed before, there’s nothing groundbreaking here, but the use of VR elevates it to a completely unparalleled experience. VR is no longer a novelty but an integral part of the gameplay.

We are taking cover behind a wall and lining up our rifle’s iron sights. We’re not just pressing a mouse button and watching our character perform the action with inhuman quickness and stability. We see the torn piece of paper hidden behind a picture frame and we read the hidden clues. We spin about in search of the plane launching missiles at us-- not the playable character we control with a joystick.

If this is the first year of VR games where the technology is finally catching up to the concepts, we won’t have to imagine what the future of gaming looks like-- we’ll be able to play them within the next five years.