One could say that virtual reality didn’t properly take off this year until the PlayStation VR released. While HTC Vive and Oculus Rift had their takers, it ultimately came down to the games on offer. Fortunately, when PlayStation VR launched in October, it brought plenty of awesome games to the forefront. Not every title was a winner but those that were made a tremendous impact in proving VR as a viable gaming medium.
This isn’t your dad’s Battlezone. Battlezone VR is the universe re-imagined as a faux Tron-style warzone with compelling shooting and excellent visuals. That is, if you’re a fan of neon aesthetics and polygonal shapes (don’t worry – the developer makes it work). When it comes to VR shooters, there are few better games for beginners than Battlezone VR.
An eclectic mix of rhythmic racer, sleek high-stakes thriller and surreal noise-filled ambiance, Thumper came out of nowhere to claim our hearts as one of the best PlayStation VR titles – and games – of this year. Subliminally addictive, the rhythmic violence of Thumper will draw you into its future-noir world like no other.
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
Sometimes you just need a game with giant mechs engaging in combat sports to prove VR is worthwhile. RIGS: Mechanized Combat League did just that and so much more. The action is Rocket League-esque in terms of mayhem and the sports tie-ins add that extra bit of competitive adrenaline to the mix. Until the real world sees the appeal of giant mech sports, RIGS is the best possible place to experience it.
For years, EVE was a simple online MMO that galvanized its dedicated, cult-like fan base to manic heights. EVE: Valkyrie brings us that universe in a different package – one of space combat. Despite concerns with the plot and campaign, Valkyrie soared high with its awesome controls and memorable dog-fights. It also didn’t hurt that the game looked and sounded great.
Many years ago, Rez released and many didn’t know what to make of it. The combination of tunes created when shooting foes thus promoting a sort of synesthesia to the entrancing electronic soundtrack made Rez a classic. More than a decade later, Rez Infinite brings the series into its most obvious evolution – virtual reality.
Shakespeare spoke quite a lot about the “man that hath no music in himself” and it wasn’t exactly positive. But it’s hard to imagine the sort of person who wouldn’t love Rez Infinite. It’s not enough to simply play along with the music – the VR version makes you one with the music. There’s no distinction between you and the synesthesia generated. What other VR experience can lay claim to accomplishing that? Area X further innovates on the base game’s ambitions by setting you loose into space. Combined with the enhanced freedom and movement with the joyous trance it can put you into, Rez Infinite is easily the best PlayStation VR game yet in the headset’s lifespan.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.