2019 was more than a benchmark year for virtual reality. When you look at the entire year of the industry, from games to hardware, the leaps that were made came as unexpected yet welcome. From the Valve Index reinventing consumer headsets to the Oculus Quest pushing the boundaries of what standalone means, this was a great year for hardware. When it comes to games, there was no shortage in the last 365 days either. Games are what is going to propel this industry forward and bring more and more people to virtual reality.
Although games might not be the end goal of the headset creators, it is a great gateway into the software. With 2020 being just hours away, we are going to break down three games that we are looking forward to going into 2020. From stunning graphics to a gameplay system that seems perfect, these three games are likely to pull in thousands of new users to virtual reality.
Valve had been teasing the idea of their own VR game for years, and Half-Life was due for a sequel. Not many people connected the dots though, and this PC VR exclusive caught many off guard when it was first announced. Hal-Life: Alyx is going to be optimized for the Valve Index, but it is, more importantly, being built from the ground up for virtual reality. You won’t be seeing it come the PC flatscreen, and definitely won’t be coming to the console either. This game is perfectly made, and only made, for virtual reality and the unique inputs this platform has.
This game is going to put users in the spot of Alyx Vance, a professional hacker and a future side-kick to Gordon Freeman. This story is going to pick up right where the last Half-Life left off. Frozen in time and explosions everywhere. Although the entire game isn’t action, you are going to be tasked with many different ways to combat your enemies. With three different movement options and dozens of ways to interact with your environment, this game is going to likely be the game of the year in many people’s eyes.
Oculus and Facebook are usually boastful about their upcoming projects to ensure they have the fan’s attention. Just look at them saying that they “are working on AR glasses” at their latest event. But when it came their Oculus Exclusive game with Respawn, both companies were mute. This came as a surprise, especially because there were no leaks either. This game from Respawn was in the works for nearly two years without a peep. It will be coming to the Oculus Rift Platform sometime next year, and with the Oculus Link, will be available on the Oculus Quest.
This game is going to carry on the Medal of Honor franchise on the newest and hottest platform. Above and Beyond is going to carry a heavy multiplayer mode with online capabilities as well as the ability to play a solo campaign that could last for tens of hours. This is likely going to be the best first-person shooter of the year, unless of course, they decide to not polish this game with the tools they have fingertips.
Lone Echo II
The theme of this list? There is no standalone games here. Another PC VR game is taking a spot on this list, and that is because of the power of a VR ready PC. Going into the new decade, we think the idea of standalone will taper off and being connected to a heavy powered PC is going to be back in fashion. Lone Echo is another Oculus Exclusive that is going to harness the full power of your PC and push it to its limits.
Lone Echo is one of the only games that has zero gravity and still bearable to play. At the E3 event in 2019, we saw some highlights of the second version of this game that is promising even better locomotion, better combat, and more VR-built interactions. The story of Jack and Olivia lives on. Expect this game early in 2020 and to be the first big game release from any large studio.