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Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality photo
Virtual Reality

Samsung's $99 Gear VR headset out now in US

International release to follow
Nov 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Oculus and Samsung's $99 Gear VR headset is now available in the United States. The attractive price point comes with one caveat: the device is only compatible with this year's line of Samsung smartphones (the Galaxy Not...
Back to Dinosaur Island photo
Back to Dinosaur Island

Crytek's VR adventure Back to Dinosaur Island free on Steam

Not the same as Robinson
Nov 18
// Darren Nakamura
Is it possible to go "back" to Dinosaur Island without ever having been there in the first place? Apparently it is, because Crytek just released a short virtual reality demo on Steam called Back to Dinosaur Island. From the r...
PS4 photo

Korean horror game White Day looks fantastic

Coming to PlayStation VR
Nov 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at a Sony Computer Entertainment media event in South Korea, a local studio Roi Games showed off an impressive-looking PlayStation VR project by the name of White Day. It appears to be a remake of White Day: A Laby...
Cat games photo
Cat games

VERY IMPORTANT: PlayStation VR has a game where you play as a cat

Smitten by the kitten
Nov 03
// Brett Makedonski
Thus far, Sony's South Korea presser has been predictably light on news. Shu has some sweet checkered pants. There was a lengthy dubstep dance routine. Only 3,200 people are watching on Twitch. PlayStation VR has hogged the s...

More Tekken photo
More Tekken

Tekken 7 will use PlayStation VR

But how? And why?
Oct 27
// Jordan Devore
When I slid out of bed this morning and started prepping for Sony's press conference at Paris Games Week, I didn't imagine the event would be home to so much Tekken stuff. First, there was a cute bit in which series producer ...
Robinson: The Journey photo
Robinson: The Journey

Crytek shows off its VR dinosaur game Robinson at Paris Games Week

Don't get squashed
Oct 27
// Darren Nakamura
There was but a whisper of Robinson: The Journey back in June, and now developer Crytek has shown off a bit more of it during the virtual reality portion of Sony's Paris Games Week press conference. The trailer features not o...
Until Dawn photo
Until Dawn

That Until Dawn virtual reality DLC is real

Real scary, probably
Oct 27
// Brett Makedonski
This news is a little bit old because we reported it last week, but now it's confirmed. Super scary horror game Until Dawn is getting an add-on, and that DLC will be playable on PlayStation VR. The expansion is called&n...
Until Dawn photo
Until Dawn

Rumor: New DLC coming for Until Dawn titled Rush of Blood

On rails, VR, and Wendigos
Oct 21
// Laura Kate Dale
[Update: Rush of Blood was announced as a stand alone VR title at Paris Games Week. Told you internet, it's legit]. According to an email received today by Destructoid, verified and confirmed through a second independent sour...
Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square Enix plans to remake a lot of old games

Let's get milking
Oct 21
// Laura Kate Dale
Back at E3 this year, Square Enix announced probably the most-requested remake from the company's back catalog, a remake of Final Fantasy VII. According to a recently released annual report, Final Fantasy VII is just the star...
Movies photo

Spielberg to direct Ready Player One

Expected to release December 2017
Oct 14
// Vikki Blake
Steven Spielberg will be directing Ready Player One, a movie based upon the novel of the same name. The sci-fi film is expected to release on December 15, 2017.
Capcom eying VR photo
Capcom eying VR

Capcom building new engine with VR support

That horror tech demo was just the start
Oct 13
// Jordan Devore
If Capcom plans to mix Resident Evil with virtual reality, you can sign me right up. In its 118-page annual report, the company described what its various development groups have been up to lately. Development Division 1, the...
Holy shit! photo
Holy shit!

Now *that's* how you defuse a bomb

Learn from the best
Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a game about defusing bombs. And teamwork. One person is presented with a randomized bomb that no one else can see or touch. The other players are blind, but they have access to the game's ...
Sci-fi adventure photo
Sci-fi adventure

Pollen is a sci-fi thriller without jump scares

VR optional but recommended
Oct 05
// Jordan Devore
Another game for the "best played in virtual reality" list. Pollen, as you might recall from that time Brett ran a story about bees, is a sci-fi exploration game set on the largest moon of Saturn. You're on a research station, pulling and prodding things to solve puzzles, take in the environmental storytelling, and find out "what hides under Titan's surface."
Noon VR photo
Noon VR

Noon VR is a neat home experience, but the tech is very limited

Far from true VR
Oct 02
// Chris Carter
As most of you know, I'm not completely sold on VR yet. I mean, I actually really like the tech, it's very cool, but I'm literally not sold on it. I've had a full-time job basically since I was 15, so I could genera...
Virtual reality photo
Virtual reality

Oculus Rift will be 'at least $300'

Higher end of previous price range
Sep 29
// Steven Hansen
Forget possible implementation and motion sickness: the hill to climb for VR acceptance is paying hundreds of dollars for a goofy ass pair of goggles. It's not like smart phones, where increased functionality was mapped on to...
No more motion sick photo
No more motion sick

Valve: If VR makes you sick, it's the developer's fault

Blame the carpenter, not the tools
Sep 28
// Steven Hansen
Fear of motion sickness and living room ruining vomit is one of the sticking points surrounding the definitely-happening-and-not-at-all-actually-unlikely VR revolution. And while I kind of dislike the relative sensory depriva...

Virtual reality never worked for me until I got to try the HTC Vive

Sep 28 // Joe Parlock
It’s worth noting at this point that this was the second day of a very loud, badly-lit event, and I was absolutely knackered. My eye was about as bad as it could be without being totally blind, and so I was in the prime condition to try and prove Valve wrong with its absolutist claims. I even took my glasses off, I was so ready to catch them out. I was getting ready to feign interest in the game as the goggles were lowered over my head. I’d had practice with the Rift after all: politely try and finish the demo and contain my disappointment at yet another bad VR experience. But as my eyes adjusted to looking out into space, I realised that holy shit... It worked. Me and my janky eye (powered purely by the godawful energy drink they were handing out to EGX visitors) were able to actually enjoy VR for the very first time. It was strangely emotional, looking around with nigh-on perfect head tracking and seeing a whole world which wasn’t the one I was sat in. I’ve heard plenty of reactions to using the Vive: people crying, people shaking, but it felt different to me. A part of me was impressed with the technology, but a bigger part of me was relieved that my condition maybe hasn’t precluded me from the VR future after all. I couldn’t quite breathe, and every time I managed to talk it was peppered with swearing and “oh my god”s. Those reactions were not earned by the game itself, as fun as Elite may be I had no god damn idea what I was doing, but by how VR had just been opened up to me at last after spending the last year convinced I would have to let it pass me by. I found myself completely immersed in my little spaceship, and I totally forgot about the huge convention going on just outside that room. I wasn’t in that small, cramped booth any more, I was in space. I would try and find the enemy by leaning over the back of my chair (and almost falling off), the HUDs of the spaceship flickering on as I turned to look at them… it wasn’t the small cinema experience I’d had with the Rift, and it wasn’t blurry even without my glasses. It was the VR experience I had built up in my head during the last year of people bragging about it to me, and holy fuck it worked. After Laura and I had played Elite on the Vive, all I could really do was stare at her in disbelief. I had felt slightly left out when she reacted in the exact same way ten minutes before, when coming out of the previous demo. There was a weird mix of “holy fuck that tech is amazing” and “holy fuck that tech works for me.” I was still thinking about it well into playing other games throughout the day. So while I can’t really confirm or deny Valve’s claim the Vive works for everyone, I can confirm it worked for me, the guy who even blue-red 3D glasses don’t work for. The Vive’s technology is amazing for everyone who’s at all interested in virtual reality I’m sure, and for VR connoisseurs it’s probably the best headset currently in development, but that doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just relieved something finally works for me. Thanks, Valve. You’ve done well with this. Remember, you can read Laura’s impressions on the HTC Vive too. She’s got way more experience with VR than I do, and she still thinks the Vive is a game changer.
HTC Vive photo
Me and my broken eye were in space
A long time ago, Valve and HTC boasted that their upcoming VR headset -- the HTC Vive if you’ve somehow managed to miss it -- would cause nausea for "zero percent of players." That sort of absolute statement got me inte...

I used the Oculus Rift to high-five a dead alien in Surgeon Simulator

Sep 27 // Zack Furniss
The Oculus Connect 2 event felt very rushed, so I hurried to my demo appointment for some hands-on time with the Rift. A Hollywood-looking Oculus employee charmingly asked what type of genre I wanted to start with. "Horror," I quickly blurted out, anxiously wanting to experience some spooky VR. He looked taken aback, and quietly said "Well, we don't -- well, I guess aliens are scary..." and booted up Surgeon Simulator. It's not what I would have picked, but I went with it anyway. After fitting the headset onto my noggin and the Oculus Touch controllers onto my meathooks, I opened my eyes and found myself aboard a space station. There was an extraterrestrial splayed out on a table, its midsection an open maw hungry for my hands and tools. Beyond the corpse was a window peering out into the void of space. Glancing about the room, I took stock of what surgical instruments I would require. I needed to remove an explosive, glowing orb from the alien's stomach before it destroyed the station. As I used my real-life hands to direct their in-game counterparts towards my first tool, Hollywood began recommending I grab the bonesaw. I turned my head in his general direction (remember there was a whole reality between him and I) and told him "Quiet, nurse. I am the doctor now." I heard a combination of a grunt and a giggle and continued on my way. I grabbed a hatchet and began cutting into the alien. Again, he protested and I cut him off with a "Shhh..." I let go of the hatchet and realized I was in a zero-g environment. It casually drifted away from me as I turned to my next tool, a four-pointed device that looked like a shuriken. With all my might, I flung it into the alien's stomach(?) and watched as it began ricocheting off of the various surfaces in the room. Glass was now floating all around me, but I waved it away in annoyance. Next, I grabbed a clock and started smashing it into the alien just to see what would happen. All that happened was a mess that I told Nurse Hollywood to clean up when we were done. Time was beginning to run short, and I begrudgingly reached for the bonesaw. I hacked into the ribcage-looking protusion and used both hands to grab the orb, and chucked it out the garbage shoot. It drifted outside the window and exploded non-chalantly. To celebrate, I grabbed my alien friend's cold (I assume) dead hand with my left hand, and gave him a high five with the right. His hand drifted back slowly and without purpose, and Nurse Hollywood, sounding quite afraid, whispered "What just happened? Did you just..." And I nodded triumphantly. I took off the headset and handed it back to the wide-eyed man who wasn't sure what he had just watched. The combination of the Oculus Rift and Touch lent Surgeon Simulator more presence, and it helped me role-play (something I don't really do outside of D&D) even with a stranger staring at me the whole time. Something about shutting out the rest of the world makes you feel more involved, though it's tough to ignore outside factors. That's why Nurse Hollywood became one of my surgical instruments; if I was going to look ridiculous in front of him, he was going to be part of it, dammit. 
Surgeon Simulator photo
Up high! Down low! ...Alien?
Surgeon Simulator is the type of game that easily lends itself to stories. The precise mechanics involved provide anecdotes wherein each player can fondly recall specific moments of their playthrough. Though my time as a...

Bullet Train is the ultimate 10-minute light gun game

Sep 27 // Zack Furniss
My brief time with Bullet Train had me equipped with and Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch. The Touch had a pleasant heft to it that I wasn't expecting, and it didn't do that weird clicksquish thing that some controllers do when you squeeze them. A cheery Oculus representative gave me a brief tutorial as the demo began, but her instructions made it seem more complicated than it actually was. I began on a moving subway. An authoritative man spoke to me through the headset, telling me that as an agent, I needed to become acquainted with teleportation technology. Using a face button on the controller in my left hand, I could simultaneously slow down time and aim at a (Oculus) rift and quickly warp through space. After this, I was taught how to pick up weapons (by using a button near my ring and middle fingers with either hand), which felt natural in a way I hadn't anticipated. Since teleporting and dudeshooting are all I was going to be doing, I was ready. Fwiiiish. The subway doors slide open, the two pistols in my hands becoming deleterious paintbrushes capable of crossing out whoever I came across. I dilated time, various rifts opening for me, beckoning for me with large text decrying SHOTGUN or GRENADES, as if I was window shopping for more murderous methods. Like an inexperienced lover, I initially chose to deal death in the most simple yet effective ways I knew how. Point, shoot, teleport, repeat. Once I acclimated to not having traditional movement, I realized that without the use of my feet, it was up to my hands to bring satisfaction to this gunfight. Some of the best first-person shooters are about circle-strafing, jumping, positioning -- the spaces in between every trigger pull -- but Bullet Train doesn't occupy that same space. Here, it's about holding a pistol in one hand and a pump-action shotgun in the other, firing each, then slowing time to throw the pistol into the air, racking the action of said shotgun, catching the pistol, and resuming the bullet buffet. These moments are what make Bullet Train work. Racking a shotgun with one hand à la Terminator 2. Freezing time, pinching bullets, and flicking them at your enemies. Snatching rockets out of the air and flinging them back at the flying robot boss. Unloading pistols at two enemies and then dispatching a third by hurling your guns at him. It'd all make you feel incredibly cool if there wasn't someone holding a cable attached to your head. If I was at home, I'd probably be barking out horrible one-liners with a dumb grin on my face. What doesn't work is that the teleporting is disorienting, but not in the way one usually associates with the Oculus Rift. While everything felt incredibly intuitive (and I didn't get sick), teleporting doesn't make you face the direction you're pointing toward. The rifts are basically set up in a circle so that you can fight the steady trickle of men as they spawn in the center of the room. But something about teleporting across the room and abruptly turning around doesn't feel right. I don't think warping is the solution to fast-paced movement in all first-person games. It gives Bullet Train a Time Crisis feel, which isn't necessarily a negative, but would make it difficult to play something like this for longer than a few hours. I simultaneously hope this concept develops into something more refined, but also pray it isn't the template other studios follow. At Oculus Connect 2, I heard attendees complaining Bullet Train was getting too much attention when virtual reality has the potential to be a portal to so many different worlds. To me, first-person shooters were inevitably going to be a highlight for goggles that can take you to alternate dimensions. So long as we see these places through prisms other than down the barrel of a gun, I don't see the harm in highly-polished festivals of testosterone. P.S. Here's a bonus of picture, Rift-clad and full of sex appeal:
Bullet Train photo
Be a badass for 10 minutes
The other day at Oculus Connect 2, Epic Games announced its newest VR demo, Bullet Train. Instead of a simulation following legislators dealing with the political red tape surrounding the bullet train between Los Angeles to S...

Adr1ft photo

Adr1ft will be an Oculus Rift launch game

Delayed to Q1 2016
Sep 24
// Jordan Devore
Stranded in space, alone, and low on oxygen. That's the setup for Adr1ft, a nerve-wracking exploration game in development at Three One Zero. It's now releasing in Q1 2016 for PC. As revealed alongside today's Oculus Rift dev...
Minecraft x Oculus photo
Minecraft x Oculus

Minecraft is coming to Oculus Rift after all

Even if Notch thinks Facebook is creepy
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at Oculus Connect 2 in Los Angeles, company founder and Rift inventor Palmer Luckey announced Minecraft's Windows 10 Edition will support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.  The move represents an about face ...
Gear VR photo
Gear VR

Samsung unveils new Oculus-powered $99 Gear VR

Cheaper, lighter, and more comfortable
Sep 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Today at the Oculus Connect 2 conference in Los Angeles, Samsung Mobile Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy Peter Koo unveiled the company's next generation of Gear VR headsets. Koo stated the device will b...
Among the Sleep photo
Among the Sleep

Among the Sleep is dropping VR support

'Feels horrible in VR'
Sep 22
// Laura Kate Dale
Among the Sleep is one of those video games I love in theory, even if not in execution. A first person horror game where you play a small infant exploring a spooky house with a living teddy bear, the game was creepy in all th...
Land's End photo
Land's End

Too bad I won't be able to play Land's End

VR adventure from Monument Valley devs
Sep 21
// Jordan Devore
Monument Valley is a good game for good people. Its creator Ustwo Games is prepping its next project, a first-person virtual-reality adventure, for release on October 30, 2015. But the thing is, it's only coming to Samsung's ...
Morpheus photo

Morpheus, sorry, PlayStation VR, has my attention

But not my money, yet
Sep 18
// Chris Carter
This week at TGS, I finally had a chance to try out Sony's take on VR. Newly christened "PlayStation VR," the headset is sleek and flashy, and rumors suggest that it will be sold for a cheaper price than its competitors. Of c...
Summer Lesson photo
Summer Lesson

Tekken team's Summer Lesson returns for TGS

VR demo for PlayStation 4
Sep 15
// Jordan Devore
Summer Lesson is a "VR character communication demo" for Project Morpheus (now simply PlayStation VR) developed by the Tekken team. There's a new trailer out of Tokyo Game Show. Unlike Josh, I will probably never interact wit...
Playstation VR photo
Playstation VR

RIP Morpheus, long live Playstation VR

The name change finally happened
Sep 15
// Laura Kate Dale
The Sony PS4 Morpheus VR headset today saw a name change. Say goodbye to Morpheus, and say hello to the very plainly named Playstation VR. Yep, that's a pretty straightforward and self-explanatory name that tells people what the product is. Still no release date, but now we know it has an official name as a market product at least. 
Gmod photo

Garry's Mod is getting a virtual reality-focused sequel

Not called Garry's Mod 2
Sep 10
// Joe Parlock
Garry’s Mod is getting a sequel after almost ten years. In an interview with PCGamesN, Facepunch founder Garry Newman said a follow-up was in the works, with the intention of it making use of VR technology: …I m...
Microsoft photo

Ex-Xbox boss: 'I think there will be another generation' of consoles

But what would it look like?
Sep 08
// Vikki Blake
Former Xbox boss, Robbie Bach, believes that there will be another generation of consoles... but they probably won't look, or operate, much like they do today.  Talking to Geekwire, Bach -- who was head of Xbox for ...

Kona is a hauntingly beautiful survival adventure

Sep 02 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]308447:60214:0[/embed] Set in the wilderness of Northern Canada during the early 1970s, you play as private detective Carl Faubert as he investigates the mysterious events occurring at a remote village of Atamipek Lake. What starts as simple job of finding the unknown culprits behind the vandalism of private property, it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they seem and Carl finds himself in a whole mess of danger. With nearly the entire population of the town missing -- along with wild animals looking for their next meal -- he'll have to rely on his wits and resourcefulness in order to survive mother nature's cold embrace of the land, and learn the truth of what happened in the isolated town. As the first episode of a planned series, Carl will explore two square kilometers of land in search of clues and supplies. While on his investigation, he'll find abandoned homes and public points of interest that will give him leads. Along the way, he'll learn more about the town's unique characters while searching through their abandoned homes, notes, and other clues left behind. I really liked the atmosphere and tone that Kôna gave off. Exploring the town felt like opening up a time-capsule from the '70s, and many objects, media, and other knick-knacks from the era are presented in authentic fashion. Though be careful, exploring the environment will take a toll on Carl, and he'll have to look after himself during his journey through the wilderness. Interestingly enough, the game's survival elements do a lot to play into the core structure of intrigue and dread that the game encapsulates. While most adventure and narrative-driven games like Dear Esther or Everybody's Gone to the Rapture have players focus on story and not worry about their characters getting hurt, Kôna goes all in with survivalist gameplay. Players will manage Carl's health, temperature, stress, and carrying capacity, which adds another more pressing element to the title's structure. Eventually, you'll acquire firearms to ward off wild animals, such as packs of roaming wolves, but ammo is in extremely short supply. I was impressed to see that the two gameplay focuses, which are totally different from one another, actually work quite well together. If anything, having to mange resources and Carl's well-being adds to the urgency of the environment. Though my time with Kôna was quite brief, I really enjoyed what the developers have come up with. Blending survival elements into the narrative structure of an adventure title was alluring, and my short stint in the great white north offered a lot of intrigue. The developers are also working on special VR features for the title, which will create an even more immersive experience. Though the game is still some time away from release, Parabole has got something quite special with this evocative title.
K˘na photo
Whiteout in the great white north
It's not often we see a title that blends one of the many hallmarks of the adventure genre, a focus on a rich and evocative setting, with the tense and resource-focused gameplay of survival games. But...

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