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While virtual reality presence in gaming continues to push out of being a “gimmick” and into a full-fledged experience, the bar for quality and innovation is being raised constantly. With Sony’s PlayStation acting as the only console for VR presence, the future and success of their VR platform lies on whether they are able to present high-quality immersion and gameplay. With their initial VR release in October 2016, it seems like the game lineup is finally beginning to showcase the best and brightest of console VR. From arcade combat to Sci-Fi ship decks, the best VR games for PS4 hint at a bright future for this encapsulating branch of gaming.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
For one of the best VR games for PS4, Resident Evil 7 is a terrifying departure from the status quo of the series, even more so in VR. Play as Ethan Winters searching for his Mia, his missing wife. He will traverse desiccated, cramped environments. The enemies that creep through these buildings, and depths are dangerous and disgusting, but it's the humans that prove to be even scarier.
Like older games in the series, players will solve puzzles, use herbs for healing, and deal with limited ammo. Two of the greatest challenges with movement based VR games are motion sickness and aiming. Thanks to Resident Evil's numerous settings, and head-based aiming, neither of these two prove to be problematic. Varying difficulties can make Resident Evil 7 a true challenge and descent into horror or a cake walk depending on your stomach. This is a long, scary game that is pushing VR forward.
Fans of the original Superhot will be happy to know that its shorter VR counterpart delivers another enthralling experience of bullet time combat. As in the original, time only moves when you do. Unlike the original, your movement is limited to tilting your body and head to avoid bullet fire. While this does take alter gameplay, it creates new opportunities for level design. Firing off rounds at enemies, throwing weapons at them, and smacking them in the face are more rewarding this time around. Dodging bullets with your body rather than by strafing is far more immersive, as well. Between missions and an endless mode, Superhot VR is an intense and challenging solo experience.
Job Simulator brings joy and comedy to most mundane of workplaces. The robots seem to have taken over and put you in a job museum to experience the jobs of the past. You will work as an auto mechanic, gourmet chef, store clerk, and an office coworker. Each station will request that you perform actions that would make sense if you worked in the field. Some of the actions are accurate, while others are comical and nonsensical. You’ll derive most of your enjoyment from testing the limits of your office space.
There is an absurd amount of freedom in how you accomplish tasks and interact with the world. The developers have considered nearly everything you might do and created hilarious outcomes if you begin pushing the limits. Job Simulator is terrific alone or with friends switching off — making it one of the best VR games for PS4.
With the release of the PlayStation Aim Controller, Farpoint has taken it upon itself to showcase its capabilities and potential. Marooned on alien planet, you must shoot your way through the plethora of human-hating indigenous creatures and reunite with the other survivors in order to escape. Graphically, Farpoint looks solid in VR with immersive sound and enemies. The aim controller, another accessory to add to the PS4, is far better equipped to handle shooters than the standard motion controls.
As for one of the best VR games for PS4, the game is not without its faults though. In an attempt to ease motion sickness, you cannot fully turn around in Farpoint. Thus combat is always in one direction. This wouldn't have a drastic effect on gameplay if it weren't for lunging enemies that will kindly reposition themselves in front of you before performing the same lunge. There is solid weapon variation and enough combat instances to keep things fresh and energized. While full-fledged first person shooter action in VR still has some work ahead of it, Farpoint is a step in the right direction.
Batman Arkham VR
Batman VR was one of the first games to be released for PlayStation VR. You are put in the first person view of the great detective as you solve the murder mystery of another well-known DC character.
The story takes interactions with most of the main friends and enemies of Batman. While it is meant to take place after the events of Arkham City, most of the events are inconsequential to the overarching story of the series. While many of the gameplay elements and interactions can be rudimentary or bare bones, there is a level of immersion that comes with embodying the character of Batman that is immensely compelling. Actions like using gadgets, playing detective, and moving through the Batcave feels more personal than they do in the main series. Arkham VR is a great game for longstanding fans of the caped crusader.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is another early release for PSVR and is one of the most demented on rails shooters ever — also one of the best VR games for PS4. And I mean on rails literally. Players will take on various roller coaster rides that get progressively darker and more twisted at this beyond messed up carnival.
The game is filled with ominous sounds and jump scares but is comically fun at the same time. There are some really demented things in this game at times rivaling the content in Resident Evil 7. There are numerous weapons from pistols to sawed-off shotguns to grenade launchers to empower the player as he journeys deeper and deeper into the depths of this amusement park.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Remember when FTL came out and it felt like a top down Star Trek simulator? It was great and it gave me hope that one day a similar game will come out offering the same level of ship and crew interaction, but in 3D. Well, Star Trek: Bridge Crew has gone above and beyond, making it my current favorite PSVR title. It couldn't have come at a better time considering the start of Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville.
Enter the captain’s seat of the USS Aegis and head into deep space in search of a new home for the Vulcans after the events of the 2009 film or explore random mission mode. On the bridge, players can take the role of captain, tactical officer, engineer, and helm officer. Each role is unique and asks the player to lead, handle combat, oversee repairs and energy, and pilot. The game can be played solo or with friends. If you have three friends with VR, then it is highly recommended as the game can quickly become a workplace comedy mixed with rousing combat and missions.
Graphically, Bridge Crew is a marvel for the amount going on and it runs smooth on the PS4 Pro — making it one of the best VR games for PS4. Different ships from different eras of Star Trek offer some great fan service as the hologram panels and touch screens are replaced with colored switches and buttons of an older era. Star Trek: Bridge Crew is my pick for the best VR game for PS4 and will raise the bar for future titles.