One Friday night in early 2018 when I was home alone, I decided it was finally time for me to play Resident Evil 7. I'd heard from too many people that I just had to play it in VR, so I borrowed a PSVR, hooked up what felt like a dozen cables, positioned the camera and a chair in the middle of my living room, and started to play. I was immediately disappointed by how flat and low-res much of the environment looked in the first few minutes of RE7—the game clearly took a graphical hit to run in VR on the Playstation 4. I couldn't help wondering just how much better it could look on my far more powerful gaming PC, a room away.
Sadly, Resident Evil 7 VR's supposed year-long exclusivity deal came and went and no PC support ever materialized, which is a shame—once you get past the limitations of PSVR, it's one of the most gripping, immersive games you can play in a headset. (Also, maybe don't play it when you're home alone with the lights off. Pro tip.) Along with RE7, here are four other VR games we hope find their way to the best VR headsets on PC.
I know, I know: the most obvious possible selection, but that doesn't make it wrong. One of the year's best games is, against all odds, a new version of Tetris, from Rez and Lumines creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Not only does it feel right as a Tetris game, it uses VR in ways that are absolutely capitvating. Emotional is not a word I'd normally use to describe Tetris, but, well, here we are. It's gorgeous and moving and a must-play for anyone who has a PSVR.
Here's hoping that in 2019, it launches on PC with VR support. Odds are pretty good: Rez Infinite launched on Steam a few months after consoles, and supports both the Vive and Oculus Rift.
Jupiter & Mars
An imaginative 2019 PSVR exclusive that we'd love to see arrive on PC, too. Jupiter & Mars looks like a psychedelic trip through the ocean as a permanently high dolphin, with the kind of visual splendor that can make us go slack-jawed in VR. Some VR games we play for cool gun twirling in first person, some we play for clever puzzling or powerful storytelling, and some are just sensory experiences that take you for a ride. Jupiter & Mars looks like it'll be the latter, though it does promise puzzles and has a message about the impact of climate change to go along with its entrancing graphics.
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
We'll admit it: 2018 has been a pretty stellar year for Playstation exclusives, with God of War, Spider-man, and, apparently, Astro Bot. It's a bit surprising that one of the year's most celebrated games is a VR platformer, but here we are. By most accounts, Astro Bot isn't a particularly groundbreaking platformer. Take it out of VR, and it wouldn't blow anyone's mind. But that just goes to show how much power there is in the immersion of virtual reality. Feeling like you're *inside* the game world, and watching characters move around from a third-person perspective, ignites a feeling of playfulness that you can't get with a TV (or even in first-person VR).
As Eurogamer wrote in their review, "VR makes everything old new again." That is, crucially, not a foregone conclusion: there are plenty of VR games that try to stick to what works in genres outside of VR, and end up being a bit boring as a result. Great 3D platformers are few and far between, these days, and we'd love to have one more on the PC. But since this one is from a Sony studio, it's sadly going to stay exclusive forever.
Resident Evil 7
Resident Evil 7 was the revitalizing change this horror series desperately needed. It plays well out of VR, and its switch to a first person perspective definitely puts horror back into sharp focus. This is a creepy game, when you're simply walking down a hallway, looking closely at piles of disgusting filth, or fighting off a deranged axe murderer. All of that is even more intense in VR, which naturally moves at a slower pace. It can genuinely be hard to force yourself to walk into the next room when you know some bad, bad shit might be waiting in there for you.
Being able to play Resident Evil 7 in VR without sacrificing on image quality—it's a damn good looking game—is reason enough for it to get a PC VR port. Come on, Capcom: Since everyone's psyched about Resident Evil 2's remake coming in early 2019, why not capitalize on the attention and get people talking about RE7 again, too?
ILMxLAB's Star Wars VR experiences
Rather than a singular game, this is a collection of VR experiences made by ILM and VR company The Void over the past few years. The most recent, Secrets of the Empire, debuted at Disneyland in early 2018. You're a Rebel spy accompanying Rogue One's K-2S0 on the hunt for Imperial secrets, and are able to move around in a location-based VR setting with hand tracking, interactable objects, and everything else you'd expect from a high-end VR experience.
Not all of these experiences are designed in a way that would work at home, but ILM and The Void's next collaboration, Vader Immortal, is a VR series coming to the Oculus Quest headset. That's close enough to a PC release to make me hope the developers can rework their various Star Wars VR experiences into a package that would work well with the Vive or Rift set up for room scale. I don't care if there's much to do with them: in fact, I'd probably be more psyched to just walk around a virtually recreated Tatooine cantina than play a brief VR shooter.