Although VR tech seems new the concept of this technology dates way back to the early 20th century. The idea of virtual reality was explored in the book Pygmalion’s Spectacles, which is a story of an inventor who creates goggles that can create elaborate sensory illusions. After that attempts at VR tech were done to create more elaborate movie experiences. And in the 80s NASA and other institutions created a tech that can simulate different environments and users had to use a headset.
When it comes to gaming the main product we all remember is Oculus Rift which launched in 2012. This was later acquired by Facebook and the tech was in a way recognized as an interesting investment. So, this is when the era of VR gaming actually starts.
Kinect and VR
The idea behind VR is that you don’t rely on a TV set to play games but rather on the headset. In order to make the whole experience more immersive it would be useful if players were actually standing and if their in-game avatar mimicked their movement. Luckily we already had a similar but not too satisfying experience with Kinect and Nintendo Wii games.
Players still had to rely on their TV but instead of sitting, they had to move around. Some games were really fun and well-executed but others felt too clunky and painful to play. Still, it was a step in the right direction and it kind of revealed what is to come.
VR Play Sets
In 2017 more companies released their own VR equipment for gaming. In addition to headsets players now had sensors tracking the location and movement of their limbs. We also started to see more and more games developed for VR. The game wasn’t initially released as a VR game, but the way it was adapted to this technology was amazing and it allowed the trend to break the ice.
This was a great choice for one of the first VR games. Given how the gameplay really puts an emphasis on your motion. Your enemies move only when you move, so each flinch matters and you really need to think before you do anything with your body.
Beat Saber is the game released in 2019 and it gives a pretty good demonstration of how fun and engaging VR games can be.
On a surface level, it looks like you are just slicking blocks or boxes with virtual sabers. However, when you get into it and see how the game wants to make you play in sync with the music or the beat, you start to realize how all of it is really incredible, and yet it looks so simple. Moreover, you get to play some of the iconic songs from Green Day and Linkin Park, so it’s kind of a VR version of Guitar Hero.
The Walking Dead Saints and Sinners
This is what VR gaming is all about, and it is safe to say that The Walking Dead exceeded everyone’s expectations. It’s not as creepy as you have hoped but you have an amazing amount of freedom in this game, and killing zombies is way more challenging than it looks on the trailer.