Virtual Reality at PAX East 2016
It took a little longer than many people had hoped and anticipated, but virtual reality is finally a commercial and affordable reality. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Gear VR are paving the road to the virtual future, and the amount of developers working on VR titles has increased significantly since the release of both VR headsets. A handful of these titles will be available at PAX East to play.
From Secret Agents To Space Battles, Get Your Fix
First up is Hitman GO: VR Edition, which takes the bald assassin for hire Agent 47 out of the third-person world and into virtual, highly detailed dioramas. The turn-based strategy game will send Agent 47 into all new locations with his classic gear (Silverballers, sniper rifles, etc.) and a new story for both the Oculus Rift and Gear VR.
I Expect You To Die is a pretty morbid title for a first-person puzzle game, but that’s exactly what happens if a player fails to solve the puzzles – instant death! Players take control of a secret agent who must solve a number of puzzles in different stages. The current demo takes place inside a vehicle locked in a cargo plane. The agents must use their brains, wits, and a few good reflexes to steal the vehicle.
Moving on from secret agents, Fated is a first-person adventure game set during the time of the Vikings. The episodic adventure centers on a Viking father and husband who must feed and protect his family from angry Norse gods upset over...well, who knows, but they’re mad!
Swing Star has simple one-button controls that navigate a little boy sporting a helmet with a giant hand/arm attached to it. Why? Because little dude needs to swing around with it across 16 levels. We don’t recommend this one to anyone with motion sickness.
Musically inclined gamers with a passion for 2001: A Space Odyssey and a love for space battles will love the PlayStation VR version of Thumper. The racing/battle/music hybrid title takes the next level in immersion when it arrives to PS VR.
Beyond The Games
On the lighter side of VR gaming, there’s the VirZOOM, which isn’t a game at all but an accessory. The device is designed to look like the world’s most minimalist exercise bike, but with a horseshoe-shaped steering wheel/control rig instead of handlebars. There are a number of exercise games available for the VZ and the device is compatible with PCs as a controller. Imagine your next session of Counter-Strike as a true calorie burner!
Finally, PAX East will host Frank Azor (Alienware). Anna Sweet (Oculus), and Joe Kreiner (Epic Games) for a special panel. Dubbed Alienware, Oculus, and Epic Games: The Driving Forces Behind VR, the three panelists, plus a surprise special guest, will talk about the past, present, and future of virtual reality.