It’s been over a year since PlayStation VR released. Every week new VR games have been hitting the PlayStation Store, providing new experiences for gamers. Just like with any device, some games are better than others. So, I decided to go ahead and take a look at the best games available for PlayStation VR that came out in 2017.
Before we start, I decided to impose a rule on this: the game has to require PlayStation VR to play. So while Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is a fantastic game that I would highly suggest any PSVR owner to own, and Megaton Rainfall is a surprisingly fun Superman game, you can play them without PSVR, so they wouldn’t make the list. Otherwise, the game just had have come out in 2017.
If you’re going to start, start with the best I suppose. I made it no secret that Statik is not only the best PSVR game I’ve played, but actually one of the best of 2017 period. This puzzle game has you holding a box that reacts to every single button on the DualShock controller. Each level you’re given a new box and your goal is to solve the puzzle.
It sounds simple, but each puzzle quickly gets more complicated than the last. You’ll be controlling RV cars, watching security feeds, scanning posters, and more. I found myself approaching each puzzle having to learn what sort of mechanics would be in use this time and adapting to use them. I was always impressed with just how good most of these puzzles were, and I never once felt like I was being tricked or getting stuck with some dumb “trial and error” puzzle.
In addition to this, Statik is full of some interesting style. The whole “sterile testing chamber” vibe is used well and reminded me quite a bit of Portal. Some great voice acting from the weird doctor that oversees each test is combined with clever and funny writing. By the end of Statik I was completely blown away by how much I enjoyed the game, and it gives a real great example for VR puzzle games to build off of.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
It’s Skyrim! In VR!
Okay I know. You’ve played Skyrim before and its been ported everywhere. That’s fine, I get it. If you never really liked the game to begin with, then I doubt The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR will do much to change your mind. If you did, however, then you’re in for a real treat. This is the entirety of Skyrim in VR, and that alone is already rather impressive.
So how does VR change the game? Well for starters it’s one hell of an immersive experience. Skyrim already had a lovely world worth exploring, as it was a game that really liked to take you off the beaten path. Skyrim VR is the same of course, but there’s a world of difference in exploring a world with VR instead of just seeing it on your TV. It’s really one of the big advantages of VR, and I can’t believe how immersed I could get into each world.
It also helps that VR improves the combat. There’s a big gap between getting to actually swing a sword around or casting spells in two different directions instead of just pressing a button. Sure, it’s not like the entire system has been reworked, but it’s a lot more fun in the long run. What can I say, I’m a sucker for just being able to swing a sword and watch it happen in real time.
You got puzzle in my RTS! You got RTS in my puzzle!
Darknet is a hacking game where you’ll be breaking into security systems all over the world. You do this by attacking nodes and taking them over so you can attack more nodes to take more nodes over. In a way it almost plays like an RTS. You can deploy viruses to travel along nodes, which can instantly capture undefended nodes or take out firewalls. The combination of elements actually work really well together.
Thanks to the randomized levels, Darknet has tons of content that I could easily play for hours. The puzzle game could easily keep me hooked, and introducing new elements like shielded nodes, firewalls, and white hat hackers made sure I was never bored. As I played levels, I could earn points that could be spent on new abilities and tools. This gave me more options to hack more places faster, and soon I felt like I could break into anywhere. Along the way I also got to read embarrassing text messages and weird e-mails from corporations and CEOs that probably shouldn’t have them.
If you’re looking for one of the best puzzle experiences on PSVR, Darknet is one fantastic choice.
Let’s be honest: at some point or another you imagined yourself inside of an FPS, dodging enemy attacks while blowing them away with your weapons. It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Then one day I played Farpoint, and for the first time I really was there.
It’s hard to describe just how amazing it feels to run around and shoot things in Farpoint. The way it nails down the basics of moving and aiming should be used as a lesson for all other full FPSes that make their way to VR. Aiming down the sight of my rifle to blow away giant spiders or alien troopers was always a thrilling experience. Each weapon I found felt unique, and testing out the ways they could be utilized was always entertaining.
In addition to this, Farpoint contains some surprisingly interesting characters that I found myself caring for. Between levels I got to learn the story of two astronauts trapped on the same planet and trying to survive. Feeling like someone stuck The Martian between my Doom levels, I was rooting for these two characters to make it, and learning what happened to them leading up to me getting there was a genuinely investing story. Also, listening to two people awkwardly sing Del Amitri songs to each other to try to stay sane is quite fun.
Plus, it’s the first VR FPS that I played that let me actually shoot myself, so that’s something.
If Farpoint was the first VR FPS that lived up to my expectations on what a VR FPS should be, SUPERHOT VR is the second. While Farpoint made me feel like I was inside of an FPS, SUPERHOT VR made me feel like I was inside of an action movie. A subtle, but important, difference.
Your goal is simply to just use whatever weapons are in reach of you to kill all of the red enemies in each level. The twist? Time only moves when you move. As soon as you turn your gun to face an enemy, they’ll move with you. Because of this you’ll have to plan ahead and inspect the environment, trying to figure out the best time to pull the triggers on those double pistols you’re holding while spinning in a circle like you’re John Woo or something.
At every point in SUPERHOT VR I found I was comparing myself to action heroes and quoting action movies. If I dodged a bullet? Without fail I’d find myself saying “Woah” like I’m Keanu Reeves. I couldn’t point a handgun at a helpless enemy without stopping myself from breaking into Samuel L. Jackson’s famous bible quote from Pulp Fiction. Once I finished a level, I found myself blowing imaginary smoke from my gun as if I was in a western. The feeling of being able to find all these unique and cool looking ways to fight enemies was all I needed to keep me playing.
Plus, it’s the second VR FPS that I played that let me actually shoot myself, so that’s something.
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin
Like many people, I really enjoyed Psychonauts, and I’m super excited for Psychonauts 2. Of course, we’re stuck waiting until some time in 2019 for Psychonauts 2 to come out. The good news: we got a surprisingly fun stopgap on PlayStation VR. Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin helps make the wait a little more bearable.
This time around the game is a first person puzzle game. You’ll play as Raz, but he’ll have to use his psychic powers to jump through people’s minds to move around. In addition to this, he’ll be able to knock things around with blasts, move things with telekinetic, and even light things on fire with pyromancy. Each power is fun to use, and trying to find strange ways you can use them to interact with the environment is always a joy.
More important than this, however, is that the game keeps up the fun personalities of everyone involved. I enjoyed watching the characters interact, from Milla’s fun and bubbily personality that hides a tragic past, to Sasha’s weird monotone and desire for everything to be clean. Each character feels just as creative and wonderful as they did back in the original game. It wasn’t long before I once again found myself totally sucked into the world of Psychonauts and in love with the charm.
Of course I can’t include every game I enjoyed here. Titles like Doom VFR, Archangel, Raw Data, The Lost Bear, DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles, and Manifest 99 all came out in 2017 and are all worth playing for some reason or another. I just believe those six games above are the ones you should absolutely look forward to if you consider buying PlayStation VR at this time.