Virtual reality is here to stay would be the theme of 2018.
And the theme for 2019 is looking like VR is not only here to remain but also will grow into one of the major pillars of video gaming.
Of course, a lot of this optimism is buoyed by the absolutely awesome crop of games that 2018 gave us. From Sony’s award-winning Astro Bot to the psychedelic reinterpretation of Tetris called Tetris Effect, 2018 showed gamers how old and new can be combined into something spectacular when they come together in a VR title.
Indeed, VR is really coming of its own and is not only taking concepts gamers are more than familiar with like platformers and puzzle gamers, but it is also developing new things that can only be done in virtual reality.
Looking ahead, here are our five most anticipated VR games of 2019:
5. Stormland – Oculus Rift – 2019
Coming from Insomniac Games, Stormland has a lot of people talking – and for good reason. This mech-based, open-world shooter promises tons of cool gameplay mechanics and immersion levels that are unique and integral to the game.
One of the cooler features that Insomniac is promising is that the levels in the game will rearrange on each playthrough in order to give gamers a different experience each time. People who have played the game are raving about the combat and the way in-game mechanics work.
An example often offered describes how players replenish ammo by removing it from the weapons of fallen foes by actually mimicking the motions of doing such an action. Another example given is how the robots replace their arms by ripping them off – something players will have to do themselves with the controls.
Glossy graphics and triple-A production qualities make Stormland one of the biggest titles to come out for VR in any year, let alone 2019.
4. Lone Echo 2 – Oculus Rift – 2019
Continuing the smash success of Lone Echo and its spin-offs Echo Combat and Echo Arena, Ready at Dawn is bringing a follow-up narrative that looks just as intense as the first game.
Described as a must-own title for Oculus Rift, we suspect Lone Echo 2 will be the same. Anti-gravity combat plus a heady sci-fi narrative is a winning combination on any platform but should be especially awesome in VR.
3. Space Junkies – Oculus Rift, HTC Vive – 2019
Are you noticing a theme with this list? Space-themed shooters are looking to conquer the VR space and 2019 is their year.
Anti-gravity combat? Check. Guns and glory? Check. A trailer with maddening dubstep trailer? Of course! But, in all seriousness, Space Junkies looks like a VR game you can play with your friends and have an amazing time.
FPS games worked magic for multiplayer on consoles, and Space Junkies hopes a little bit of that rubs off for it in VR.
2. MechWarrior 5 – PC – September 2019
Ok, we’ve included this on the list because it was announced but no one is for sure that Piranha Games is making a VR port of the game. If you’ve never played MechWarrior before, there’s really no series better suited for it.
Suited up in a gigantic mech, players engage in combat on alien terrains using a ton of different weapons. It was immersive before that was a thing. A PC classic that is beloved today, a VR iteration of MechWarrior 5 would be a huge deal. We’re just not sure it will come out in 2019.
1. A Fisherman’s Tale – Rift, Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, PSVR – January 2019
This co-op puzzle game from Innerspace has dominated a lot of the VR buzz over the past month or so. That’s because it’s a pretty big deal: It’s super meta and does things with gameplay that would really only work in VR.
As a wooden doll that is trapped inside of a lighthouse, players transform the environment around them using a miniature version of that same room as well as parts of the room they’re in. If it sounds trippy, that’s because it is.
It’s rare that a puzzle game gets so many people talking, but A Fisherman’s Tale has that much promise.