“I don’t know, I don’t really worry about it,” said Cameron Christian. This was in response to potential concerns that people may take issue with perceivable cultural appropriation in Insomniac Games’ new Oculus Rift exclusive, Feral Rites. I asked this because the first thing that hit me upon seeing the character selection screen was, “wow, these characters look like white people dressed in tribal garb.” I will concede that screenshots I saw after the fact made the character look less white than I initially thought.
Aside from that, what I played seemed like a serviceable game with combat that is reminiscent of the Arkham series. Players can easily take on multiple enemies at the same time, bouncing between them. With a quick attack, strong attack, and the ability to throw enemies into either each other or deadly needle plants, similar to the ones in Insomniac’s recent Rift exclusive Edge of Nowhere. I jokingly asked if this game takes place in the same universe, and Cameron confirmed that it does not. That still won’t stop me from making it my headcanon, though.
For $40, you can experience around three hours of a white guy with a gun battling aliens that can infect humans in Insomniac Games’ VR debut, and no, it isn’t Resistance, but obviously that isn’t a stretch for the developer.
That means you’re paying around $13.33 per hour of gameplay, which quite possibly makes this one of the most expensive games in recent memory on a money per time basis, even beating out The Order: 1886. But is it worth it? If you love John Carpenter’s The Thing, scaling walls in games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted, and the stealth sections of The Last of Us, then maybe.
Take one part MacGyver, one part Alan Turing, one part the hidden pictures section in Highlights, and a whole bunch of pop culture references, mix them in a bowl of virtual reality, and you’ve got Please, Don’t Touch Anything, the Oculus Rift-exclusive VR remake of the game of the same name.
The original was 2D pixel art, had you looking straight ahead, and costs $5, so is the remake worth $15?
This virtual reality exclusive takes place during the age of the Vikings and deals mostly with a bit of their mythology. The game starts off with the player character dead and being offered a second chance at life as long as they take an oath of silence, hence the title. From there you’ll have around two hours of slowly pacing around listening to dialogue from other characters that spin a very shallow story.
The developers describe the game as a “narrative experience that focuses on emotion over gameplay” and call the game “movie-length.” At least the developers aren’t directly liars, as the game took around two hours to finish, and there certainly is little in the way of gameplay. The majority of your time will be spent walking or standing still and looking at characters as they deliver their dialogue directly at you or other characters. The only thing that otherwise qualifies as gameplay is a short segment where you’re tasked with shooting a few deer with a bow early in the game, something that you’d think would be foreshadowing using the bow again in the future—but you’d be wrong.
Growing up I always wanted to be a paleontologist because I was obsessed with dinosaurs. Instead, here I am a lowly game critic, but every cloud has its silver lining, mine being that I get to review all the video games with dinosaurs in them—like this one. If only this game were good.
Time Machine VR has you traveling back to the times when dinosaurs were still alive and researching their behaviors in hopes of finding a cure for an ancient virus unleashed from the melting ice caps. The story is told through full-motion video sequences and voiceovers from your AI guide. Flat FMVs inside of a VR game is just an odd choice considering video can now be recorded specifically for VR, but I suppose it makes sense if in the future we are still using flat screens. Regardless, the story isn’t all that interesting nor all that important.
If you’re like me, you yearn for the days when video games weren’t trying to be gritty and realistic all the time, you remember the N64 and PSX platformers fondly, and you miss the pure unadulterated joy they brought.
I have some good news for us; Lucky’s Tale is here to scratch that itch if you’re willing to buy an Oculus Rift. As the ‘pack-in game’ that comes free with the headset, Lucky’s Tale’s job seems to have been to show that virtual reality can do more than just first person experiences, and it mostly succeeds with some caveats.
Imagine if every time you died in a Legend of Zelda game, Link aged a year and, eventually, he would permanently die of old age. Also imagine that Link could be a girl if you so choose. Finally, picture the inventory system of an old-school survival horror game.
Put that all together with a dash of virtual reality, and you’ve got Chronos.