This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) could be the most important one yet for Sony, given how its PlayStation VR headset is due to launch this October. As one of the most prominent VR headset to launch this year, next to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive (which launched in March and April, respectively), Sony needs content that will set its hardware apart from the competition.
It did that by announcing a long list of exciting exclusives last year, which include Robinson: The Journey, Rez Infinite, Battlezone and the explosive combat suit arena game, RIGS Mechanized Combat League. Many, if not all these games will be shown at E3, but virtual reality gaming promises to take players to new, fantastic and sometimes impossible places. Although action games may get much of the attention, games like 100ft Robot Golf will help define the PlayStation VR as an entertainment device that caters to a wide variety of tastes, including the humorous and strange.
These PlayStation VR games were announced over the past week, and they’re so unique and surreal that they can’t help making an impression.
Harmonix Music VR
We’ve come to expect unique, music-themed, games from Rock Band 4 and Beat Sports developer, Harmonix. So even though the announcement for Harmonix Music VR seemed to come from out of nowhere, it didn’t take long for fans to get into the groove.
The game promises to immerse players into music like never before. Players will be able to choreograph dance moves for a cast of characters and even take to the DJ booth. Featuring music composed by Harmonix’s own M-Cue for games such as Amplitude and A City Sleeps, players will be able to produce 3D art or just hang out on an alien beach. Players can further personalize the experience by importing songs from their personal music collection to play in VR.
Announced this week and described as a “virtual reality game about technology, perception and puzzles,” we really can’t tell you all that much about Statik. The trailer certainly leaves an impression, as the viewer sees through the eyes of a (possibly unwilling) test participant who awakens to the voice of someone describing a dream of being a dog astride a giant chicken. The test subject’s hands are bound in a strange device, which is used to answer when asked how the story makes him feel. Visiting the official Statik Institute of Retention website reveals a vague history of the fictional research company, along with updates such as, “We will be reconfiguring the survey algorithm over the weekend. During this time, the potential for unexpected consequences will alter.”
Those who are curious and adventurous can take a Volunteer Readiness Test on the website, which presents statements, images and sounds for participants to react to by choosing one of three text-art faces (happy, indifferent and sad) to denote how each makes them feel. Answers are tallied with inaccurate results, and the Statik Institute will deem you as “the perfect test subject” no matter what.
How We Soar
How We Soar is the debut title from new developer Penny Black Studios, which was founded with the goal of taking players to places they’ve never seen before or thought possible using the power of VR. The surreal flight experience puts players behind the reins of a giant Phoenix to explore a papercraft world and transform the surroundings by flying in close and painting in color. Doing so reveals a hidden story, created in the memories and mind of the mysterious “Author.” The reveal trailer reached almost 100,000 views within its first day, and it will be interesting to see what new worlds await players.
Tethered is perhaps one of the most charming PlayStation VR games to be announced this week. It puts players into the role of a Spirit Guardian, charged with protecting a race of creatures called Peeps. Assigning tasks to Peeps will help them prosper and prepare for the creatures (that look like giant slugs with lion faces and stone heads) that come to attack them at night. As a quirky mix of strategic building game and tower defense, Tethered may appeal to PlayStation VR gamers who are searching for god game with a cute creature twist.