Greetings helmet-heads! I’m back once again with another buyers guide for those of you out there who are planning on picking up the PSVR 2 on launch day. In last week’s VR Corner, I listed off the 7 best launch titles that complete VR beginners could use to gently introduce themselves to VR without the fear of doing a chunder on their carpets.
This week’s Corner, however, is for experienced VR enthusiasts. People who have played a fair amount of VR before and feel confident enough to do some first person viewpoint adventuring and play VR games at a much faster pace. The following 7 launch titles are, in my opinion, games that will give you the most jaw-dropping VR experiences possible with your brand new headset.
Just as a heads-up, the video above was produced before Sony dropped the final PSVR 2 launch title list, so I mentioned a bit in there about not knowing all the games yet. Thankfully this news doesn’t really change my suggestions in the following list, but I can also highly recommend picking up Tetris Effect and Rez Infinite on launch if you want some more spectacular VR visuals.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
As the only PSVR 2 game so far to have been included in a PSVR 2 launch bundle, it’s pretty safe to say that Horizon Call of the Mountain has been created with the specific intentions of showcasing absolutely everything new that the PSVR 2 has to offer. And I should know, I’ve played the game myself!
Call of the Mountain starts off super gently, easing the player into the experience with an extended boatride that gives you a wonderful chance to sit back and take in the crisp, bright 4K HDR visuals of the new headset. If you’ve only ever played the low resolution PSVR 1 before, this introduction will absolutely leave you with your jaw on the floor. The deep, rich colors of the flora in the forest and the way the sunlight breaks through the thick canopies of the trees above provide some spectacular views, but the highlights of this section are easily the Machines.
Having a Tallneck stride right over the top of you really helps you understand the true scale of these enormous mechanical beasts, especially if you’ve fought them in the flat-screen games. An early moment when a Stormbird flies over the top of you, causing the PSVR2’s headset haptics to rumble, really grounds you in this new reality and makes you feel like a jumbo jet has just passed over your head.
That’s not all of course, there’s also the climbing sections which allow you to take in the gorgeous vistas that utilize the headsets’ foveated rendering techniques and the bow and arrow combat, which will show you just how accurately the controllers are tracked compared to the PlayStation Move controllers of old.
Unless a new Astro’s Playroom style PSVR 2 demo gets a surprise launch with the headset, Horizon should be your first port of call when it comes to getting to grips with your new headset, controllers and the potential for VR immersion that they offer to the player .
The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR
As The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR isn’t actually out yet, I can’t comment on how good the gameplay will be at the moment, it may be utter poop for all I know.
What I will say though, is that Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, the previous PSVR launch title from Supermassive Games, was so good, that it’s still one of the best games available on that headset, even to this day. That’s why I feel pretty confident in saying that this new horror-themed roller coaster-based shoot-em-up will be an excellent inclusion in your launch day library.
With levels based around locations from the first four games in The Dark Pictures Anthology, fans of the series will be in for a treat. But even if you’ve never played those games before, there should be plenty of surprises in here to blow your tiny VR-loving mind. Rush of Blood had such incredibly imaginative level design and the amount of literal and figurative twists and turns on each coaster ride meant that even though the tracks were mostly linear, they were always fun to replay.
If Switchback VR can merely match this, it’ll definitely be a game worth playing. Going by footage from the trailer however, it seems like the game builds on ideas from Rush of Blood and utilizes all the PSVR 2’s new functions. Most impressively (and scarily), it looks like the new eye-tracking features will tell the game when you’re blinking or closing your eyes in fear, so that it can respond accordingly. And by ‘accordingly’, I mainly mean it’ll shove a bunch of monsters in your face. Excellent.
I know everyone loves Beat Saber, but Pistol Whip is probably my favorite Rhythm Action Game available on VR platforms. I love the feeling of power it gives you as you glide through these stylish, minimalistic locations, shooting at silhouetted enemies to the beat of the music.
It’s so much more physical than Beat Saber too. Harder difficulty levels will have you twisting and turning your whole body as you duck and dodge bullets, all while you send your own back towards your attackers. It makes you feel like John Wick, at a rave, in the Matrix, and there are glorious moments of John Woo-style slo-mo gun-fu as you crouch to avoid a bullet only to rise up and backhand an oncoming attacker in the face.
Just writing about it here and now is making me want to drop everything and go play it again. What I’m looking forward to the most about playing this one on PSVR 2 though is the way that the headset haptics will make you literally feel those bullets as they fly by your face. It’s going to increase the immersion incredibly and I simply cannot wait to be absorbed by the pumping beats all over again on PSVR 2.
No Man’s Sky
I’ve never played No Man’s Sky in VR on PC so my only interactions with it have been on the very muddy looking, super blurry PS4 version and the slightly less muddy and blurry PS5 version that was released a year or so later.
I’ll be very surprised indeed if there is any muddiness or blur in the PSVR2 version of No Man’s Sky though, as the 4K HDR headset should keep even distant objects looking crisp and clear. If you’ve ever played No Man’s Sky on the PSVR, you’ll also be familiar with the rather awkward control schemes. Those Move Controllers are just nowhere near accurate enough to support such a complicated game, but the Sense controllers should make moving around in deep space, and on the surface of an infinite number of planets, so much more enjoyable and mostly friction free.
In essence though, No Man’s Sky feels like the future of Virtual Reality gaming. It’s an experience that simulates entire galaxies and lets you explore them to your heart’s content. When you’re wandering around on an unexplored planet in No Man’s Sky and you get to climb the crest of a mountain and stare off at the alien landscape beyond, those views will literally take your breath away.
Gran Turismo 7
So here’s the thing about Gran Turismo 7 on PSVR 2. Thanks to the recent release of the full PSVR 2 launch line-up we now know that a PSVR 2 specific update is coming to the game in time for the headset’s launch, that update will be free and that players will be able to experience all cars and tracks in VR, minus split-screen.
Thanks to the 4K headset and Gran Turismo 7’s gorgeous graphics that border on the photorealistic, the only difference between inspecting the interiors of each car in VR compared to doing it in a real-life car showroom is that you won’t be able to experience that lovely ‘new car’ smell on the PSVR 2.
Get yourself one of those fancy steering wheel and pedal controller setups as well and you’ll practically feel like you’re rocketing around those perfect recreations of famous race tracks, in real-life! Beep beep indeed!
Resident Evil Village
I’ve spoken about Resident Evil Village so many times on Ian’s VR Corner, be it the flatscreen to VR mod from Praydog or that one time that I got to play the PSVR 2 version last year.
All you really need to know about this one is that the game looks phenomenal on the PSVR 2 and you’re going to be blown away by not only the incredible detail of the visuals, but also how they come together to create a fantasy world that feels utterly real. Standing outside of Castle Domitrescu for instance, and looking up at the ornate stonework of its towering walls made me feel like I was on a sight-seeing adventure at a real castle.
That thrill was nothing compared to meeting Lady D and her daughters in the virtual flesh though, and it’ll certainly leave most players feeling weak at the knees. And I’m not talking about VR sickness here either. With the added bonus of gun physics that allow you to manually reload weapons rather than use a button press like in Praydog’s PC VR mod, the only thing likely to stop you from feeling truly there will probably the presence of Ethan’s floating hands, but you’re sure to forget about those after a short while thanks to the level of immersion that the rest of the game offers.
Kayak VR: Mirage
The final game is Kayak VR: Mirage, which is probably the most gentle and beginner friendly game to feature on this list. Nevertheless it’s also one of, if not the most gorgeous looking launch title for the headset.
If the PC version is anything to go by, Kayak VR: Mirage is going to let you paddle around beautiful and varied photorealistic locations in a variety of challenge events, or you can just relax and take in the game’s chill vibes in its free-roam mode.
The cutting-edge graphics of the PC build are already known for pushing the limits of what VR is capable of in terms of creating ultra believable environments and, with the power of the PSVR2 behind it, I can’t imagine there’ll be any drop in visual quality here. With a motion controlled movement scheme that mimics real-life kayak paddling, the nausea levels will also be at an all time low so, if you just want to chill out in VR and admire some incredible views, Kayak VR: Mirage should easily float your boat.
And there we have it, the 7 Best PSVR 2 launch titles that you should try out if you want to make the most out of your new headset. If you choose the games I’ve mentioned above to play on PSVR 2 launch day, you’re going to have one of the most memorable days of gaming in your entire life. And there’s not long to wait now either, my VR friendos!