SAN FRANCISCO — PlayStation VR is just a few months away from invading our living rooms, and a whole ton of games will be coming with it. Arriving in October for $399, Sony's virtual reality headset will feature 50 launch titles, including fast-paced first-person shooters, surreal musical adventures, and a few games where you just kind of walk around and touch stuff.
After spending the better part of an afternoon with Sony's slick VR device strapped to my face, here are some of my favorite games so far.
Rigs: Mechanized Combat League
Rigs proves that competitive first-person shooters have a place in virtual reality. This 3-on-3 arena game plays like an immersive mix of Call of Duty and basketball, as you'll have to rack up a few kills before you can jump into a big circular goal for the big score. It took some time to get used to aiming at my opponents with my actual head, but once I got comfortable jumping, boosting and shooting my way through the arena, I immediately wanted more.
If you truly want PlayStation VR to take you somewhere else, play Rez Infinite. This VR sequel to the cult music-shooter hybrid is one of the trippiest VR experiences out there, thrusting players into wireframe, Tron-like worlds as they zap away at enemies to the beat of music. Rez Infinite made me feel like I was riding a virtual roller coaster even as I sat on a couch, thanks to a series of jarring transitions that messed with my senses big-time — in a good way, of course.
Golem has two ambitious, seemingly disparate goals: to tell an emotionally engaging story while letting players live out their fantasies of heading to battle as a powerful rock giant. The game casts you as an injured, bed-ridden child, who quickly discovers an ability to possess inanimate objects. At first, you'll possess small dolls and scamper around your house, but eventually, you'll take control of massive Golems and engage in physical sword combat using the Move controller. With Golem, developer Highwire Games aims to offer a movement-based VR game you can experience on the couch: To move around, all you need to do is lean in different directions.
Harmonix Music VR
While not a game in the traditional sense, Harmonix's Music VR is by far some of the most fun I've had with PlayStation VR. Music VR features a selection of apps that let you immerse yourself in whichever music you choose to play on it. In one mode, I sat on a virtual beach and watched the world transform in sync with some Metallica. In the game's stunning paintbrush mode, I stood up and used the Move controller to create virtual 3D shapes, which all pulsated and changed colors to the music of Kendrick Lamar.
Tumble VR looks unassuming, but it's the kind of game I can see myself spending hours with. This physical puzzler has you move virtual objects to meet a certain goal — sometimes you'll have to stack them all really high, while other times you'll have to use objects to make a bridge. This easy-to-learn, hard-to-master game feels like the VR equivalent of Tetris, as you'll need some truly great spatial awareness to reach the higher scores. Moving digital blocks around in Tumble VR feels incredibly natural; you can focus entirely on the puzzles without having to wrap your head around any complicated controls.