Every gaming platform needs a launch title, and for Samsung's upcoming Gear VR headset, that title will be Gunner. From developer nDreams, Gunner casts players as participants in a virtual-reality space war, where aiming and firing is as simple as looking directly at your target.
For those not keeping current with VR headset news, the Gear VR is a model developed by Samsung and powered by the Oculus software (perhaps better known as the platform that powers the Oculus Rift headset). The device has no set price or release date yet, but when the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition ships to early adopters (supposedly in early December, but there's been no word about it this month), Gunner will be the first game available for it.
Gunner itself sounds quite simple, and a press release describes it as a hybrid of Space Invaders, The Last Starfighter and Borderlands. The game is bright, colorful and chaotic, and uses the VR headset as part of its premise. As Hel, a soldier in a virtual-reality war against a ruthless alien menace, players will step into a turret that lets them rotate 360 degrees and fire by locking onto targets with their eyes.
The bad news is that while Gunner will hit the Gear VR before any other games, it will not do so in a complete state. Gunner will debut as an extended demo, including only the tutorial and a few early stages. The full game will launch alongside the Oculus storefront, although there's no solid information on when that will happen.
nDreams has a few other games and tech demos under its belt, but probably nothing you've ever heard of. Gunner could herald the beginning of true VR gaming, or it could just be one more interesting thing to do with a VR headset while gamers wait for something more robust.