Half-Life: Alyx was, without a doubt, one of the most important game releases in 2020. On the one hand, it was a sign that Valve, in spite of the more than a decade passing from the release of a true Half-Life game, still hasn’t forgotten about the game’s fans. On the other hand, it was a sign that VR as a platform is beginning to mature enough for a game developer to dedicate the time and effort it takes to build a true AAA game for it.
The launch of the Oculus Rift, a headset embraced by Facebook, has given virtual reality an unexpected boost. The last few years have seen quite a few interesting products emerge, including Linden Labs’ VR take on Second Life called Sansar and Microgaming’s VR Casino. The latter has received a lot of attention and praise in the industry, not to mention a ton of awards. With VR increasingly becoming a mainstream technology, its release at the JackpotCity online casino may be coming sooner rather than later – for the time being, though, we’ll have to stick with enjoying all the great JackpotCity games in the traditional way.
But VR is becoming a platform with an increasing number of indie projects that make the best of its capabilities. Here are some games that are truly worthy of attention if you are the owner of a VR headset.
Compound (Steam Early Access)
Compound is a fusion of new technology and an old school look and feel – it’s a VR shooter with a pixelated retro environment combined with countless weapons, various map types, and countless hours of crazy VR action.
Each of the game’s maps is procedurally generated, offering a different experience with every playthrough. Also, the game features a “boomer shooter” game mode that matches its gameplay to its retro looks, turning it into a 1990s-style FPS.
The game is available through Steam Early Access. Developer Bevan McKechnie (!notdead!) chose not to go with this model instead of joining forces with a publisher out of his dedication to the game being as good as possible before a final release.
Panoptic (Steam Early Access)
The best thing about VR is that it can go beyond the well-established “pancake” genres. Panoptic is perhaps the best example – one that merges VR and “pancake” into one exciting amalgam of platforms.
Panoptic is a local multiplayer VR+non-VR game of cat and mouse. Players can choose to play as the Overseer, a mighty being hovering above the playfield, equipped with an all-seeing laser eye (in VR) or the Challenger, a small but agile character with the goal to avoid detection and destroy key objectives without being seen and instantly annihilated (at the keyboard).
The game supports Steam RemotePlay so it’s easy to play together. It might be a ‘party game’ without too much essence and lore but its atmosphere is great, its gameplay is amazing, and its possibilities are endless.
Until You Fall (Steam)
One of the best things about VR is that it brought swordplay back into gaming, both in simple games like Beat Saber or more complex and magic-infused titles like Until You Fall.
Until You Fall is a beautiful, colorful hack-and-slash with rogue-lite elements. It is set in the world of Rokar, once a thriving civilization fueled by magic, now fallen under an unknown Calamity that has filled its realm with corrupted monstrosities. The player assumes the role of the last remaining Rune Knight on a quest to clean the realm of the monsters threatening its very existence.
The game comes with an amazing neon environment, a captivating synthwave soundtrack, a selection of unique weapons and several unique monsters that each require a different strategy to defeat.