10 Game Recommendations For Your New PlayStation VR2 Headset
PlayStation VR2 is nearly upon us and with the hardware comes a whole host of VR games to play. There are very few exclusives only playable with PlayStation VR2, but many developers have ports available on day one. This is fantastic for new VR players, and perhaps a little disappointing to veterans. Whether you’re diving into VR for the first time or you’ve played plenty on competing headsets, here is a list of games, presented in alphabetical order, I enjoyed for the first time, or all over again in PlayStation VR2.
After The Fall
After the Fall is a horde zombie shooter. If you’ve played Left 4 Dead or any of the games inspired by it, you basically know what to expect here. It turns out, however, that this genre works really well in VR. You won’t quite face the same number of zombies you face in comparable games, but scrambling to manually reload your weapon while a group of zombies moves toward you is scary and intense. The game offers up to four-player co-op, but I had a great time making my way through the levels alone with the help of A.I. players, too.
Action games work well in VR and allow you to use your actual arms to perform impressive moves, but Demeo is a slow-paced strategy RPG and feels unique as a result. In Demeo, you stand over a board game and physically move a figure around a board as though you are playing a turn-based strategy game. Zooming into the board and checking out the layout of the dungeon works well and looks cool, and the slow pace will be especially attractive to players still getting their VR bearings.
Gran Turismo 7
The only PlayStation VR2 exclusive on this list, the Gran Turismo VR update is almost exactly what you expect it to be – you sit in the seat of your car and race. It’s a little strange, functionally, as moving around the menus, and making decisions outside of the races takes place on a flat screen within the headset, but once the actual racing starts, you are in the seat of a car in first-person. You use the standard PlayStation 5 controller to race, which seems odd at first, but feels right after spending a little time with it. You can also look at your cars in your garage in VR, which is a nice touch.
The Last Clockwinder
The Last Clockwinder is the kind of puzzle game that truly feels like it would only work in VR. The context for the story is you are in charge of a facility that must be managed by automated robots. For example, the first task in the game is harvesting fruit, which is done by setting up a bunch of robots to pick the fruit, throw it to the right place, and process it. You set up these robots by standing in place and recording your actions. For one robot I pantomimed picking the fruit and throwing it, for another I pantomimed catching it and placing the fruit where it needed to go, and for the third robot I pulled the processing lever. Standing back and watching your robot clones loop the actions you performed is where the game really sings.
The Light Brigade
There is no shortage of games where you shoot guns in VR and that’s for good reason – it’s fun to take aim and fire a weapon in a virtual space. The Light Brigade, however, stood out for a few reasons. It’s a roguelike game where you try to make as much progress as you can through a series of random levels, and the gunplay is surprisingly slow and precise. Instead of firing off a hail of bullets like I did in After The Fall, I found myself taking cover and lining up precise sniper shots in a satisfying way. The Light Brigade also makes you put together your hands in a prayer position at the end of each level, which is a fun and simple action in VR to perform.
Moss Book I & II
The original Moss was an early PlayStation VR hit, and the port to PlayStation VR2 makes the game look and play even better. Most of the games on this list are in first-person, but Moss actually plays like a third-person game. You can control a wonderfully animated mouse on a journey that involves puzzle solving and smooth combat. The game is very story-focused, so if you do have interest in playing, I would actually recommend starting with Book I and not skipping to Book II. You can read my review of Moss Book I here.
Rez originally released on Dreamcast in Japan in 2001 and is a trippy, abstract, musical shooter that ported over to VR perfectly. Functionally, Rez is an on-rails shooter where you highlight enemies and fire off a series of bullets all set to an entrancing techno soundtrack. There is also a VR-exclusive level that changes the mechanics a bit by taking the game off the rails for a full, 360-degree location. The PlayStation VR2 version doesn’t add anything new to the game, but if it’s one you missed, Rez is best played in VR.
Runner caught my attention when it was announced, but it had drifted to the back of my mind before I booted it up on PlayStation VR2 and immediately remembered why it had initially caught my attention: it is heavily inspired by Akira. In a futuristic, neon-soaked city, you must fight your way through the streets on the back of a motorcycle that you can customize to look a whole lot like Kaneda’s bike from Akira if you want. The name “Otomo” is even written on the side of the bike if you look closely, undoubtedly a reference to Akira’s creator, Katsuhiro Otomo. The gameplay is of the fast-paced arcade variety with competing motorcycles’ tail lights leaving trails as they race past you. There are also story sections where an anime character voiced by Steve Blum (best known for voicing Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop) tells you what happens next. If you love Akira, or that late 80s era of anime in general, check out Runner.
Tetris Effect: Connected
When Tetris Effect revealed its VR plans shortly after its announcement many years ago, I scoffed at the idea of simply playing Tetris in VR. In practice, however, the game is a revelation. The music and visuals, partnered with the trance-like state you enter when you really focus on Tetris, are all improved by the aid of VR. I am not ashamed to admit that playing in VR makes me emotional and will even make me tear up in a cathartic way that, frankly, I cannot explain.
Thumper is an abstract rhythm game that is hard to explain. You play as some kind of robotic beetle stuck on a never-ending Hot Wheels track grinding into turns and blasting through barriers all set to a horrifying and oppressive soundtrack.
There are two more VR games I highly recommend, but one is not available yet, and I did not get a chance to play the PlayStation VR2 version of the other. Beat Saber is my favorite VR game and the competition is not close. You can read my review here, and the game has only improved over the years by adding new mechanics and music. It is making its way to PlayStation VR2, but a release window has not yet been revealed.
Pistol Whip, on the other hand, is available now, but I haven’t played this new version yet. It’s a rhythm-based, on-rails shooter that makes you feel like John Wick. Like Beat Saber, it’s a game I return to often on competing VR headsets, and I am optimistic the PlayStation VR2 version will offer the same fun gameplay.