Meta’s 2022 Quest 2 lineup adds Ghostbusters VR, Moss 2, and the first VR NFL game
Hard to believe it's been a whole year since the last big early look at upcoming virtual reality games from the company formerly known as Facebook.
In the time since the April 2021 event, Facebook the company re-branded as Meta and, in a corresponding move, replaced "Oculus" with "Meta" in the names of its popular Quest VR headsets. None of the products really changed, practically speaking, but this second annual gaming showcase also arrived with an expected name change: Meta Quest Gaming Showcase.
No, it's not majorly exciting. But it's funny to see how things can change in the space of a year. Much more exciting for fans of VR gaming is the substance of Meta's reveals, which are poised to deliver some blockbuster experiences for Quest users before the year is over. Read on for a rundown.
One of the most exciting reveals from Meta's stream was also the most vague. Ghostbusters VR got a short teaser trailer that showed off what looks like co-op, first-person ghostbusting action. Team up with friends and capture '80s slapstick ghosts in a virtual proton pack, as if you were actually there.
No word yet on when the game will arrive this year or whether the Ray Parker Jr. song plays during the action or not, but you can always put it on a Bluetooth speaker in the room while you play just in case it doesn't.
NFL Pro Era
If you're a fan of professional football, NFL Pro Era should be exciting simply for the fact that it's the first officially licensed NFL game for VR. As the trailer briefly demonstrates, the game lets you slip into the role of quarterback and hit the virtual stadium field doing your best Tom Brady impression. NFL Pro Era is the product of a partnership between the NFL and StatusPro, a tech company founded by former pros Andrew Hawkins and Troy Jones.
NFL Pro Era is coming to Meta Quest headsets in fall 2022.
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners — Chapter 2: Retribution
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is a much-loved VR adventure inspired by the hit AMC series and the comic book universe from Robert Kirkman that they're both based on. Set in the ruins of New Orleans, Saints & Sinners tells an ongoing story about the humans who are just trying to live their lives in a zombie-ridden — sorry, walker-ridden — world. Chapter 2: Retribution picks up where the 2020 game's story left off, giving players a chance to see how their choices ripple forward into the continuing journey.
The next chapter of The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is coming to Meta Quest 2 and PCVR later in 2022.
If you're familiar with Hover Junkers, Duck Season, and — most notably for our purposes here — Boneworks, then you know Stress Level Zero. The top-tier VR developer's fourth game, Bonelab, took a bow for the first time at Meta's showcase and it's looking predictably rad.
Boneworks was all about utilizing an impressive arsenal of weapons and the basic laws of physics to escape a massive and deadly city. Bonelab picks up in the aftermath of your escape, plunging players into the setting of a vast underground lab which contains answers about what you're doing here and why all of this is happening. Bonelab will also support player-created mods, which should give players an effectively endless supply of maps, weapons, and characters to check out.
Bonelab is coming to Quest 2 and PCVR later in 2022.
Among Us VR
Everyone's favorite social stealth party hang is heading to VR. The game of trying to survive on a ship where murderous aliens are hiding in plain sight — or, for those extra-terrestrial "Impostors," trying to wipe out said crew — should rise to cartoonishly terrifying new levels of excitement when you're virtually plunged into the action.
While Among Us VR was first announced at The Game Awards in December, the latest news from Meta's showcase is that it'll hit Quest 2 and PCVR before the end of 2022.
Moss: Book II
Quill is back! The sweetest and most adorable VR hero — who also happens to be a very talented mouse — is all set to return in Polyarc's Moss: Book II. Picking up after the events of the first game, Quill ventures back to the cursed castle where her now-rescued uncle was held captive, this time with a winged creature in pursuit. But the ever-capable Quill is far from unprepared, and her actions could save the world from the Arcane's evil machinations.
Moss: Book II is coming to Quest 2 this summer.
If you're not familiar with Cities, it's helpful to think of 2015's Cities: Skylines as if it's SimCity for urban planning and development nerds. Trade in fantastical disaster events and general approachability for a much more complex and reality-grounded simulation. Cities: VR transports all of the compelling ideas and gameplay from Skylines into a much more immersive setting, bolstered in part by the ability to actually look at your self-made metropolis from the perspective of a person on the street.
It's out imminently, too. Cities: VR is coming to Quest 2 on April 28.
Beat Saber: Electronic Mixtape
The best workout virtual reality has to offer is about to level up yet again. Electronic Mixtape is the next expansion of Beat Saber's music library from Beat Games and it's packed with EDM goodness. Deadmau5, Marshmello, and Pendulum are just a few of the artists included in the upcoming music pack.
There's no release date for this one, but expect it to hit Quest and PCVR headsets sometime in 2022.
Resident Evil 4 — The Mercenaries
Resident Evil 4 feels like an odd marriage of old and new in VR, but wherever you fell with the 2021 re-release, there's no question that an important piece was missing: Mercenaries. The score-based challenge mode is all about fighting zombies and landing headshots on a timer, and it has at last been rebuilt for RE4's foray into VR.
Armature Studios' revised take on Mercenaries makes a couple of key additions, the most notable being a collection of challenges that unlock "made-for-VR" bonus features like noggin-inflating Big Head Mode or the Classic Horror Mode visual filter. Even better, it launched concurrently with Meta's VR showcase. Best of all, though: It's free. If you own RE4 in VR already, just download the update and you'll be good to go.
Digital Lode's Espire 1 is a nifty VR stealth game that brings together story and big Metal Gear vibes together in a thrilling game of international espionage. Espire 2 is poised to carry that idea forward with yet another save-the-world adventure that tasks you with tracking down and neutralizing a doomsday device.
In addition to a host of new gadgets, voice commands, and the added ability to switch between two different "Frames" — which confer special abilities — on the fly, the sequel also adds an entirely separate cooperative story mode that you can play with a friend in which you head back to locations from the first game.
Espire 2 will be out for Quest 2 in Nov. 2022.
Red Matter 2
Vertical Robot's sequel to the 2018 VR game Red Matter picks up in the immediate aftermath of your escape from the simulation in which your mind was trapped. But as you attempt to escape the base where your physical self was held, you discover a distress signal that seems to be coming from an old friend.
The adventure that unfolds from there will take you to the distant reaches of our solar system while expanding on the original game's compelling puzzle play with a bunch of new elements. A new jetpack allows you to fly around and explore while also opening up the range of puzzle possibilities. You'll also get to break cyber defenses with a new hacking tool and make use of a projectile weapon — both to solve puzzles and shut down incoming threats.
Red Matter 2 is coming to Quest 2 sometime in summer 2022.
In the realm of genres that aren't represented widely enough in VR, Japanese role-playing games (think Final Fantasy) have to be near the top of that list. Ruinsmagus wants to make a case for more. CharacterBank's upcoming VR JRPG is an action-oriented game that has you doing the fighting in real time, and it pops off the screen thanks to a slick anime aesthetic.
Offering 26 "multi-stage" story-driven quests and voice acting from stars like Naomi Ōzora (Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods), Ai Maeda (Battle Royale), and Eiji Takemoto (the One Piece series), Ruinsmagus is one of the more exciting VR propositions to look forward to in the months of ahead.
It'll be out on Quest and PCVR headsets later in 2022.