This is shaping up to be one hell of a year for VR gaming.
2021 is absolutely packed with exciting releases, from VR adaptations of tentpole franchises to highly-anticipated originals built from the ground up for VR headsets. Whether you’re on the Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, or a SteamVR headset, you’ll find there’s plenty of VR gaming to look forward to over the next 12 months.
So much so, in fact, we thought it easier to break down just a handful of our most-anticipated titles. Here are 10 VR games we’re excited to play in 2021:
AFTER THE FALL
Vertigo Games, developer behind the hit zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine, returns with a brand new adventure that will have you exploring a frozen, hostile world after a mysterious outbreak turns LA into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Navigate the remains of our once great society, craft unique weapons, and battle hordes of “Snowbreeds” in this cooperative VR shooter set during an alternate 1980s.
After the Fall arrives later this year on PC VR and PlayStation VR.
ASSASSIN’S CREED VR
First rumored back in 2019, Ubisoft has since confirmed the ongoing development of an Assassin’s Creed VR game. Other than that little information is known about this highly-anticipated release, besides the fact that it will be set within the Assassin’s Creed universe. This will not, however, be the franchises first attempt at an original VR game. Released back in 2018, Assassin’s Creed: The Temple of Anubis is a location-based VR maze by developer Triotech in which players battle their way through a labyrinth-like temple riddled with enemies and traps.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed VR is expected to arrive later this year. No word yet on which headsets will be receiving support.
THE CLIMB 2
A direct follow-up to 2016’s The Climb, The Climb 2 has you once again chalking up your hands for another round of vertigo-inducing climbing. The highly-anticipated sequel promises new features, fresh unlockables, and additional maps, including a brand new urban cityscape.
The Climb 2 arrives later this year on the Oculus Quest/Quest 2.
EYE OF THE TEMPLE
Room-scale VR adventure Eye of the Temple absolutely blew us away last year, offering one of the most unique free-roam VR experiences in recent memory. Instead of relying on artificial locomotion, this Indiana Jones-style puzzler has you navigating the virtual world by moving throughout your real-world environment. Each level is packed with a variety of physically-demanding traps and puzzles to overcome. You also have access to a powerful whip and torch, allowing you to interact with different mechanisms thereby transforming the environment.
Although we’ve yet to receive an official release date, the games demo points towards a potential 2021 release date. Here’s hoping the full release is just as engaging as last year’s demo.
GREEN HELL VR
Last month we learned that a VR release of the popular open-world survival game Green Hell is currently in the works. Originally released on PC back in 2018, Green Hell drops you dead center of the Amazon Rainforest where you’re tasked with surviving the elements, including wild animals, tropical sickness, and crippling loneliness. Whether this is a standalone experience or a VR adaptation of the original game remains to be seen.
Green Hell VR arrives on PC VR and Oculus Quest/Quest 2 Q3 2021.
Hitman 3 will be receiving official VR support via the PlayStation VR when the game launches on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 later this month. According to the developers, PSVR players will have the ability to import every map from the past two games; that’s 20+ locations from the “World of Assassination” trilogy.
“You’ll stand face-to-face with your targets and look them in the eyes, blend-in to a busy crowd and hear the chatter and conversations happening around you and interact with items using your hands,” said Sony in an official press release.
Hitman VR arrives Q3 2021 via PlayStation VR.
LONE ECHO 2
I absolutely loved Lone Echo. Oculus’ narrative-driven sci-fi adventure was dripping with personality, offering one of the best cinematic VR adventures of 2017. So you can image how excited I was to learn about the sequel and how disappointed I’ve been with the numerous delays. Thankfully, however, it appears as though the long-awaited sequel to Jack and Liv’s intergalactic journey is finally set to arrive.
Rejoin the pair aboard the Kronos II mining station when Lone Echo 2 launches later this year on Oculus Rift/Rift S.
SPLINTER CELL VR
Similar to Assassin’s Creed, we know very little about Ubisoft’s upcoming Splinter Cell VR game, other than the fact that it exists and will be exclusive to VR. Unlike Assassin’s Creed, however, Splinter Cell VR will mark the first VR release in the franchises history. Die-hard fans of the series are upset regarding the VR exclusivity; I’m just happy we’re finally getting another Splinter Cell game.
Splinter Cell VR is scheduled to launch later this year. No word yet on which headsets will be receiving support.
STRESS LEVEL ZERO’S ‘PROJECT 4’
Following the release of Boneworks on PC VR, developer Stress Level Zero revealed back in 2019 that the company was working on a new VR experience for the Oculus Quest and SteamVR that would utilize the same physics-driven game mechanics featured in Boneworks. Other than the codename, Project 4, we know very little in the way of specifics. Here’s hoping for some major updates soon.
Stress Level Zero’s Project 4 is expected to arrive later this year on Oculus Quest/Quest 2 and SteamVR.
Air guitar simulator Unplugged looks like an absolute riot. Ditching the Touch controllers in favor of the Oculus Quest’s built-in hand-tracking, Unplugged puts you in the shoes of globe-trotting rockstar, allowing you to take the stage and shred a virtual guitar using your own two hands. Inspired by popular rhythm games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Unplugged is less about learning to play a guitar and more about enjoying the rockstar lifestyle.
Unplugged arrives on the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 Q3 2021.
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