VR was a big part of E3 2019. Especially for the Oculus Quest.
Oculus Quest owners, rejoice!! E3 2019 was chock-full of big announcements that will surely have a colossal impact on the $5 million worth of Quest headsets currently out in the wild.
With the Quest being the VR buzzword these days, it makes sense that developers are clamoring to release their apps on the standalone headset. During this years E3 gaming expo, we learned that this tightly-curated catalog of immersive experiences will soon be expanding even further as a new wave of games (both entirely new IP’s, as well as PC VR ports), DLC, and game modes make their way to the Oculus Quest.
Let’s jump right in and see what we have to look forward to this year.
Heading to Quest…
Beat Saber x Imagine Dragons DLC from Beat Games
Beat Saber blew the doors off fellow its fellow competitors after its 2018 release on SteamVR. Just over a year later, Beat Games’ hit rhythm slasher is bigger than ever, having spawned multiple DLC releases, official tournament competitions, even a dedicated arcade machine. Now the game is getting a big $12.99 DLC release that’ll bring hit tracks from Platinum rock band Imagine Dragons, the first official song pack from a major label artist. On top of that, the bands biggest hit, “Believer,” will be getting a full 360-degree level, which offers a more complex Beat Saber experience by throwing blocks at your from multiple directions.
Richie’s Plank Experience from Toast VR
You’re standing in a moving elevator; the doors open and you find yourself standing at the edge of a 100-story building. There’s a skinny plank of wood in front of you that extends out above the street located over a thousand feet below.
If you ever needed to prove that VR can hack your brain – Richie’s Plank is it. Now you can experience all the joys of VR-induced vertigo without having to worry about accidentally tripping over cables! The standalone release will include the recently-released Hero Academy DLC, allowing you to master your VR flying skills by competing in rocket races or defending the city and her citizens from a barrage of rockets. Also included is the Sky Brush tool, which lets you use your rocket-flying capabilities to paint the sky itself with a variety of colors.
Richard Eastes, CTO of Toast VR who makes Richie Plank Experience told VRScout, “I haven’t been so excited about a headset since the Vive came out,” adding, “the Quest is now my go-to headset for demoing Richie’s Plank. I can take it to any event or party with setup being only minutes.”
Richie’s Plank Experience will be available on the Oculus Quest June 27th.
Echo Arena from Ready At Dawn
One of the more popular competitive multiplayer games for the Oculus Rift is now heading to the Quest. Echo Arena is a futuristic fast-paced multiplayer sports game in which players zip around a zero-gravity environment attempting to put a disc-like object into their opponent’s net. Think of it as hockey meets ultimate frisbee meets football, all set within the Ender’s Game universe. As of right now, there’s no word on if Arena’s sister title, Echo Combat, will ever make it’s way standalone.
Unfortunately, there’s no official release window available at this time, though developer Read at Dawn promises an identical experience to that of the original Oculus Rift release.
Arizona Sunshine from Vertigo Games
Winner of UploadVR’s 2016 VR Game of the Year, Arizona Sunshine, arguably one of the most polished VR experiences currently available, will soon be making its way to Quest in all its zombie-dismembering glory. The hit horror survival game will have you fighting off the undead as you make your way through a blistering hot post-apocalyptic Arizona landscape. As hoard after hoard of flesh-hungry zombies continues to chip away at your ammo, you’ll have to root through abandoned cars and boxes in order to find new weapons and supplies.
The standalone release will also include the upcoming The Damned DLC, Vertigo’s largest and most ambitious expansion mission to-date. This soon-to-be-released content puts players in the boots of a US Special Forces operative tasked with restarting a series of generators located within a massive Arizonan hydroelectric littered with the undead.
Arizona Sunshine will be launch on Oculus Quest alongside The Damned DLC sometime later this year.
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets from Fast Travel Games
Not every VR game needs to be high octane zombie-killing experience, however. Sometimes it’s nice to just hang out and solve some casual puzzles. The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets is an adorable VR game that lets you explore a miniature fantasy world as you try to solve a series of relaxing puzzles. No time limit, no pressure, just calming puzzler with painfully cute aesthetics. Just chill, explore, and appreciate your surroundings.
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets will be available on Oculus Quest sometime later this year.
Espire 1: VR Operative from Digital Lode and Tripwire Interactive
For those of you craving some sort of Splinter Cell-esque experience for Oculus Quest, you’ll no doubt want to keep your eye on Espire 1: VR Operative . This futuristic stealth-based VR shooter lets you step into the role of an elite “Espire Agent” and perform a variety of nerve-racking missions. Shoot, climb, and sneak your way through multiple levels using a variety of high tech weaponry, including a “VR within VR” system that helps combat potential motion sickness as a result of “free movement” locomotion. For those tough to hit shots, you can slow down time for a more precise “bullet-time” mode.
Espire 1: VR Operative launches on Oculus Quest this August.
I Expect You To Die DLC from Schell Games
This goofy James Bond-ish game lets you live out your spy fantasies as you try to outwit the evil Dr. Zor by sneaking into his secret boardroom to collect intel. Solve puzzles, press buttons, dig through secret research, and escape with your life in this escape room-style expansion. Just be careful what you do because anything can be a trap.
I Expect You To Die: Seat of Power arrives on Oculus Quest July 16th free-of-charge, followed by another free level arriving later this year.
Dance Central DLC & Fitness Tracker from Harmonix
Harmonix has announced new DLC that will introduce a new fitness app designed to track how many calories you burn while in-game, a new feature that will allow NPC’s to challenge players to dance as opposed to just fellow players, as well as six new tracks to get down and dirty to.
No word yet on an expected release date.
ACRON: Attack of the Squirrels from Resolution Games
Asymmetrical multiplayer warfare arrives this Summer on the Oculus Quest with ACRON: Attack of the Squirrels. Brought to us by Resolution Games (Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, BAIT!), ACRON pits a squad of squirrels against a towering tree in a frantic battle for possession of the “Seeds of Life.”
One player wearing an Oculus Quest headset plays the role of the guardian tree, using a variety of forest-themed projectiles to halt enemies in their tracks. Meanwhile, a team of 2-7 squirrels controlled via smartphone devices attempt to steal as many Golden Acorns as possible without getting nailed.
Combined with the portability and convenience of the Oculus Quest, ACRON could be the couch party game VR has been waiting for.
ACRON: Attack of the Squirrels arrives on Oculus Quest later this Summer.
The Wizards from Carbon Studios
Carbon Studio’s VR spellcaster game is now officially available on the Oculus Quest, bringing with it all the elemental sorcery you’ve come to know and love. Players can use their Touch controllers to cast fireball, summon lightning, and harness and variety of other fantastical powers in your never-ending fight against the monster horde.
Along with an official standalone port, Carbon has also confirmed a new expansion entitled The Wizards: Dark Times, which promises to introduce time travel elements to the experience.
The Wizards is available for purchase on Oculus Quest now for $24.99. Those who have already purchased a copy for the Rift will receive the Quest port free-of-charge.
Battlewake from Survios
Survios (Raw Data, Sprint Vector) returns with a brand new title that players on a high seas adventure filled with intense pirate-on-pirate battles. Piloting their own ship through hostile waters, players will engage in chaotic 20-ship battles using a variety of deadly weapons, including gatling guns, axe throwers, ballistas, and of course, plenty of broadside cannons.
Battlewake will feature a 20-chapter that can be played in both single player and co-op. There’s also a cross-platform PvP deathmatch mode, as well as an additional 4-player co-op experience featuring random replayable objectives and dynamic enemies.
New gameplay showcased at E3 teases some of these intense multiplayer moments and the chaos of close-quarters combat. Based on the footage shown, it appears as though Survios is taking more of an arcade-style approach to the experience, setting itself apart from other, more realistic pirate-based VR games, such as Furious Seas.
Although Survios has yet to officially confirm an Oculus Quest launch, a closed beta signup sheet listing the Quest indicates the developer is, in fact, aiming for a standalone release.
Pistol Whip from Cloudhead Games
Although we still don’t know too much regarding Cloudhead Games’ upcoming musical shooter Pistol Whip, the developers promise an intense rhythmic experience guaranteed to make you feel like an action movie star. Based on the trailer provided, it appears as though players will be dodging bullets and shooting bad guys in an endless runner-style experience set to a thumping EDM soundtrack.
“It’s a shooter that you don’t necessarily have to be dead accurate for to hit. It’s a rhythm game that doesn’t require you to take out enemies in a specific order,” stated Cameron Oltmann, Programming/ Design Lead at Cloudhead Games, in an official developer doc.
Cloudhead has stated Pistol Whip will release on major VR headsets, but no specific platforms have been mentioned as of yet. The visuals, while chaotic, don’t appear to be visually taxing, which could suggest an Oculus Quest release. No doubt the experience—which incorporated a heavy amount of movement—would benefit greatly from standalone VR.
Spaceteam VR from Cooperative Innovations
A VR adaptation of the wildly-popular co-op smartphone game of the same name, Spaceteam VR is all about maintaining good teamwork in the face of unending chaos.
Set aboard the worlds most fragile space ship, players must work together to manage a series of continuous malfunctions in an attempt to keep their vessel operational. Each player is assigned a task to perform; the only issue is that the information they need to properly perform their duty—usually represented as bizarre symbols or unrecognizable alien text—is available only to the other players. This requires you and your teammates to keep an open line of communication in order to succeed; a task that starts simple, but becomes increasingly difficult as more complex commands begin appearing at faster rates.
There are also several new mechanics not featured in the original smartphone release that take better advantage of VR interactivity, such as a minigame in which players must fend off an alien barrage using ray guns, as well as sporadic fires which must be put out using fire extinguishers.
Cooperative Innovations has remained tight-lipped in regards to what platforms Spaceteam VR will be launching on as well as an official price.