There’s aren’t a ton of truly immersive VR shooters, it’s really only a small handful that has great value. Yet for some reason, a lot of “best VR game” articles around the net include literally every VR shooter that comes out, maybe to boost article length due to a lack of truly stellar content in the VR industry – all we know is, you see a headline like “Top 50 VR Shooters”, and its literally a list of every VR shooter released in X amount of time.
We didn’t want to write that article – we wanted to showcase you the VR shooters that are actually worth playing. And sure, we may have missed a few – everyone has their favorites. But the games on this list can generally be agreed upon as being the must-play VR shooters for either a truly immersive VR experience, or just being tons of fun. Like, Tank Trouble levels of addicting fun – but if you have any better, more immersive VR shooters in mind, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Available on: Rift, Vive, Windows VR
Gunheart is one of those games where the developers sat down, wrote out a list of all the gameplay elements that would make a truly awesome VR shooter, and then actually included everything on that list. We’re not even exaggerating a little bit – there is so much content and gameplay features in Gunheart, the only thing holding Gunheart back from “best VR shooter literally ever” status is perhaps the ironically low player count.
Gameplay wise, Gunheart is like Halo, Doom, Warframe, and Borderlands were blended into a goopy liquid and strained through a VR headset. We meant that in a totally good way, and this is most likely due to the development team. Drifter Entertainment is made up of veterans from Epic Games, Oculus, and Microsoft, who worked on titles like Gears of War, Doom, and Halo – so it should be no surprise that Gunheart draws gameplay elements from those titles.
One another cool feature is that the PC version has a desktop mode, which means you can play even without a VR headset. That makes it a cross-platform title, sort of. So, kudos for that.
Stand Out: VR Battle Royale
Available on: Rift, Vive, Windows VR
If you don’t mind a game that’s nearly a shamelessly blatant copy of PUBG, albeit in VR, Stand Out: VR Battle Royale could be just for you. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not knocking SO:VRBR. Arena shooters are awesome, and we’ve logged tons of hours in everything from Call of Duty to Battlefield to Krunker.io – and the VR market is sorely lacking in competitive FPS deathmatch titles, so we’re not exactly going to complain if someone practically cloned PUBG for VR. We’ll just point it out in good spirit.
If you’re familiar with PUBG, there really isn’t anything to say about SO:VRBR. Its PUBG in VR. That’s all the description you need. If you aren’t familiar with PUBG (or battle royale games in general), think of them like Hunger Games. Players enter a huge map, scavenge for weapons, and just cause mayhem and shoot each other until one player is left alive. It’s simple, addicting, and incredibly fun.
Available on: PSVR
Released in May 2017, Farpoint was the de facto flagship title of Sony PSVR – and man was it a heck of a launch to showcase the capabilities of PSVR. True, Farpoint wasn’t fantastic – terrible DualShock 4 controls and PSVR hardware limitations ended up plaguing Farpoint. But as far as immersive campaign content, a compelling storyline, and a polished atmosphere goes, Farpoint really delivered.
Farpoint revolves around you, an astronaut that gets transported to an alien world via space anomaly, and you have to figure out what the heck happened. And how do you get home? And also, crab-spiders that are seriously reminiscent of Half-Life 2’s head-crabs everywhere. Levels can become a bit repetitive, but overall, Farpoint is the VR shooter the PSVR needed to showcase PSVR as a serious contender in the VR market.
From Other Suns
Available on: Rift
On paper, From Other Suns seems bland – it’s a “save Earth from an alien invasion” shooter. Been there like, a million times, right? What makes From Other Suns awesome is that it is entirely randomly procedurally generated (think Minecraft), which means no two games will ever be the same.
The developers did an awesome job of adding nuances and random events to gameplay, so there really is very little repetition in From Other Suns. There’s a huge variety of weapons (also randomly generated, and stat-based), which gives it a bit of a Borderlands-style feel.
Co-op gameplay is a blast, especially because From Other Suns has a rogue-like approach. So, it’s not like you can replay the same mission over and over again with friends, until you figure out the perfect strategy. You get one shot, and if you die, game over – new world, new missions, new everything. That might not appeal to everyone, but it should definitely appeal to gamers looking for a hardcore, unforgiving, yet totally awesome VR shooter experience.
Available on: Rift, Vive, PSVR, Windows VR
The VR market is especially saturated with zombie shooters, but Vertigo Games Arizona Sunshine is one that really sticks out from the rest. For starters, most VR zombie shooters keep you “locked in place” (we’ll call this the movement problem), and only allow you to ‘teleport’ to pre-defined areas. Arizona Sunshine takes a “point and teleport” approach, with a brief blink of the screen to simulate movement, similar to the style used in The Gallery. An update also included free-walking as an optional setting, though it comes with its own limitations and drawbacks.
The 4+ hour campaign is pretty basic and straight-forward, with no real substance or plot twists to speak of – but hey, we’re speaking about a zombie shooter. Which would you rather be doing, blowing zombies’ heads off, or watching storyline cutscenes? We thought so.
The horde mode is also excellent in multiplayer mode – up to 4 players can battle endless hordes of zombies, and it takes a lot of cooperation and team strategy to survive for any serious length of time, as Arizona Sunshine’s zombies are hard. In any case, Arizona Sunshine is a great place to start if you’re looking for an immersive VR shooter experience.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Available on: PSVR
This PSVR exclusive title took everything that was creepy and scary about the original Resident Evil titles, before the series went all arcade-action-shooter on us, and ratcheted up that scare factor to 11, all in VR. It’s a pants-wetting kind of game, mostly due to how polished the VR immersion is.
We’re really not overhyping how scary RE7 is in VR mode – this is coming from an author who yawned at Amnesia, laughed at Outlast, and fell asleep during Fatal Frame. I thought I was completely desensitized to “horror” games, but RE7 is freaking terrifying.
So, if you’re not weak of heart, and can afford a few extra pairs of briefs, definitely give Resident Evil 7: Biohazard a try.