MMO Games for Oculus Rift
Virtual reality or VR is a technology that has been around for decades, even back in the 90s you would occasionally find a VR game in the arcades that typically consisted of a platform to stand on and a huge hulking headset. The technology isn’t new, but for the first time it is actually coming into the home is a viable piece of gaming tech at a relatively affordable price, at least no more than the other gaming peripherals players will often buy. This homebound technology is being pioneered by the good people at Oculus with the Oculus Rift; a sleek, lightweight enclosed goggles/headset that is opening up the next generation of gaming.
For those who never got the chance to play a VR game, essentially what happens is the player equips a headset that has a built-in visual display and headphones, which acts like a personal Cinema, and the headset has a motion tracking technology that as you move your head the camera viewpoint in the game moves with you. To bring this kind of technology into the home is pretty ground breaking stuff, with the rise of gaming there are many creative ways of emerging as to how this technology can be applied, whilst at first many thought it would be a fad companies are quickly seeing the demand for VR games and are acting accordingly.
There’s been a relatively sudden shift since it became apparent that this technology wasn’t going to disappear overnight, gives developers are ready working on the next generation of VR games made specifically for the Rift, whereas others have taken a different approach and modified their games to enable Oculus support. Any game can typically be supported by the Rift, but those games that have a first person viewpoint are the ones that will benefit the most, and luckily for us there are a number of free to play games that fall into this bracket, and here are some of the ones we can’t wait to see:
Here is an example of support for the oculus rift being added post release of the game, the game itself is an FPS where people step into the cockpit of walking battle tanks and fight over dystopian battlefield. The pros of a game like Hawken adopting the support means that players can look around the cockpit with a full field of view and really feel like they are driving their mech, the realism of being actually in the battle is only further enhanced and really adds to the gameplay. However, with a few bugs and glitches here and there, it is often quite obvious when a game has not been designed with the Rift solely in mind and instead the already designed systems, mechanics and features have had to be modified afterwards. Still, even with its issues there is no denying that the Rift simply makes the game even better.
Another cockpit based game taking advantage of the first person viewpoint, here players take to the skies in their own World War II aeroplanes. Whilst a lot of flight type simulators have allowed support head tracking technology support to move the camera, the intuitiveness of the Rift takes it to a whole new level. Another issue with the cockpit type games is the depth and length of the cockpit is that the scale can sometimes feel too big or too small, especially with those games developed to support the Oculus Rift and not necessarily initially designed with it in mind. No one can argue though that being able to take a glance over to your wing as smoke plumes out of it from an enemy attack is going to be awesome.
the seamless nature of star citizen is perfectly suited to the oculus rift, where players can move from their hangar bays and into their ships without the need for loading screens meaning players can take full advantage of the realistic first person view as they step into their ship, take a seat in their swivel cockpit chair and glance over the cockpit controls. When out in space having the full 360 view both in your ship and the space outside your cockpit is truly humbling.
The last of our cockpit games is a victory, the F1/near future themed online racing game has stated it will have rift support, so given the static nature of an F1 car is cockpit, the lack of 360 movement that can be seen in flight simulators, we expect the addition to be more of a gimmick. That said as we have continued to establish in this article feeling like you are sat in your cars cockpit is going to make it all the more awesome as you give a glance over your shoulder whilst overtaking a competitor. Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaa!
V I V Online
A new MMO that is being that is taking advantage of not just the Oculus Rift but also motion tracking technology so that players can look around the world that they enter with the rift, but also manipulate objects with their hands that are tracked as you move them in real life and displayed accordingly in the game. The game takes Virtual Reality up a step, and whilst the game is still in development and right now visually quite a way off from the other MMO’s available, this is definitely the title to keep your eye on.
Sony have made it clear that they intend to give virtual reality Oculus support with EverQuest Next, but just how this will play out given the restrictions of an MMO RPG is still to be seen. The rift technology itself allows its users eyes to focus on distances as if it were real life, so the use of menus and static user interfaces as seen in MMO’s will be one hurdle Sony needs to combat. Furthermore most players actually play their MMORPGs in third person mode, so how this will be handled will be interesting to see though we expect that even in third person mode the game will feel much more immersive when combined with the Rift.
From the Makers of Eve Online has come Eve Valkyrie, the only game on our list that was made specifically for Virtual reality gaming and use with the Oculus Rift, the game itself is even known as EVE: VR. Where other games mould the Rifts capabilities around their own mechanics and systems EVE: VR’s mechanics and systems are moulded around the Rift. With the same bells and whistles as the other cockpit games EVE: VR has such things as visual missile tracking where players must keep a visual lock on their targets, which can be done even if their ship is pointing in a different direction. Essentially what this means is that EVE: VR is going to be able to do things with the Rift that many other games simply can’t as their core mechanics will support players that don’t use an Occulus. A bold move by developers CCP, but as one of the most innovative gaming companies around it’s hardly a surprise to us.