Top VR games to watch out for in 2023
May 16, 2023:
The following VR games have been added:
- Everslaught Invasion
- F1 23
- Into the Radius 2
Looking for the best virtual reality games to play in 2023? Check out our top picks for the most anticipated VR titles coming out this year.
The following VR games are listed in alphabetical order. The best VR titles of the past year can be found here.
Survios and 20th Century Fox announced a new game in the Aliens universe in July 2022. It will be released for PC, consoles and unspecified virtual reality platforms. The new story puts you between the first two science fiction classics Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986).
According to the official website, you take on the role of a battle-hardened veteran who leads a vendetta against the Xenomorphs. That sounds like an action-heavy game. Survios itself classifies it as an “action horror game”. Technically, the game is based on the Unreal Engine 5.
Survios, the studio behind the highly-acclaimed boxing game Creed: Rise to Glory, has gained a wealth of experience in the world of virtual reality with licensed games like Westworld Awakening. While their portfolio also includes the less successful The Walking Dead: Onslaught, the studio is known for its elaborate virtual reality settings, with Creed: Rise to Glory standing out as a particularly impressive example, even on the Quest headset.
There is no date yet, but a release in 2023 is possible.
The PC VR mod for Alien: Isolation has already proven that the franchise and VR are a perfect match, with the game making it onto our list of the best VR horror games.
Assassin’s Creed Nexus
Platforms: Meta Quest, possibly other VR platforms
As fans continue to wait for more big-name game series to make the jump into VR, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Nexus might just be the answer to their wishes. The game was first announced by Meta over two years ago, with only a hint that familiar characters would appear in the new VR adventure.
Recently, leaks have provided further insight into the game, including a leaked gameplay video that surfaced on Reddit in April 2022. Keep an eye out for more updates on this highly anticipated VR title from Ubisoft.
According to leaks, Ubisoft’s highly anticipated VR game, Assassin’s Creed Nexus, will offer players the chance to take on the roles of familiar characters including Ezio, Cassandra, Connor, and Haytham in linear missions that last around 20 minutes each.
While there will be no open game world, players can expect to engage in all the classic elements of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, including sneaking, pickpocketing, lockpicking, fighting with precision, climbing, and the iconic “Leap of Faith.” The game will also feature a range of weapons including swords, hidden blades, throwing knives, smoke bombs, and a crossbow.
In addition to these features, Nexus will include parkour sequences that can be activated with the push of a button and options to prevent motion sickness. The game is expected to be released for Quest headsets in 2023, potentially coinciding with the release of the Quest 3 headset. According to rumors from Insider Gaming magazine, the supposedly no longer Meta-exclusive game could also be released for other VR platforms.
Platforms: Meta Quest 2, Playstation VR 2, PC VR
Skydance Interactive, the studio behind the highly successful VR game The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, is set to release the sequel, Chapter 2: Retribution, at the end of 2022.
The studio’s newest VR game, Behemoth, looks to be an epic adventure in which players will take on giant colossi in a brutal fight for survival with a hint of folk horror. Keep an eye out for more updates on this highly anticipated VR title as the release date approaches.
Players will take on the role of an outcast fighting their way through the ruins of a collapsed civilization in search of secrets that may still be buried in the rubble. The game features fully physics-based swordplay against human opponents, including realistic collisions, blocks, and parries. Players can also utilize a grappling hook to bring enemies closer or climb steep walls.
While gameplay scenes have yet to be shown, this VR title is expected to be a potential hit in 2023. Keep an eye out for more updates as the release date approaches.
Platforms: Meta Quest 2
Release: May 25, 2023
It’s two against all in this fantasy arena: Everslaught Invasion brings a co-op slasher to Quest 2. The VR game sends one to two players into dungeons and fantasy cities to assassinate heaps of monsters for loot, experience and, of course, honor.
The action already feels pleasantly dynamic. With a grappling hook on the upper wrist of the left arm, players can quickly move to higher levels via fixed points or swing through half the arena with a bit of practice.
My colleague Ben did not feel any nausea when playing the game at Gamescom 2023. However, he experienced slight balance problems during fast movements like the attack swing with his right arm. Everslaught Invasion is blazing fast and combined with the muscle strain and constant hammering, it’s also sweat-inducing.
Its flow feels really fun: swinging at an undead with the grappling hook and punching it in the face is pretty cool! The finished game is supposed to include role-playing elements like a progression system. Players collect loot and currency and can use it to upgrade their equipment and learn new skills.
Fast Travel Games is publishing the Quest 2 version. The original Everslaught on Steam has been in Early Access since 2021. This version initially got very good ratings. It recently received negative reviews, though, complaining about the lack of updates.
Platforms: PC VR
Release: June 16, 2023
EA subsidiary Codemasters returns to the professional racetracks of Formula 1. The Windows version of F1 23 (Steam, Epic Games Store, EA App) once again supports VR headsets. Other VR platforms like the Playstation VR 2, however, are left empty-handed, as EA confirmed to us upon request.
All 2023 teams, drivers, and tracks are included, so you get the exciting Las Vegas Grand Prix and the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Improved driving behavior, meanwhile, is intended to provide more predictability. The new physics give the cars better traction when braking, accelerating, and cornering, they say.
The announcement trailer already makes it clear that the makers attach great importance to the return of the “Braking Point” story mode, which was missing in F1 22. It follows the careers of the young upstart Aiden Jackson and the protagonist Devon Butler, who are now teammates in the young, fictional “Konnersport Racing Team”. New rivalries are meant to add excitement to the cinematically told story and its challenges.
Fans of the sportsmanship rating in Gran Turismo 7 will be pleased with the new safety rating system, which also encourages clean driving in offline races.
If menus and pit lanes run well this time, fans of the racing series could be in for an exciting VR game. The races themselves were already executed beautifully in F1 22.
Platforms: Playstation VR 2
Firewall Ultra from First Contact Entertainment looks to be the VR version of Rainbow Six Siege. Its predecessor, Firewall Zero Hour for the original Playstation VR, is widely considered one of the best and most popular tactical shooters in the VR space.
As an exclusive title for the Playstation VR 2, Firewall Ultra is expected to take advantage of the new headset’s capabilities, including the ability to select weapons and user interface elements through eye control. Keep an eye out for more updates on this highly anticipated VR title as it approaches its release.
Firewall Ultra is expected to feature a range of weapons that behave differently in combat. The game’s Contracts mode, in which a team of mercenaries tries to hack a laptop while the opposing team tries to stop them, returns with a few updates. Matches will now take place in rounds of three on dedicated servers to reduce lag, and the studio has promised an entirely new PvE experience against bots.
In addition to these updates, Firewall Ultra is set to feature new maps and clients, as well as a complete overhaul of old content, including new areas, textures, and character models.
Platforms: Playstation VR 2, PC VR
Release:PC VR: May 18, 2023, Playstation VR 2: unknown
Adventure game fans will be pleased to hear that the highly anticipated crowdfunding project, Firmament, from Myst studio Cyan Worlds, is set to be released on a range of platforms including PC-VR, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and the new Playstation VR 2 headset. The game will not be compatible with the Playstation VR 1 headset.
Firmament takes players on a journey through a series of fantastic worlds with the help of a spherical, mechanical companion. Players will communicate with the mysterious artifact using gestures as they explore the stunning ice landscapes with steampunk aesthetics. Myst veterans will feel right at home in this immersive world.
This isn’t the first VR title from the studio, which previously released adaptations of its classic Myst for the Meta Quest 2 and PC VR, as well as the sci-fi adventure Obduction in 2016, known for its breathtaking backdrops and challenging puzzles.
Ghostbusters: Rise Of The Ghost Lord
Platforms: Meta Quest 2, Playstation VR 2
After the unsuccessful first VR adventure of the Ghostbusters, Sony has hired the renowned VR studio nDreams, known for games like Fracked and Phantom: Covert Ops, for a new game in the franchise: Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord. In addition to building your own headquarters and customizing your character, players can hunt for ghosts solo or cooperatively.
Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord will not be a sequel to the recent feature film Ghostbusters: Legacy, but rather a new story set in the Ghostbusters universe, taking place between the present and the near future. Players will be tasked with solving a “profound mystery” as they hunt for ghosts and other ethereal creatures in the city of San Francisco, armed with a proton pack and a P.K.E. meter.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Platforms: Meta Quest 2
After the success of Meta’s VR version of Resident Evil 4, fans are wondering if Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will achieve similar success in VR. The VR port of the open-world game was announced as an exclusive for the Quest 2 at the end of 2021, and is said to have been in development for several years.
The 2004 classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas set the bar high in terms of game world scale and the dynamic response of CJ’s stomach to binge eating or training sessions. Mark Zuckerberg has promised that players will be able to experience the classic in “a new way,” though it is not yet clear whether this will include a first-person perspective on the cities of Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas.
Platforms: Meta Quest 2, PC-VR, probably also Playstation VR 2.
Hellsweeper VR from Mixed Realms is promising some of the “craziest moves in VR,” including wall-running, power-sliding, backflips, bullet-time, and more. The game features waves of enemies that come from all directions, requiring fast and nimble movements complemented by a range of melee and ranged weapons, as well as magical elements. The combination of movement and attack results in action-packed moments reminiscent of a Devil May Cry in first-person perspective.
In addition to single player and co-op modes, Hellsweeper VR is expected to offer a roguelike mode and a sandbox mode, though details on the latter have not yet been released. The game is a strong contender for “VR Action Fireworks of the Year,” and while versions for the Meta Quest 2 and PC VR are confirmed, Mixed Realms has also announced on Twitter that it is “targeting” a conversion for the Playstation VR 2 headset.
Into the Radius 2
Platforms: SteamVR, maybe other VR platforms
Soon, fans of VR survival games will finally be able to live out their cleaning obsessions again: In Into the Radius, weapons and equipment had to be well cared for in order to work properly during the atmospheric excursions into the surreal environment. The survival game reminiscent of the Stalker trilogy is getting a successor, which is already in development.
This was announced by the Estonian studio CM Games on Steam: “The second chapter of Into the Radius is being developed. We are in the pre-production phase, and will follow an Early Access development model like before when the time is right.” So whether Early Access will start as early as 2023 is not yet certain.
It is, however, not unlikely. After all, the development of chapter one also went pleasantly fast and efficiently. The studio is reluctant to reveal any details about the sequel. However, they have hinted that many suggestions and ideas from the community have been taken into account in this new installment.
Into the Radius is an open-world game about survival in a blighted zone. You have to avoid physical anomalies, collect valuable artifacts, and engage in realistic combat with other stalkers.
The PC VR gaming community loves the survival game: On Steam, the title has almost 7,000 positive reviews. Into The Radius was also well received on Meta Quest 2. There, it became one of the 50 most rated VR games just half a year after its release. I also found it to be a “really good survival game for virtual reality” in my review.
Resident Evil 4 (VR Content)
Platforms: Playstation VR 2
Release: Playstation 5: March 24, 2023, PSVR 2: unknown
Capcom is working on a next-gen remake of Resident Evil 4 that will feature support for the Playstation VR 2 on the PS5. It is still unclear whether the complete remake will be playable with the Playstation VR 2 or only a special mode.
Originally released in 2005, Resident Evil 4 put a focus on action and pace as players take on the role of special agent Leon S. Kennedy, sent to Europe to rescue the kidnapped daughter of the US president from a cult. In a remote village, they’ll have to fight against mutated residents and various monsters while also collecting and selling treasures to invest in weapons like pistols, assault rifles, and bazookas.
Platforms: Playstation VR 2
Ndreams should be a familiar name to VR fans, having created the innovative action games Phantom: Covert Ops (2020) and Fracked (2021). The exclusive Synapse for PSVR 2 combines brutal firepower, 1:1 telekinesis and an iconic art style, writes studio head James Shepherd in the Playstation Blog.
“VR heightens your senses, making you feel so immersed and involved in the world around you and we wanted to fully explore this with Synapse. We saw the opportunity with PS VR2 to create a new, expressive mechanic that is perfect for VR – telekinesis.”
The VR game’s surreal visual style was designed to take full advantage of the Playstation VR 2’s OLED display and significantly increased graphics performance. Combined with foveated rendering, the game world is said to look extremely vivid and sharp.
The VR headset’s eye-tracking allows you to pick up objects or enemies just by looking at them, and then throw them through the air with your hand. “We’ve tailored the wielding of telekinesis to feel instinctive and expressive, giving players new ways to take down enemies and progress through levels”, Shepherd writes.
All information about Sony's VR headset can be found in our Playstation VR 2 review. You will also need a Playstation 5.
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You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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