See You in the Movies: How VR is Changing the Meaning of Cinematic Games

Exercise restraint in VR game design!

If there’s one word that describes many of my favorite games, it’s cinematic. What that means, however, can be a little nebulous. When I call Final Fantasy X cinematic, am I talking about the long, beautiful cutscenes, or the epic battles? When critics refer to the Uncharted series as cinematic games, does that mean the Indiana Jones-inspired stories, or the action sequences?

When we call a video game cinematic, we’re saying it somehow reminds us of a film. As games become more immersive and distinguish themselves as a unique art form, the exact elements that constitute a game being cinematic evolve, especially in the light of virtual reality.

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Don’t Forget It’s Not Real: VR and Suspension of Disbelief

Loading Human is a prime example of what VR games have to offer

When I was younger, sometimes I would lay down to sleep after an evening spent rotating blocks in Tetris and have a hard time turning off my brain. Behind my eyelids, in the dark of the night, I could still see a familiar pattern of falling geometric shapes. My brain was trying to solve a puzzle that wasn’t there anymore.

Virtual reality is a wonderful, immersive tool that can provide us with hours of realistic, believable entertainment. But what happens when we turn it off? If Tetris can lodge itself firmly in a ten-year old’s mind, you can be sure VR’s going to have an impact that lasts long after you’ve taken off the headset. Continue reading

Virtual Vacations: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to VR

Virtual VR Vacations

How many cities have you visited in your life?

Ten? Twenty? A hundred? No matter how many you’ve seen, it’s a miniscule number compared to the variety that planet Earth has to offer. This is to say nothing of all the incredibly uncharted locations around the world—rich, thick Amazonian jungle, snowy arctic fjords, and vast, arid deserts that no human has ever fully explored.

With virtual reality, gamers have the opportunity to see the world, all from the comfort of their own living room. Beyond real world locales, it’s even possible to play the tourist in an imaginary setting, traversing Middle Earth or exploring the galaxy. Continue reading

Five Classic Video Game Characters We’d Love to See (or Be) in VR

Game characters we'd love to see in VR

Have you ever come across a video game character you loved so much, you wished they were real?

Imagine carrying out a genuine conversation with your favorite NPC, watching them react to you as if you’re actually in the same room together. Or, perhaps you’d rather take on their persona for yourself, inhabiting their body and gaining their powers and attributes, seeing through their eyes as you explore their home world. Continue reading

Where to Start? The Best VR Picks Based on Games You Already Love

VR picks based on games you already love

There are a lot of fantastic virtual reality games out there—so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to know which games to start with. Each gamer has their own preferences and favorites, and what one person recommends might not be the best fit for your particular tastes.

So when exploring the wild and wonderful options available in virtual reality, it makes sense to start somewhere familiar. While not all traditional games have made the leap to VR yet, often you’ll find a new title that expands or improves on a gameplay formula you know and love. Continue reading

Five Great VR Games for the Virtual Reality Skeptic

Loading Human is a prime example of what VR games have to offer

It’s not easy to explain the best bits of virtual reality to an unbeliever who hasn’t tried out the technology.

The exhilarating feeling of looking through a new pair of eyes or marveling at an incredible digital landscape can be a very personal experience, so while it’s possible to talk about it, words don’t always capture the essence of VR.

If you’re not yet certain about whether virtual reality is for you, there are a few games you should try out first before writing off the technology completely. Here are some fantastic VR experiences that show off the amazing possibilities that the technology has to offer:

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