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.
Virtual reality makes this kind of experience possible. Many popular characters are already making their way onto the platform, but there are some stars that would shine particularly bright in VR.
Sonic the Hedgehog
There’s nothing quite like the experience of playing as Sonic the Hedgehog.
Whether you’re bursting through a level collecting rings at breakneck speed, or leaping across platforms as you dodge the attacks of wily Badniks, the experience is exhilarating from start to finish.
What’s more, a group of fans recently created Green Hill Paradise Act 2, a fan game which makes the Blue Blur even more enjoyable in 3D. Here, the player blasts through a large open world, performing tricks at the speed of sound. The project has even received praise from official Sega channels, as the Sonic Twitter account gave its blessing to this and other fan games.
Green Hill Paradise Act 2 would be an intense experience in virtual reality.
It’s exciting to imagine just how much more exhilarating it would be to experience a well-made 3D Sonic game like Green Hill Paradise in virtual reality. With a front row seat for Sonic’s flips, tricks, and speedy loops, the game could easily become one of the most intense, fast-paced experiences in VR.
The challenge would be making moves like Sonic’s spin dash work in such a way that the player isn’t thrown around in circles to the point of nausea. While it’s fun to play as Sonic, actually experiencing that much inertia probably wouldn’t be all that enjoyable.
There are few characters as compelling, terrifying, and downright hilarious as GlaDOS, the antagonist in Valve’s series of Portal games. A monstrous artificial intelligence created to run an underground scientific testing facility, GlaDOS is best known for spouting sarcastic, passive-aggressive quips at the player as they make their way through a deadly testing facility.
GlaDOS has made a tantalizing appearance in a Portal-themed tech demo for the HTC Vive, and her presence can be felt in other Portal VR games such as The Lab and Portal Stories, but all of this teasing has only made it more exciting to imagine the prospect of a full VR interaction with the character.
There are few video game characters as intimidating and entertaining as GlaDOS.
As much fun as it might be to face off against GlaDOS in an arena similar to the final level of Portal, however, there’s also another, slightly more disturbing way that the character could be used in VR. Imagine taking on GlaDOS’ role as a personality sphere in charge of organizing Aperture Science and shuffling thousands of test subjects into their inevitable meeting with cake.
This kind of idea plays out in the Portal board game, and there’s a certain amount of twisted appeal to the idea of seeing the world through the eyes of GlaDOS as you make life and death decisions for your fleet of test subjects.
There are few characters in video games as undeniably charming as Guybrush Threepwood. While not always the brightest of sparks, the character’s sense of humor and penchant for breaking the fourth wall makes him particularly enjoyable to watch as he goes about his adventures in the Monkey Island adventure games.
Considering how often Guybrush ends up being the butt of a slapstick practical joke, it wouldn’t necessarily be much fun to actually see the world through his eyes—but as a friend to while away lazy days on a tropical island with, there are few better choices.
Guybrush Threepwood would be a fun character to hang out with in VR.
The character is fun, engaging, and very entertaining—watching him as a casual observer as he gets into mischief would be an excellent use of virtual reality. It’s very likely that VR will do wonders for the adventure genre in general, and seeing this classic Lucasarts protagonist fully realized in a virtual reality space would be nothing short of wonderful.
Considering that Lucasarts was bought by Disney, and that Disney shut down their games department, we’re unlikely to see Guybrush Threepwood in VR anytime soon—but you never know when he might pop up again!
As unorthodox as it is that the current Hitman game is being released piecemeal over the course of several months, it’s hard to argue with the results. IO Interactive are creating some absolutely gorgeous levels, packed with interesting characters and a variety of fun and bizarre ways to murder your targets within each stage. It’s these elements of Hitman, rather than anything particular about Agent 47 himself, that would make stepping into his shoes so much fun.
Being Agent 47 in virtual reality would be fun—not necessarily because of the character, but because of the inventive tools at his disposal.
One genetically enhanced clone assassin is pretty much the same as any other, and the lead character of the Hitman franchise isn’t about to win any contests for having a charming and effervescent personality. By entering his line of work, however, video game characters would have the chance to lounge in trendy cafes in Paris, sipping lattes and waiting for their mark to make a fatal mistake. Players could ditch Agent 47’s trademark black suit and tie and steal the uniform of a security guard in a fancy Marrakesh restaurant instead, or stroll down the red carpet at a fashion show just for fun.
That’s not to mention the variety of gameplay options available to the player. You could murder a target with a hundred different items that can be easily weaponized the moment they enter your hands, and do so dressed in any number of bizarre costumes.
It’s Agent 47’s chameleonic nature that would make him so fun to inhabit in virtual reality, and the beautiful settings for his games would be the perfect opportunity to travel the world while sitting in your own living room—as long as you’re okay with performing a few digital murders to fund your travels.
One of the most three-dimensional video game characters ever created, Garrus’ story plays out over the course of the entire Mass Effect trilogy, in a long narrative filled with character development (and possibly romance) that spans well over sixty hours of content.
Whether Garrus is your ideal video game lover or the best alien wingman you could ever hope for, it’s hard not to develop a bond with the character over the course of the time he spends performing calibrations within your spaceship. During many moments in the game, Garrus feels more real than any video game character ever has in the past, making him an obvious choice for conversion to virtual reality.
Garrus certainly knows how to plan a fun day out.
It’s often the quiet moments within Mass Effect games that Garrus shines the brightest, and these little conversations would be wonderful to experience in virtual reality. Whether Garrus is telling war stories from his time in the Turian military or simply enjoying some sharpshooting practice atop the Citadel, it’d be a dream come true for many fans of the character to enjoy his presence through the immersive wonders of VR.
Making New Friends in VR
There are plenty of fantastic, diverse, and interesting characters in video games that would be wonderful to interact with in virtual reality. The exciting thing about VR, though, is that new ideas are being bounced around all the time, and the medium is producing a wide variety of new characters for players to spend time with.
Take, for example, Alice from Loading Human. Passionate, strong-willed, and intelligent, the character has a big impact on the story at the heart of the game, and players are able to spend plenty of time in conversation with her throughout their adventures.
Alice is a new video game friend just waiting to be discovered in VR.
Alice is just one of many characters that have been designed for virtual reality that players can spend time with. This is at the heart of what makes virtual reality so exciting—the ability to feel a character’s presence in a way that’s previously not been possible in games.
Seeing any of the characters on this list transformed into a full VR experience would be a real thrill. It’s going to be just as much fun, though, to find new favorite characters that have been designed specifically with virtual reality in mind.
To meet Loading Human’s Alice for yourself, pre-order the game today. It will arrive as a launch title for the PlayStation VR on October 13, and will be available for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well.
Lead image source: Opposable VR