Very few AAA games series stand the test of time. Even former stalwarts like the Settlers end up either retiring outright or becoming online-only clickers. Others, however, get a second lease of life when they are revived. Doom, Wolfenstein, and others have gained a second lease on life. Normally this is from either fans reviving the IP or companies dusting off their back catalog. There are some now who can stand to gain from the introduction of VR into the mainstream. Here are the AAA games candidates that will gain a lot from a VR experience.
Ace Combat is a series that’s been around since the heyday of arcades. An interesting mix between simulator and arcade, you fly as a fighter pilot in a fictional world. The action is fast-paced and exciting, and even though the latest installments have all been subject to dumbing down for either mobile audiences or those not used to flight sims, the series is still going strong with the release of Ace Combat 7 next year. VR would be an excellent compliment to the series because it gives the extra immersion of being in a fighter jet and removes the common issue with VR, extreme nausea. Thankfully Namco Bandai thinks the same, and there will be support for the PSVR with the next installment. However, the VR content is separate from the main story. If VR picks up, maybe the title afterward will make a move to full VR content.
Another entrant in the list who is actively working on a VR experience, Resident Evil has had an identity issue for a long time. Since RE4, Capcom’s iconic horror franchise has seen some questionable entries. With the release of RE7, it seems like the feel of the original has been recaptured. This is also the first entry in the franchise to experiment with VR, which has so far received mixed responses. However, we have been shown that VR horror is very effective. If Capcom can work to remove all of the kinks, Resident Evil VR could be a triumph, and revitalise horror AAA games.
Timesplitters is an entry that is perfect for VR for many reasons. It’s an on-rails shooter, which works great in arcades but less so for home consoles. However, in VR that’s perfect because we haven’t found a solution to the problem of moving around in VR without inducing nausea. So playing a game where all you do is pop out of cover and shoot at bad guys can fill that uneasy gap that has been created with FPS games in VR. Since there are already shooters that emulate the Time Crisis experience, the time is right to move this arcade shooter to the home console in a way that makes sense.
System Shock and its sequel are often lauded as some of the best games ever released. Bioshock, while not quite reaching that, is a fantastic game which balances atmosphere, narrative, and gameplay which very few manage. But, since Irrational Games closed up shop after Bioshock Infinite, we have not seen any new entries into the franchise. Maybe it’s time to return to this world? After all, the only way to improve upon the world of Rapture or Columbia is the ability to see it in VR.
All the fun of a racing sim without the tiresome limitations like traction or g-forces, and you would have F-Zero. This cult classic racing game is crazy, and in desperate need to returning to this generation of consoles. Just like with Ace Combat, this is a title that would be perfect for VR, sitting you in a cockpit of what is essentially a rocket running around a race track. Experiences like Rogue One’s X-wing experience and the VR Jackal section of Call of Duty: Infinite Warefare have shown the appeal of cockpit-oriented VR experiences, so let’s bring F-Zero Back in this form.