The Best PlayStation VR Games of 2020

PlayStation VR third anniversary

After four years the PlayStation VR is still going which is an accomplishment considering the lifespan of most virtual reality (VR) headsets. Even with PlayStation 5 now available, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) has ensured continued compatibility whether you’re new to VR or not. For PlayStation VR owners there’s been plenty of content to choose from in 2020, so here’s 10 of the best.

PlayStation VR

Unlike previous years, PlayStation VR’s dominance has wained and with it, all the exclusives the platform was known for. There are still a couple on the list below, but most of the titles now tend to be multi-platform. That’s no bad thing as there are some great videogames on offer.

The Best PSVR Games of 2020

Marvel’s Iron Man VR

Let’s start with an exclusive though, in fact, PlayStation VR’s biggest exclusive of the year, Marvel’s Iron Man VR. After a series of delays developer Camouflaj released the highly anticipated title during the summer, providing players with the first proper chance to don the famous suit.

With a pair of PlayStation Move controllers you can take to the skies to battle new enemies, learning how to use the Repulsor Jets to dodge enemy attacks as well as shoot them. As the campaign progresses you can customise the suit with various offensive and defensive capabilities to suit the missions. This is the closest to being Iron Man you’ll ever get.

Iron Man VR

Paper Beast

One of the more unusual VR experience to arrive this year, Pixel Reef’s Paper Beast is a surreal puzzle adventure inside a world created from big data. In this simulated ecosystem, bizarre creatures have come to life, exhibiting similar characteristics to real-world animals.

The main campaign revolves around interacting with the creatures and environment to solve the various challenges, providing some awe-inspiring visuals along the way. In addition to the campaign, there’s a sandbox mode where you can build your own worlds. One of those videogames which showcase how unique VR can be.

Paper Beast

Final Assault

Originally released last year for PC VR headsets, after much work Phaser Lock Interactive managed to bring WWII strategy game Final Assault to PlayStation VR.

With a single-player campaign as well as cross-platform multiplayer, Final Assault is fully featured when it comes to content. You command ground and aerial troops like a table-top boardgame, dropping them in to lead an attack or setup defensive positions before pushing forward. The aim being to destroy your opponents base. Lots of fun if you like real-time strategy (RTS) titles.

Final Assault

Pixel Ripped 1995

When it comes to retro nostalgia in VR ARVORE’s Pixel Ripped series has got you covered. The latest is Pixel Ripped 1995, taking you back 25 years to a time where sprites were transitioning into 3D graphics.

Considered a golden era for videogames, Pixel Ripped 1995 features six levels containing nods to titles such as Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, Road Rash, Star Fox, Sonic the HedgehogCastlevania and many more. You play as Dot who needs to vanquish her arch enemy the evil Cyblin Lord, aided by a 9-year-old videogame fan called David. Gameplay jumps between 2D and 3D, where you have to deal with challenges both onscreen and off. Certain to put a smile on any players face.

Pixel Ripped 1995

Gorn

Not one for younger players unless you go straight into the settings to switch the gore off, Gorn is pure over-the-top violence in a comedic, cartoon style. You’re a gladiator and the aim here is to survive brutal arena fights using whatever weapons come to hand (or just use your hands).

No crimson paint is spared as you break bones and dismember opponents with knives, axes, maces, bows and even environmental obstacles. Everything has a bouncy, ragdoll effect, so enemies can be flung around whilst the weapons wobble around like giant sponges. Addictive in its simplicity, Gorn is also quite the workout due to the physical exertion of beating cartoon gladiators senseless.

Dreams

One for those who love to be creative as well as play videogames, Dreams was a major launch for PlayStation 4 early in the year, with VR support added a few months later.

Developer Media Molecule has created a title where you can play its own single-player experience as well as those from the rest of the Dreams community. If you want to delve deeper then there’s a massive selection of tools to build whatever you want, from a simple art piece to a videogame which can be shared with the world. A videogame with limitless possibilities.

Dreams - PSVR

Pistol Whip

Another 2019 title which finally made it to PlayStation VR, Cloudhead Games’ Pistol Whip is a rhythm-action videogame like no other. Evoking films like John Wick you can become an action-movie badass, shooting enemies and dodging to a thumping soundtrack.

With 15 on-rail ‘Scenes’, the gameplay is intense and physical, encouraging you to move out the way of bullets whilst firing off as many of your own. The visuals are just as dramatic, creating an all-encompassing experience which will make you sweat. Plus there are plenty of modifiers to make things harder whilst upping that score for top leaderboard positions. Then early next year PlayStation VR owners will be treated to free DLC Pistol Whip 2089.

Pistol Whip

Until You Fall

It was on VRFocus’Best Oculus Quest Games of 2020‘ list and now Schell Games’ Until You Fall has made it here as well. This is a hack-n-slash roguelite where death is cruel and the gameplay even more so.

It’s all about melee combat, fighting through the procedural world of Rokar where each run-through isn’t quite the same but you can become stronger in the process. Attack, block and parry relentless foes. Should you fail then returning to the hub means you can upgrade weapons or select new ones to change your strategy. Energetic like Gorn, however, Until You Fall requires far more precision.

Until You Fall

Star Wars: Squadrons

This videogame needs little introduction as it was the major release in October, strapping pilots into either Rebel or Imperial ships to battle in that far off galaxy. While you don’t necessarily need to be a fan of the franchise, it certainly helps when playing Star Wars Squadrons.

With single-player and multiplayer modes, in the story-driven campaign, you swap between the two opposing faction’s narratives, jumping into a selection of craft like the X-Wing or Tie Fighter. Over in multiplayer you have those same options, teaming up in a crew to take down Capital ships or engage in online dogfights. Great if you’re after a more comfortable, sat down VR experience.

Star Wars: Squadrons

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

As the chaos of 2020 has managed to avoid a zombie apocalypse why not put yourself into one voluntarily with The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. A survival game set within a partially flooded New Orleans, make new friends, enemies and take down a few walkers along the way.

As a drifter you encounter warring factions vying for the few resources which remain whilst trying to scavenge your own in the derelict buildings and streets. Craft useful items and new weapons, blades are silent but will tire you out where guns have great stopping power as well as attracting attention. Outside of the main campaign, there’s The Trial horde mode if you just want some arcade action, killing waves of walkers. Plenty to keep you entertained and for practising those survival skills.

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Half-Life: Alyx Wins Best VR/AR At The Game Awards

Half-Life: Alyx has won Best VR/AR Game at The Game Awards, beating out Star Wars: Squadrons, Iron Man VR and more.

While there are VR games games spread out into other categories, there’s only one specific VR/AR category and Alyx was up against some tough competition.

The full nominees for Best VR/AR Game were Star Wars: Squadrons, Iron Man VR, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Dreams and, the winner, Half-Life: Alyx.

Half-Life: Alyx was also nominated for Best Audio Design, Best Game Direction and Best Action Game. It lost all three –  Best Audio Design and Best Game Direction went to Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II and Best Action Game to Supergiant’s Hades.

In other categories, Phasmophobia managed to take home the award for Best Debut Game. While Phasmophobia’s VR support is optional, it was the only game in the category with any form of VR support. It managed to beat out Carrion, Mortal Shell, Raji: An Ancient Epic and Roki.

No Man’s Sky, which offers VR support on many platforms, managed to take home Best Ongoing Game over Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Destiny 2 and Apex Legends. It was also nominated for Best Community Support, but lost to Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.

Microsoft Flight Simulator also won in the Best Simulation/Strategy Game category. The game doesn’t have VR support yet, but will later this month.

No VR games were nominated for the overall Game of the Year award, which went to The Last of Us: Part II.

You can see a full list of all of the Game Awards’ categories, nominees and winners here.

Watch The Game Awards Tomorrow, Instagram AR Filters Available Now

It’s that time of year — awards season is upon us. For the gaming world, it all kicks off with The Game Awards, which goes live at 3:30pm PST tomorrow.

The Game Awards are one of the bigger annual awards ceremonies in the video games sphere. Not only are loads of awards handed out over several categories, but the ceremony is often littered with big game announcements as well. It’s a bit like the Oscars mixed with an E3 presentation.

In terms of VR and AR nominees, there’s a VR game nominated in 8 of the 29 categories, as well as a whole ‘Best VR/AR of the Year’ award. You can read our full breakdown of VR nominees across other categories, but here’s the shortlist for the Best of VR/AR category specifically:

Dreams (Media Molecule/SIE)

Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

MARVEL’s Iron Man VR (Camoflaj/SIE)

STAR WARS: Squadrons (Motive Studios/EA)

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners (Skydance Interactive)

What would be your choice to take home the award?

The Game Awards also announced that six exclusive AR Instagram filters are available now on the ceremony’s Instagram page, @thegameawards. Five of the filters overlay an AR design of a character from a nominated game onto your face — the Hades filter, for example, gives you black Zagreus-like hair, changes the color of your pupils and places you inside a Greek-theme photo frame. Sadly the filters focus on nominees from the general Game of the Year category, and none feature VR games.

The Game Awards will be streaming tomorrow on Twitch, YouTube and many other platforms from 3:30pm PST.

The Game Awards 2020 Nominees Feature Half-Life: Alyx, No Man’s Sky, And More Across Multiple Categories

Today The Game Awards announced its 2020 nominees across a wide range of categories including Game of the Year, Best VR/AR Game of the Year, and more. At least one VR game appears in 8 out of 29 categories which, I’m fairly certain, is the most ever. Half-Life: Alyx is the most widely nominated.

Of course the big one for The Game Awards is obviously VR/AR Game of the Year and they’ve done a good job of selecting a wide range of experiences across multiple platforms. Here are the nominees:

best ar vr game awards 2020 nominees

The Game Awards: Best VR/AR of the Year

Dreams (Media Molecule/SIE)

Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

MARVEL’s Iron Man VR (Camoflaj/SIE)

STAR WARS: Squadrons (Motive Studios/EA)

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners (Skydance Interactive)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Half-Life: Alyx shows up multiple other times across the entire list of nominees as well. Here is the list of all other categories that include at least one VR game in their lists of nominees:

Best Game Direction

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)

Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)

Hades (Supergiant Games)

Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Best Audio Design

DOOM Eternal (id Software/Bethesda)

Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)

Resident Evil 3 (Capcom)

The Last of Us Part 2 (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Best Ongoing

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)

Destiny 2 (Bungie)

Call of Duty Warzone (Infinity Ward/Activision)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Best Community Support

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)

Destiny 2 (Bungie)

Fall Guys (Mediatonic/Devolver)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Valorant (Riot Games)

Best Action

DOOM Eternal (id Software/Bethesda)

Hades (Supergiant Games)

Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

Nioh 2 (Team Ninja)

Streets of Rage 4 (DotEmu)

Best Sim/Strategy

Crusader Kings III (Paradox Development Studio/Paradox)

Desperados III (Mimimi Games/THQN)

Gears Tactics (Splash Damage/The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo/Xbox Game Studios) – VR Support not out yet

XCOM: Chimera Squad (Firaxis/2K)

Best Debut Game

Carrion (Phobia Game Studio/Devolver)

Mortal Shell (Cold Symmetry/Playstack)

Raji: An Ancient Epic (Nodding Heads Games)

Röki (Polygon Treehouse/CI Games)

Phasmophobia (Kinetic Games)


What do you think of the nominees this year? What would you pick as your favorite VR game of 2020? You can find details on the jury panel here, but viewer votes also count as well. Make sure you sign in to vote to help pick the winners and let us know what you think down in the comments below!

Half-Life: Alyx & More VR Games Nominated For 2020 Golden Joystick Awards

Voting for the 2020 Golden Joystick Awards is now live, with several VR nominations across a few categories.

The online ceremony will be held next month in November, and there are 18 categories available to the public. A few categories, including Ultimate Game of the Year, don’t have a shortlist just yet, but the bulk of the ceremony’s shortlists are here.

There’s no dedicated category for VR, so VR hardware, games and studios are splattered across a bunch of different areas, going up against some tough competition. There’s at least one VR nominee in half of the 18 categories this year, which is great recognition of the industry’s massive year.

Strangely, the Oculus Quest 2 is nominated for Best Gaming Hardware, despite not being available to the public yet. Given it’s a publicly-voted award, that’s an odd situation. You might get your hands on a Quest 2 in a few weeks before voting closes, but in the meantime you’ll have to settle for our review.

Here’s a list of every category featuring VR, with the VR nomination highlighted in italics:

Best Audio
The Last of Us: Part II
Ghost of Tsushima
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Paradise Killer
Call of Duty: Warzone
Half-Life: Alyx
Streets Of Rage 4
Resident Evil 3

Best Game Community
Fall Guys
Minecraft
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Dreams
Sea of Thieves
Warframe
Fortnite
Final Fantasy XIV

Best Game Expansion
Control: AWE
No Man’s Sky: Origins
Total War: WARHAMMER 2 – The Warden and the Paunch
Pokemon Sword & Shield – Expansion Pass
Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.3 – Reflections in Crystal
The Sims 4 Star Wars: Journey to Batuu
Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath
The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

Best Gaming Hardware
PC Engine Mini
Oculus Quest 2
Razer Kishi mobile pad for xCloud
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
TCA Sidestick Airbus Edition
Vulcan 120 Aimo Keyboard
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2

Best Visual Design
Ghost of Tsushima
Hades
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Spiritfarer
Microsoft Flight Simulator (VR support coming Fall)
Half-Life: Alyx
The Last of Us Part II
Final Fantasy VII Remake

PC Game of the Year
Paradise Killer
Microsoft Flight Simulator (VR support coming Fall)
Hades
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners
Crusader Kings III
Valorant
Half-Life: Alyx
Death Stranding

PlayStation Game of the Year
The Last of Us Part II
Nioh 2
Ghost of Tsushima
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Marvel’s Iron Man VR
Spelunky 2
Dreams
Fall Guys

Studio of the Year
Mediatonic
Naughty Dog
Respawn
Paradox Studios
Sucker Punch
Infinity Ward
Media Molecule
Supergiant Games


It’s fantastic to see excellent VR games, such as Saints & Sinners, Alyx and Iron Man VR, nominated in the same categories some of the year’s best PC and console titles. It’ll be tough for them to take home the gold, but fingers crossed.

The 38th Golden Joystick Awards Ceremony will take place next month in November and voting is available online here.

The 10 Best Family VR Games To Enjoy With Kids

Family game night? We’ve got you covered with our list of the best family VR games.

We wanted to make this a varied list to give you a lot of choice. As such, when we say a family VR game, we don’t necessarily mean just multiplayer titles and, while we’ve kept violent games off of the list, some of the games do have action elements and mechanics you might deem unsuitable for the youngest audiences. We’ll point those out where applicable.

Best Family VR Games

10. Dreams

Type: Single-player
Platforms: PSVR

Dreams is a glorious VR playroom, a sort of do-it-yourself creation platform where, after a bit of onboarding, you can make your own content and share it with others. You’ll be amazed at the scale of the creations possible in Dreams. It’s easy to lose hours with others hopping from one bright idea to the next.

We’ve put Dreams higher in the list for two reasons. Firstly, it takes a bit of dedication to get to grips with, which will make the creative aspect too mature for some younger audiences. Plus, this is an online hub of user-made content, which comes with the usual caveats. If you want to show younger audiences, it might be an idea to curate a list of levels beforehand.

9. Puppet Fever

Type: Local multiplayer
Platforms: Quest, PC VR

This ingenious family VR game needs just one headset to be enjoyed by anyone in the room. The VR player uses a huge range of 2D props to put on their own puppet show. They find themselves behind a stage, while on a connected screen you can view their show from the front. Different game modes can give you the freedom to make up your own stories, or you can generate word cards for a virtual game of charades. A brilliant little idea, and free to play on Quest (with in-app purchases, mind you).

8. Racoon Lagoon

Type: Single or online multiplayer
Platforms: Quest, Rift

A cutesy little island lifestyle game – perhaps the closest VR has yet gotten to its own Animal Crossing. You explore a tropical destination, meeting a friendly cast of critters that you can carry out tasks for. Earn more hearts, make more friends and unlock new areas. The game has multiplayer and cross-play between Rift and Quest so, if you have another headset handy, you can adventure together.

7. A Fisherman’s Tale

Type: Single-player
Platforms: PSVR, Quest, PC VR

VR gaming doesn’t get much more wholesome than A Fisherman’s Tale, a puzzle game that’s equal parts charming and brain-bending. You take on the role of the titular fisherman, awakening one day to find themselves living in his own model replica of his lighthouse. But, get this, that same model sits in the middle of the room, and you can take the roof off to interact with a tiny version of yourself, or open the window to see a larger version too. It’s incredibly clever but still very approachable, and a VR must-play.

6. Fuji

Type: Single-player
Platforms: PSVR, Quest, PC VR

There’s a lot of great VR meditation apps out there but, for our money, you won’t find many virtual destinations more tranquil or more soothing than Fuji’s vibrant fields of alien vegetation. In this relaxing trip, you reawaken wildlife and can also grow your own virtual garden. It’s the perfect choice for those looking for a less demanding VR experience.

5. Spaceteam VR

Type: Local and online multiplayer
Platforms: Quest, PC VR

If you’re looking for a bit of a team-building exercise with the family, then you can consider Spaceteam VR a one-stop-shop. In this adaptation of a mobile classic, you work together with friends to fix a spaceship, shouting out ridiculous orders to each other while making sure to listen out for your own.

4. Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale

Type: Online multiplayer
Platforms: Quest, Rift

VR tries its hand at Overcooked with Michellin Star results. Cook-Out has you cooking for a fairytale cast in a full campaign for up to four players (with cross-play!). You’ll need to work with each other to slice up ingredients, clean dishes and cook up tasty treats before customers get too inpatient.

3. Curious Tale Of The Stolen Pets

Type: Single-player
Platforms: PSVR, Quest, PC VR

Curious Tale makes for a whistful story of summers spent away and sibling rivalries. It’s an adorable puzzler ideal for casting to a screen and collaborating on, and the stop-motion art style is something to really behold inside a headset. Curious Tale is a perfect first destination for getting to grips with VR, too.

2. Vacation Simulator/Job Simulator

Type: Single-Player
Platforms: PSVR, Quest, PC VR

Job Simulator and Vacation Simulator remain hallmarks for the VR industry because they prioritize unique interactions only possible inside VR alongside user comfort first and foremost. They’re chock full of engaging activities that really take advantage of the platform. For many people, this should be your first stop when picking up a VR headset.

1. Astro Bot/Playroom VR

Type: Single-player (Astrobot) Local multiplayer (Playroom VR)
Platforms: PSVR

Astro Bot was born out of the Playroom VR, which is available for free, so we thought it only fair we bundled the two together. The latter includes some of the best local multiplayer in VR, with other players joining in on a TV screen to play family-friendly games of cat and mouse and more. Astro Bot, meanwhile, is a genuinely Mario-level platform bursting with fresh ideas that will constantly delight. It remains our top ranking for the best PSVR games and now we crown it one of the best family VR games too.

Someone’s Remaking Dinseyland Rides In Dreams And They’re Incredible

Two weeks on and people are already making incredible things with Dreams’ PSVR support, like these authentic recreations of Space Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

Dreams creator TheArmyofDos just released these amazing experience, based on the popular rides at Disneyland in California. But it’s not just a simple VR rollercoaster; its creators have gone above and beyond to authentically replicate the entire experience around each ride, complete with all the props in the queue and even a Disneyland map. Check out the Indiana Jones version in the video below.

Given the level of detail going into the pre-ride experience, it’s amazing that you even get to step onto the actual attraction. Sure enough, though, the full thing is there to race through. Forbidden Eye isn’t a rollercoaster so much as a themed tour, so no sudden drops of corkscrews to worry about for the light of stomach, but plenty of amazing things to see and play with.

And here’s a look at Space Mountain. Obviously, this one’s a bit closer to your traditional VR coaster.

The creator behind the experience isn’t stopping there, though. In fact, it’s taking votes on what ride to recreate next, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain and the Matterhorn. Lots of people are voting for the Haunted Mansion, though there’s already a recreation of Tower of Terror. It seems like a great way to experience the magic kingdom from home.

We’ve seen loads of great creations with Dreams VR so far. We think the game’s VR support is an unmissable playground of madness, though we wish the tutorials and creation tools were a little more VR-native. Read more in our review right here!

The post Someone’s Remaking Dinseyland Rides In Dreams And They’re Incredible appeared first on UploadVR.

Dreams PSVR Review: A Messy, Unmissable VR Playground In Need Of An Overhaul

Media Molecule’s Dreams is finally ready for VR prime time. Does the ambitious creation platform hold up? Find out in our Dreams PSVR review!

What’s nice about reviewing Dreams five months on from launch is how much it’s been demystified. There’s little need to critique the game’s audacious creation tools and sharing systems with the caveat they might never take off; this pudding already has enough proof. Seriously, just go and check out some of the highly-rendered puddings.

It’s still tough, though, to wrap your head around the enormity of Dreams. How do you stamp a score on what’s essentially a YouTube-style platform of interactive experiences? It’s a trickier task still when you factor in VR.

Let’s try not to complicate it too much, then; if you have any interest in VR’s weirder, more experimental side (which, given very nature of the platform, there’s a good chance you do), you absolutely cannot miss Dreams, even with some significant reservations for the creation mode.

Dreams Don’t Come For Free

Dreams brings a welcome bit of DIY to the VR scene. It allows anyone to get out there and make the game they’ve always wanted to see, pending their patience with the modest learning curve and their readiness to accept adapting their vision to the game’s fuzzy-paint aesthetic (which is customizable but never fully escapable). The tangible bit of all this is the tools themselves. On a flatscreen, Dreams’ intelligent UI, existing templates and logical progression got me up and running with some pretty basic game concepts in just a few sessions. You get pretty much the same suite of tools and tutorials in VR which, in practice, actually might be the most disappointing aspect of the Dreams VR experience.

Let me explain; VR creation apps are some of the best, most wholly unique experiences you can find in headsets. The intuition of 3D painting in apps like Tilt Brush has led to the creation of entirely new works of art and simple apps like Google’s Blocks can also get you up and running in this field in no time.

In terms of pure functionality, Dreams offers everything those apps do and much, much more. This toolset has the power to make entire games with deep mechanics. Again, Media Molecule has more than proved this platform is capable of that.

But, rather than go back and overhaul the Dreams learning and building experience for native VR support — as you might have expected it would — the developer settled on an awkward halfway house. When you first boot up Dreams, some of the game’s most basic on-ramping instructions will only be shown on a virtual screen, with your controllers (either two Move controllers or the DualShock 4) represented as a floating creature known as an Imp. In normal VR, navigating using the Imp is simple, but trying to negotiate 3D space on a flat screen in these tutorials is beyond clunky. Then, when you head into the Workshop, where the bulk of the game’s tutorials rest, you’ll be greeted with this message.

Dreams PSVR Review Warning

Oh.

There are some additional videos to guide you through VR specific elements but, largely speaking, Dreams’ tutorials are not designed with the platform in mind, and that’s a real shame. Yes, they’re fantastic for flat-screen creation, but VR support would have been best served starting from scratch with native guidance that properly communicates how much VR enhances the Dreams experience. Yes, you can still do everything you can do in the flat screen version and people already familiar with the tools will easily adapt, but this should be better at introducing new players to the weird and wonderful world of VR.

Dreams PSVR Review – Indie vs Inspiration

Dreams has a strange sort of allure to it in that, many people want to see their favorite games and films paid tribute to within it but the real ‘magic’ behind it is originality. VR puts an interesting spin on all that; if you’ve ever wanted to see what PT or Star Wars or Resident Evil or practically anything else might be like in VR, you’ll more than likely find it here. Heck, we could see a Halo VR tribute on PSVR in the future, which is a mind-blowing proposition. Media Molecule might scoff at the idea, but it’s built a dream (sorry) platform for VR in that sense. How ‘branded’ content evolves against original ideas with the inclusion of VR will be fascinating to watch.

Problems also persist with the game’s control schemes. I had hoped that a switch to VR would make creation with the PlayStation Move controllers a much more palatable affair given the additional context of 3D space. And that is the case to some extent, but the Move controls are also plagued by the confusing button layout, which Media Molecule doesn’t virtually replicate when you’re making finger-tying shortcuts. Moving the camera around, too, is incredibly sensitive and begging for analog sticks to properly master. As such, the DualShock 4 surprisingly remains the best way to create in Dreams, but even then brushes up against the limited positional tracking.

But creation is only one part of the Dreams VR experience.

A Moulded Metaverse

I’ve already revisited one of the all-time scariest games, P.T., piloted an X-Wing, and admired that stunning Unreal Engine 5 demo inside my headset with Dreams. More importantly, I’ve discovered some brilliantly-fleshed out original concepts too that have amazed, delighted and surprised. On the flip side, it’s had me nauseous, confused and often bewildered.

It’s a messy little thing, but that’s sort of the point.

Dreams Resident Evil

Navigating Dreams’ hub of user-generated content in VR isn’t so much a rollercoaster as an exhilarating and oddly amusing dash through a minefield. There’s strong curation from Media Molecule itself, but the real magic requires a risky dive into its ever-expanding pool of creations. You’ll find a dizzying array of fantastic ideas varying in quality of execution, endless memes, hastily-abandoned prototypes and tacked-on VR support. Even Media Molecule’s own VR showcase, Inside The Box, wrestles with control schemes and ideas with only some success, and many of the existing non-VR creations that have enabled support are strangely scaled, breaking every rule in the book of VR design. If you thought Five Nights At Freddy’s VR was disturbing, wait until you’ve played a broken fan tribute with muffled screams recorded through a PlayStation camera.

Dreams PSVR Review – Comfort

Dreams offers a wealth of comfort options that are all enabled by default and, more importantly, will let you filter out experiences not necessarily optimized for VR. The game will boot you to Cinema Mode when framerate suffers and Media Molecule offers plenty of comfort tips. That said, it’ll still be hard to spend entire sessions in the game without coming across intense content, but there are ratings in place to help guide you.

There’s plenty of comfort options to shield you from the worst offenders, of course, but it can only do so much. Every time you click on a new game, you’re rolling the dice, but the reward is often worth the risk. In one play session I found Hard Reset, a moody, atmospheric 6DOF exploration game that, even if it wasn’t built for VR exclusively, seemed to possess a powerful understanding of immersion. Bionic Revolution, meanwhile, promises a simple VR shooter that frankly plays better than some SteamVR shovelware.

Dreams Hard Reset

This all sort of speaks for itself – it’s a better ‘review’ of the game than myself or anyone else could write up. You might have to shovel through a lot of misses to find the hits but, when you do, Dreams absolutely sings. And the chances are you’ll have a lot of fun wading through the former category anyway. On a platform that’s still in need of a lot of content to sustain it, Dreams offers a hugely compelling hub of VR intrigue that you’ll want to return to time and again. Even if its creative elements aren’t as strong as newcomers might hope, this limitless playground is more than enough reason to dive in.

Building For The Future

It’s true, though, that the game does have certain technical constraints in VR, especially from what I’ve played on a standard PS4. While there’s no extra limits on the size of your creations, dynamic rendering can reduce them to a blur, for example, and the game will boot you to PSVR’s Cinema Mode if it runs into framerate hitches. Still, it’s no secret that Dreams released at the tail end of a generation with a long roadmap ahead of it and, as exciting as it is in its current form, I can’t help but wonder what the future holds on other systems, where VR support is likely to shine even brighter. Media Molecule is interested in a PC version and, of course, PS5 looms too.

Until then, we have an immensely promising foundation. A strong community is already cropping up around Dreams’ PSVR support; one that’s free to experiment and tinker in ways that big-budget games might not be able. VR is often described as a wild west of game development, and in many ways Dreams is the epicenter of all of that.

Dreams PSVR Review Final Impressions

Dreams’ creative mode might not integrate with PSVR as naturally as hoped, but its cemented position as a hub of invention makes it an easy recommendation. Paired with the platform’s inherent comfort issues, its sprawling, untamed ecosystem can prove to be a minefield to navigate, but for every unwelcome rollercoaster ride (literally and figuratively), there’s another wish waiting to be fulfilled or something genuinely original to discover. The only way to truly judge Dreams is by the strength of its creations and those already speak for themselves; if you want to embrace VR’s experimental side, you shouldn’t miss it.

4 STARS

dreams psvr review points


 

Dreams is available now on PS4 for $39.99. The VR support comes as a free update. For more on how we arrived at this score, check out our review guidelines. What do you make of our Dreams PSVR review? Let us know in the comments below!

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Someone Remade Disneyland’s Classic Indiana Jones Ride in VR with ‘Dreams’

Dreams (2020), the VR-compatible game-maker tool suite, has unleashed a ton of creativity since it launched on PS4 earlier this year. You may be (very wisely) planning on skipping the trip to Disneyland this summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a head-first dive into the classic Indiana Jones ride with the help of Dreams PSVR mode.

Created by TheArmyofDos, the VR project presents an uncanny recreation of the real thing, which you’ll find at Disneyland in Anaheim, California and a nearly identical version in the park’s Chiba, Japan location.

It even appears to have authentic sound effects. Check out the whole experience in the video below:

In case you’ve never been Disneyland in Anaheim between 1995 and now, take a look below to see just how close TheArmyofDos manages to get the VR version of the ride.

 

Dreams for PSVR keeps on impressing. You can play a hacked together version of Beat Saber, experience a bootleg Friday Nights at Freddy’s, and explore a ton of original art, experiences, and prototype games.

One of the best ways to keep an eye on Dreams content is by heading to the Media Molecule subsite and filtering for ‘VR only’, ‘VR compatible’ and ‘Recommended’ to see some of the top VR content the community has to offer.


What’s your favorite VR-compatible experience on Dreams? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Someone Remade Disneyland’s Classic Indiana Jones Ride in VR with ‘Dreams’ appeared first on Road to VR.

Somebody Already Made ‘Beat Saber’ Inside of ‘Dreams’

Well that didn’t take long. Dreams, the game-within-a-game-maker, has had its newly updated VR feature for hardly more than 24 hours, but someone has already made a fully functional Beat Saber clone.

Dreams launched earlier this year as the latest creation from developer Media Molecule, whose prior Little Big Planet games thrived thanks to a community of creators that built new levels and completely new content with the in-game tools.

Dreams takes that idea of community-made content and makes it essentially the heart of the game. In fact, the actual ‘campaign’ that you can play out of the box is entirely made with the in-game tools.

This week the game was updated to include PSVR support, which means that existing and new creations can be played in VR. The game also allows creators to make ‘VR Only’ content which requires a headset to play and there’s even a comfort rating system for VR experiences.

Of course, creators making experiences in Dreams are going to start with what’s familiar. And what is more familiar than Beat Saber, one of the most popular VR games to date?

Hardly less than 24 hours after the debut of the PSVR update, creator MonocledRobot has made a functional ‘Beat Saber’ experience which is played with PSVR and the PS Move controllers. It features music, cuttable blocks synced to the beat, and even a working scoring and multiplier system.

What’s especially interesting about Dreams is that almost anything made in the game can be expanded by other players or used as building blocks for other creations. Creator MonocledRobot made his ‘Beat Saber’ experience with community expansion in mind, including the creation of new songs and maps. A 10 minute tutorial by the creator on YouTube overviews how the experience was constructed and how others can add their own songs and beat maps.

Of course, this isn’t a proper replacement for the real Beat Saber. Not only does it not look or feel quite the same, it also lacks many features of the real game. But more than an imperfect facsimile of a full game, it goes to show the breadth of what can be achieved in Dreams. In the creator portal you can already find players building everything from VR FPS and horror games to driving and puzzle games.

With enough time, we wouldn’t be surprised to find some seriously worthwhile VR content inside of Dreams.

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