PC gaming is an important part of the virtual reality phenomenon. While many who haven’t specifically dived into VR yet perceive this market as consisting of independent headsets and PlayStation and Xbox add-ons, the truth of the matter is that some of the best VR headsets actually require powerful PCs to work. This is something that’s beginning to change, as self-sufficient VR headsets are beginning to be unveiled, but up to this point PCs have been integral to VR’s success.
Where PC gaming’s impact hasn’t necessarily been felt yet as much as it will be, however, is in adaptation. Virtual reality has so far brought about a lot of new and original games, but at some point we’re going to start seeing developers using existing material to spawn VR titles. As of today, the only big publisher that seems to have understood that is Bethesda Softworks, which has been releasing VR versions of their most popular franchises since last year (DOOM VFR, Fallout 4 VR and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR). When other big publishing houses pick up on that trend, we may well start to see other familiar games we’re used to playing on our computers (both traditional “PC games” and browser arcades) moving into the new medium.
Just for fun, we’re taking a look here at some games that would do well with that evolution.
Is there anywhere to start but with Fortnite? Fortnite has taken the gaming community by storm, becoming an overnight console, PC, and mobile sensation. It’s almost odd that in such a crowded space (the shooter genre) where multiplayer deathmatches were already available in dozens of games, Fortnite could break through the way it has. But it’s now an undeniable sensation, and it’s probably the most obvious candidate for virtual reality adaptation.
Here’s a very different concept. The Civilization series is made up of in-depth strategy games, and isn’t the sort of thing we commonly see in VR. However it’s also one of the longest running and perhaps most popular series in all of PC gaming. A VR Civilization game could be done in a number of different ways, but the general idea would be to place you in a god-like perspective managing a detailed world beneath you – perhaps descending to the terrain to meet with world leaders or oversee battle campaigns.
This is another option that’s sort of different, as it’s basically an animated game spun off of an arcade slot machine. Interestingly enough, one characterization of the efforts of developer NetEnt specifically noted that the company isn’t afraid to try and re-invent the wheel, and accordingly this game has already been adapted to VR. It hasn’t exactly made waves just yet, but in time we’ll likely look at it as a perfect starting point for a whole genre’s entry into VR.
A Dark Room
It may be the biggest reach on this list, but A Dark Room would be curious, at least, in VR. This is a popular browser-based game that’s effectively a strategic text adventure. Imagine a game of this kind played out literally in the dark in virtual reality, however, and perhaps with audio and voice commands instead of text. The concept of adding sensory experiences to a game that already gives you an eerie sense of being lost or in peril is thrilling to think about.
It’s not quite the overnight sensation Fortnite has been, but Overwatch has been around longer and it’s fair to say it’s one of the most popular games in existence these days. It’s another one that would fit nicely into the expanding shooter category in VR, and in fact a few Korean teenagers already experimented with the idea. We’ll hope that kind of experimentation ultimately leads to an official VR release, because this game would be a hit.