In Review

Best virtual reality games 2016

Headsets are on the market now, so what are the best titles to get started?

Virtual reality will be a reality in 2016. Flagship devices such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are already out and Sony's PlayStation VR will be realised once the headset launches this October.

The growing interest in the technology and its imminent commercial availability means game developers are currently scrambling to get titles out. Sony claims that more than 100 titles will be ready for its headset when the system is released.

There are already some interesting games out there. Here's five the experts think you should keep an eye on in 2016.

Job Simulator [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93568","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Set to be available on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and the PlayStation VR, Job Simulator is a great game for those getting started with virtual reality and ideal as something to use "when you want to show off your new VR toy to someone who doesn't play games", says Stuff.

The year is 2050 and robots have replaced humans in most jobs. In order for mankind to learn what the old days of graft were like, they use the job simulator for an "interactive history lesson". Stuff says this is "really, really silly stuff".

Players are tasked with mundane, cartoonish activities full of opportunity for mischief, such as cooking, office work, working a supermarket till and being an auto mechanic, all controlled by externals such as the PlayStation Move controller.

EVE: Valkyrie [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93567","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Wareable says that EVE: Valkyrie is "one of the most anticipated titles" you'll find launching for virtual reality headsets this year, with the game coming to the Vive, Rift and PSVR.

It's a multi-player game set in the EVE online universe, where, after some training, players are set free to explore and get into space dogfights with each other.

Gameplay is intense. In their demonstration, Wareable said the action was "everywhere and pretty fast-paced with CCP's experiments in fog intensity adding to the confusion wonderfully".

Elite: Dangerous [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93566","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Elite: Dangerous, another exploration game, has been designed as "the biggest space simulation in history", says Alphr.

It contains more than 400 billion star systems, around 150,000 of them modelled on real-world astronomical data and the rest generated using algorithms, developed according to scientific models.

The game wasn't designed with VR in mind but has since spawned support for the Oculus and Vive headsets. "This is the equivalent of Microsoft Flight Simulator, except it's set in space and you can go anywhere you like within the Milky Way. And yes, that’s the actual Milky Way," says Alphr.

Darknet [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93565","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

In Darknet, players have to hack their way through a series of connected nodes in search of the core before the clock runs out. Players win currency as they progress which can be used to unlock additional features, while the further you go, the harder it gets.

The networks players "hack" are represented by a series of spheres, which get taken over one by one. It's available on the Oculus Rift, but Samsung Gear VR owners can download and play it via their devices, too, so it's a good game to get if you use a cheaper, Android headset.

Gizmag is convinced and says it's definitely "worth a look".

Fantastic Contraption [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"93564","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Fantastic Contraption, one of HTC Vive launch games, sees players build robots and devices within the 3D world.

What makes it interesting is that it shuns the pre-conception that VR games will be anti-social thanks to players locking themselves away in virtual worlds, with Alphr saying it's a game "designed to bring people together".

A player wearing the VR headset makes their machine and others watch it come to life on a monitor, providing assistance or potentially sabotaging the action. "It looks like an absolute riot to play," says the site.

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