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Top Ten Games Worth Playing on the Oculus Rift At Launch

UPDATE: There’s a new Kickstarter campaign for GoD Factory: Wingmen, go back it!

The Oculus Rift, for those who don’t know, is a new virtual reality headset that’ll put you in the game- it’ll come with a lovely, hi-res display and what makes it special is that it will track your head movements- you can look around and be inside a game. A while back, the Kickstarter for the Oculus was an incredible success, and many special development units were shipped out so that game devs could get to work on making games compatible with the Rift. The consumer version of the Rift has yet to ship.

Unfortunately, you can’t just use the Rift like a fancy new monitor- the games need special software to accommodate the Rift’s head-tracking ability that make it worth using in the first place. Fortunately, there are plenty of games coming straight to the Rift, along with some games that can employ Vireio, an open source 3D driver that makes it possible to play games that weren’t originally designed for the Rift. Here are ten games- some built with the Rift in mind, others born before the Oculus was a twinkle in Mr. Luckey’s eye.

1. Ether One

Ether One is an upcoming indie puzzler that looks like an unusual but beautiful mix of the story of To the Moon with the graphics of Bioshock Infinite and the strange other-worldly feeling of Myst.

Here’s some info ripped from the official site:

You are a Restorer, an individual with a lost identity who is sent into the minds of mentally ill humans to restructure their broken memories. Tasked with restoring the mind of a client named Jean you must explore the depths of her memories in order to rebuild the fragile structures within.

Restore her memories. Restore yours.

With the abilities of the Oculus Rift, getting immersed in this world is going to be quite… Mind blowing. The game itself looks kind of trippy (in a good way), and it seems as though it’ll be very engaging with or without the Rift, but with it? It’ll be an insane experience. You might need therapy afterwards. Maybe you should find yourself a good Restorer.

2. Mirror’s Edge

A favorite here at BNR, Mirror’s Edge stars Faith, a woman living in a dystopian city on a mission to save her sister from being prosecuted for a murder she didn’t commit. The game features lots of first person parkour, and while the combat was a bit clunky, the game was, as a whole, lots of fun. Oh, and falling off of buildings was a terrifying experience.

While the game’s going to be rebooted, the original still merits a playthrough, and thanks to the magic of Vireio, it’s playable on the Rift. Just be ready for potential motion sickness. Have a bucket handy.

3. GoD Factory: Wingmen

This game looks to be quite interesting- we’ve had the chance to chat with the developer at PAX East 2013 and, at the moment, we’re hoping their Kickstarter campaign is a success. The game is a MOBA- in space! Imagine DotA with dogfights- you’re not defending the Ancient but a very large cargo ship. This is a game that’s going to shine with Oculus support- check out the video below.

4. Skyrim

A game that barely needs introduction, the epic fantasy RPG from Bethesda will also be playable on the Oculus Rift. I’m trying to imagine how wonderful and terrifying it could be- imagine being attacked by a wild bear as you’re making your way through a snowy wilderness- you narrowly dodge getting mauled, and then you proceed to fight the bear in the manliest fashion possible. Or you hop on your horse and run away. Or, perhaps, you have a heart attack, because the experience is far too real. Whatever floats your boat, really.

Plenty of work has been done to get Skyrim working on the Rift and looking pretty. If you have a copy of it, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to play it on an Oculus.

5. Dear Esther

To be honest, Dear Esther is a game that doesn’t have much actual gameplay at all- it’s really more like a Keats poem you can walk around in- that’s not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, as Dear Esther boasts gorgeous scenery and a wonderfully told story. Personally, I’ve only played through the first chapter- I’m going to wait for my Oculus Rift to arrive so that I can actually finish the game. It’s like traversing a man’s memories, if said memories took place on a bleak, lovely and rugged landscape.

6. Portal 2

Seeing as the first game in the series was a triumph, Valve made a note there and created a sequel, which was a huge success. Fans find it hard to overstate their satisfaction, and if you have an Oculus Rift, this is not a game to pass up on playing. The first person puzzler is full of zany humor, it’s loaded with character and gameplay is excellent, as we’ve come to expect from Valve.

7. Star Citizen

The Kickstarter smash-hit will support the Rift, and may be one of the most immersive games on the platform.

Here’s some info lifted from their site:

Star Citizen brings the visceral action of piloting interstellar craft through combat and exploration to a new generation of gamers at a level of fidelity never before seen. At its core Star Citizen is a destination, not a one-off story. It’s a complete universe where any number of adventures can take place, allowing players to decide their own game experience. Pick up jobs as a smuggler, pirate, merchant, bounty hunter, or enlist as a pilot, protecting the borders from outside threats. I’ve always wanted to create one cohesive universe that encompasses everything that made Wing Commander and Privateer / Freelancer special. A huge sandbox with a complex and deep lore allowing players to explore or play in whatever capacity they wish.

  • A rich universe focused on epic space adventure, trading and dogfighting in first person.

  • Single Player – Offline or Online(Drop in / Drop out co-op play)

  • Persistent Universe (hosted by US)

  • Mod-able multiplayer (hosted by YOU)

  • No Subscriptions

  • No Pay to Win

You can check out more on the official website right here. It’s another step closer to Sword Art Online– in spaaaace! In all seriousness, though, it looks like it has an insane number of features that’ll all come together into an awesome experience- I can’t wait to try this one out, and I’m sure it’ll be an excellent experience on the Rift.

8. Black Mesa

Half-Life, the science fiction masterpiece that put Valve on the map, has received a makeover from fans. The name of the game is Black Mesa: Source, and it’s a lovely facelift for the original game that should be playable on the Oculus Rift.

There’s also a little bit of info that I neglected to share- you can download Black Mesa for free. I’m going to hold off on playing it until I get my hands on an Oculus.

9. Hawken

Another game that we’re really looking forward to over here, Hawken is an upcoming multiplayer mech fighting game. If you enjoy making giant robots brawl, this is the game for you! Just imagine being in the cockpit of your very own mech, fighting for survival and taking no prisoners somewhere in the deep future- check out the video embedded below.

The developers of Hawken have promised Rift support- this means it’ll be easy to get the game up and running on your Oculus. Hopefully it’ll run smoothly once the Oculus is officially released to the public.

10. Minecraft

The indie blockbuster will also be playable on the Oculus Rift- it’s another game that practically needs no introduction. Nonetheless, here’s a video for the uninitiated:

My main concern with Minecraft on the Rift is that it might cause heart attacks- it may be time to lay off the bacon. Nonetheless, imagine what it will be like. My mind refuses to process the very idea of playing Minecraft on the Oculus. It’s simply to great to comprehend.

Want to know more about the Rift? Check out this AMA with Palmer Luckey, creator of the Oculus Rift, and stick with us for further coverage.

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