returned with their own showcase as part of the E3 2021 season, unveiling new trailers with added support from leading AAA VR developers.
Most of its games are set for release across Summer 2021, while a bigger focus was put towards PlayStation VR content ahead of another next generation headset release. The games also focused heavily on shooters, giving players plenty of changes to aim and fire from years of refining the VR formula.
PlayStation and NDreams kicked off the showcase with an extreme gameplay footage of Fracked, which sees players become an athletic agent infiltrating evil refinieries. But each place is also loaded with mercenaries hired to guard resources. Unlike nDreams’ previous title Phantom Covert Ops, players can mow down baddies head-on in loud gunfights.
Fracked also dives deeper into an extreme sports theme, as players are moving at high speeds to take down enemies. This was first seen in Phantom Covert Ops, which added a twist to the traditional VR shooter with a kayak. But this time, players will get to move freely across levels with options for stealth or a full-on assault. They will also be treated to a story driven narrative inspired by XXX and 007, which sees our voiced action hero racing to save the world against a sinister organization. The footage blended segments with snowboarding and skiing along the alps while shooting their way to safety.
UploadVR’s showcase this year doubled-down on action titles, which put players in front of 1:1 scale enemies to beat down on. Online multiplayer shooter Larcenauts received a new trailer with new character Vod, a brawler based hero who uses their fists in close and long range attacks. A new gameplay trailer for Against mixes rhythm with combat against paranormal creatures. Under its noir backdrop, players will be using a variety of weapons to hunt werewolves, thugs and other folklore inspired enemies with a beat. Like Beat Saber and Pistol Whip, players will enter a song with enemies procedurally generated according to rhythm and tone.
Pistol Whip also received a new update around its evolving rhythm shooter. An update will refine the game’s UI, with options that gives players the ability to edit their game modifiers easily. Dual wielding with randomized enemies and other playstyles will come with more info to let players do more in each session. Their campaign scenes can also be replayed with modifiers, allowing players to run through any level without barriers. Customize mode lets players modify up to five different weapon types, with perks like full auto, infinite ammo or difficulty buffs. The update releases Summer 2021 with a brand new campaign.
After the Fall showed off more footage under its Left 4 Dead inspired format. VR players can play solo with AI or go cross-platform online with others to take on hordes of zombies. Players can also toss each other custom weapons as they continue shooting down armies of the undead in an alternate 1980s. The shooter puts players across a dangerous trek across Los Angeles, with zombies relentlessly a step behind. Players will also have to work together to survive while completing a set of objectives scattered across linear levels. After the Fall adopts VR shooting mechanics to let players aim and fire an arsenal of one or two handed weapons. Experience ties to progression, giving players plenty of attachments for their weapons.
Players could also take a break from frantic shooting for Sniper Elite VR, which brings the long range franchise into a first person format. Like its console versions, players assume the role of a resistance fighter who takes up arms in a Nazi occupied Italy. In VR, players will be taking a knee to train their sights on enemies. From a distance, players can also hold their breath before sending a bullet flying. Aiming is done directly from the player, with visible sniper scopes and the breath system making a comeback.
For maximum points, snipers will need to use the environment for creative kills or perform other trick shots against soldiers. Sniper Elite VR will also take players away from their vantage points and put them head-on in fast paced firefights. This is where players need to take cover and return fire with a mix of close quarter and WW2 automatic weapons – all life sized replicas that can be upgraded. Players will also be moving freely around levels while ducking and hugging behind obstacles for cover. Sniper Elite VR releases for the PlayStation VR, Oculus and Steam platforms on July 8, 2021.
Waltz of the Wizard received a story trailer, putting players’ hands to good use across a mystical adventure. Players use their hand tracking to control magic in order to solve puzzles and combat otherworldly forces. Unlike other spell games, Waltz of the Wizard uses the Quest hand tracking to simulate being a mage. They will be fighting creatures and enemy wizards to secure artifacts while dodging attacks. From fireballs to electric blasts, players can use a combination of gestures for sending dazzling effects. Waltz of the Wizard: Natural Magic is set for a July 6, 2021 release.
VR players are being needed to control the roads in Traffic Jams. Players need to use a combination of hand gestures to enforce traffic, which becomes increasingly chaotic with more cars and crazier drivers. The game is set to release on PSVR on August 26, 2021.
Song of the Smoke is a first person survival adventure set in the prehistoric age, with players using the lush world to thrive. A new preview showed off the resource-driven elements players will rely on, including hunting and crafting. But under the VR twist, players will be performing these realistic gestures themselves. Song of the Smoke‘s open world also becomes a playground for animals, which populate the game as enemies and food. The game was first revealed at PlayStation’s PSVR showcase earlier in Spring 2021, as the platform’s answer to an open world survival title.
Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual brings the fabled adventure series into VR. Players actually hand out with the titular duo to solve a new mystery. They will also be responsible for keeping Sam and Max safe by overcoming traps and other plans by an unknown assailant. This Time It’s Virtual also relies heavily on interactive minigames like unlocking a safe and assembling objects to progress its original story forward. Players won’t have to wait long to meet Sam & Max again as it’s set for a Summer 2021 release.
I Expect You to Die 2: The Spy and the Liar made an appearance with a brand new trailer, highlighting some of the deadly traps awaiting players across escape rooms. Like the previous game, players are fully seated and must rely on spotting clues and other objects around them. They will be accepting missions across new set pieces, including planes, an opera house and wine cellar with their own dangerous obstacles. Wil Wheaton also makes an appearance as actor John Juniper, who players get to meet as they protect VIPs across the game’s theatre sequence. According to Schell Games, I Expect You to Die 2 brings players deeper into the stylized, Cold War setting of the 1960s. A playable demo will be released on July 16, 2021 as part of Steam Next Fest to give players a taste of the game’s puzzle solving.
Upload VR closed out E3 2021 day one, but there is plenty more games coming at you over the nextr three days. Stay tuned to CGMagazine for everything E3 as we give you all the coverage you could hope for!