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Could VR Be the Tech That Takes Exploration Games to New Lands?

VR is the future of gaming. How will exploration games be affected?

Now that VR is slowly starting to become the next big thing, the possibilities for the gaming community can be seen as potentially endless. Finally, players will be able to experience various titles through the eyes of characters, feel like they are actually in the game, and be able to interact with almost anything or anyone as well.

Of course, there are many exploration games out there like: No Man's Sky, the Fallout series, The Elder Scrolls series, the Far Cry series... the list goes on and on. Now imagine if all those games were in VR, or were set to be re-released as VR compatible products. Luckily, Fallout 4 is something to have your eyes set on if you wish to experience the game in VR.

But can VR really be the technology that sets the bar for future exploration games?

VR and Exploration Games

Far Cry 4

With VR, you have your character's perspective of the world. In other words, you are seeing what they are seeing, and by moving your head, they are moving theirs as well. Besides doing that to look around and see where you have to go, you can truly experience the beauty that the game world has to offer you. Just imagine being deep underneath an ocean, or on top of a mountain. Truly, the experience will be something that you'll remember for quite some time. 

With exploration games, there is also the possibility of combat. That is in where most people are interested. Just imagine going face to face with your adversary... you won't have to push buttons to defeat the enemy. Instead, you'll get the feeling like you're in an actual fight! You'll have to dodge, counter, or maybe run away to reassess the situation for a more positive outcome. And the beauty of that is that can be applied to any enemy! Pause for a moment and picture yourself fighting either a dragon or some kind of colossal monstrosity through VR...

But, Can VR...

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Most, if not all of the time, exploration games carry a big world with them. That's actually the entire purpose! The bigger and the more open the game world is, the more there is to explore and discover! The question however is, will VR be powerful enough to handle huge worlds?

The answer to that question however is, we don't know for sure. Since Fallout 4 for VR is being worked on, that kind of seems like a "yes" answer, right? But then again, you never know. Will the VR version run as smoothly as the regular version? We're not saying that it's going to be perfect, but if it works, it works.

Another small issue to consider would be the graphical aspect. If you'll be experiencing the game through your own eyes, it'll be expected that the graphics be in high-def, right? But since exploration games are so huge, will the processing power of modern PCs and consoles be strong enough to handle the load? If not, then which graphical concept will be adequate?

Going off from that, the entire idea of VR sickness. Basically, people get motion sick from VR. Technically, that can be applied to any VR game, but since exploration games deal with, well...exploration, you'll be moving a lot. Will that impact your experience? 

What If...

No Man's Sky

Unfortunately, No Man's Sky didn't exactly live up to the hype. Many saw the game as a boring grind-fest, which didn't have anything exciting to offer. Recently, a patch was released that tried to improve the game's content, but was it truly enough?

But what if the game was released as a VR version? Would that then change the community's mind? At first the answer might be, "Yes, of course!" The reason for that however is the concept of VR. Many people actually like the idea of VR, and are willing to almost play any game that is set in VR. But let's not forget that we are talking about No Man's Sky here. Even in VR, how different will the game be? Piloting your aircraft in VR, exploring the billions of different planets in VR, etc.

The idea might seem fun at first, but at the end, it all depends on the game itself. If the game is boring and not as engaging as other games, can the concept of VR really save it?

Conclusion

Exploration games can take players to distant galaxies, underneath oceans, or to any other places. Add VR to that, and you'll feel like you're actually there! But with everything that has been said, can VR truly raise the bar in regards to the concept of exploration? What other exploration games do you want to see in VR, either as re-releases or as new titles?

Published Dec. 28th 2016

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