Skyrim VR Articles RSS Feed | Skyrim VR RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Best Skyrim VR Mods for More Immersive Gameplay Tue, 10 Apr 2018 11:32:47 -0400 Ty Arthur


For those jumping into modding this new version of the game, any of these mods installed through the Nexus Mod Manager will work with Skyrim VR with a little tweaking (check out the video guide below to learn more). Or(!) you can use the Vortex manager directly to get mods immediately working with Skyrim VR.


These were the best Skyrim Nexus mods we've been able to get working with the VR version of the game so far. What did you think of our list, and what mods do you consider absolutely essential to the Skyrim VR experience? Let us know in the comments!



Skyrim VR Mod: Custom Favorites Menu VR


Download on Nexus Mods


If you're using the custom favorites script to get all of your favorite weapons, skills, and spells at the beginning of the game, then this VR-friendly CFG file is a must. It tweaks the favorites for a centered view and bigger texts to work more smoothly in the game's VR edition. 


Essentially, this is the HD Signs mod for basically most everything else in the game. This is a Skyrim VR mod you're going to want to nab pretty early on. 


Skyrim VR Mod: Amazing Follower Tweaks


Download on Nexus Mods


Whether you are playing the vanilla, the Special Edition, the VR version, or the next Alexa version of Skyrim, you absolutely want to install a follower tweaking mod like this one. 


Followers that get in your way, rush to their deaths, or just behave oddly can kill immersion in Skyrim VR, but with a mod like this one, followers become more useful and less annoying.


With the mod installed, you can manage a follower's outfits and combat style in addition to having them ride horses, make camp, avoid traps, ignore friendly fire, and even dance with you.


Skyrim VR Mod: JK's Skyrim


Download on Nexus Mods


While Skyrim is absolutely huge, much of it can feel empty between towns and dungeons. To combat that issue, JK's Skyrim mod adds in a massive lore-friendly (and thankfully script-free) overhaul of the entire base game. 


All of the major Skyrim towns -- from Windhelm to Dawnstar -- get big expansions that add in more vendors, buildings, and lore details. The mod even tweaks allegiances for towns guards, with dynamic banners that change based on your actions over the course of the game. 


Skyrim VR Mod: Immersive Armors


Download on Nexus Mods


Let's just keep the immersion train chugging along with this graphics enhancement mod. To keep your eyes glued to the inside of your helmet, we definitely recommend a mod like Immersive Armors, which adds in new clothing options for everyone in Skyrim VR -- players, companions, and NPCs.


This mod drastically increases the variety of armors found in Skyrim, but it does so without breaking the lore or changing the visual style of the base game. 


When you've got so many armor options in your face, it's essential they look good. 


Skyrim VR Mod: Book Covers of Skyrim


Download on Nexus Mods


Just like the HD Signs mod on the previous slide, this Skyrim VR mod makes a small change that greatly impacts immersion. 


Most of the vanilla Skyrim's books are a dime a dozen on the outside. Even if they have unique stories within, their covers can leave a lot to be desired. 


This mod re-textures absolutely every single readable book, journal, and note in the game, giving them all unique covers. It even changes different paper types between books. 


Skyrim VR Mod: HD Signs


Download on Nexus Mods


It's a fact that current-gen VR can get blurry. Depending on what you're trying to focus on and from what angle, text can be a pain in the ass to read. In a game like Skyrim, which is filled to the brim with signs and books (not to mention the in-game map you use all the time), that's a bit of a problem. 


That's where the HD Signs mod makes a really small change into a really big quality of life upgrade. Not only does the mod help with immersion, it helps with the very literal headache vanilla Skyrim VR can give you from all the squinting it forces you to do. 


Skyrim VR Mod: Vivid Weather Definitive Edition


Download on Nexus Mods


Being inside Skyrim is a lot different than looking at it from the outside. When you're playing Skyrim VR on the Oculus or HTC Vive, you don't take things like weather and huge cliffs for granted. 


That's why it's important for every little grain of sand, every drop of water, and every flak of snow to look downright gorgeous. That's where this mod comes in to play. 


Better weather effects revamps the whole color scheme of the game and provides an increased level of immersion while trekking from Whiterun to the College Of Winterhold. Couple this with the Skyrim 2017 textures mod, and you'll be in a brand-new Elder Scrolls worlds you never knew existed. 


Skyrim VR Mod: Immersive Citizens


Download on Nexus Mods


It's true that the phrases "Skyrim NPCs" and "gameplay immersion" don't necessarily go hand in hand. Guards that take arrows to the head, wander around for a minute, and then say, "Huh, guess it was nothing" are very much an immersion-breaking problem.


And in Skyrim VR, that's not something you really want. 


This mod deals with these types of issues by tweaking the AI of NPCs to make them act more like real people, which is good unless you like stupid NPCs. To each their own. 


Skyrim VR Mod: Sounds of Skyrim Complete


Download on Nexus Mods


While visuals are what usually get all the press in VR games, sound and music are equally important when creating an immersive gameplay experience -- especially if you want that experience to be worth the price of admission. 


This Skyrim VR mod pack combines the Sounds of Skyrim -- Civilization; Sounds of Skyrim -- The Wilds; and Sounds of Skyrim -- The Dungeons to add 460 additional unique sounds to the game. Some are even affected by the time of day, weather, and location. 


The end result is a Skyrim experience that sounds and feels more alive.


Skyrim VR Mod: SSE Fixes


Download on Nexus Mods


If you experience frequent frame rate drops, low FPS, other stuttering issues that pull you out of Skyrim VR, try installing this optimization mod from Nexus Mods.


Some users have reported it results in a much smoother overall VR experience, even though the mod was originally meant for the Special Edition version of the game.


Skyrim VR Mod: Skyrim 2017 Textures


Download on Nexus Mods


Without question, this is the first graphical mod you want to install for Skyrim VR.


While playing Skyrim from a first-person, VR perspective can be jaw-dropping, the luster will quickly wear off as you realize that the original 2011 textures are being used (for some reason).


Despite how good gameplay can be in Skyrim VR, looks do matter after a while. So if you want to look at characters and locations that don't seem tailor-made for the Xbox 360, this updated texture mod is simply a basic requirement for an immersive gameplay experience.


Skyrim VR Mod: VR Mirror


Download on Nexus Mods


Although you'll still probably spend hours customizing your character in Skyrim VR, the virtual reality version doesn't give you many opportunities to actually see your character. 


That's where the VR Mirror mod comes into play. This stop-gap mod adds a mirror feature into the game that lets you directly look at yourself to make sure you've got your character's appearance exactly the way you intended.


It might not be a big deal, but whether you're playing on the Oculus or the Vive, looking badass is half the fun of Skyrim. And if you're looking for more immersive gameplay, this is a must-have addition. 


To be totally honest, I don't actually think Skyrim lives up to its hype ... but playing Skyrim VR is a radically different experience that overshadows many of the game's flaws.


Traditionally, Bethesda PC games are best when modded into infinity, and that remains the case with Skyrim VR. 


According to official word from Bethesda, mods aren't supported and aren't even supposed to work at all for Skyrim VR. But as many players have discovered, Nexus Mods is full of juicy goodness -- and many will load (to varying levels of success) as long as the mod in question doesn't rely on the Skyrim Script Extender (which sadly means most of the nudie mods aren't functional yet).


Due to the nature of VR and changes to the game between versions, some of the game's texture mods can behave oddly, and you might get some buggy behavior with mods that drastically change the base gameplay, but overall, most of your favorite Nexus mods are workable with Skyrim VR.


In the next few slides, we cover the best PC mods you should download immediately to make Skyrim VR even more immersive!


If you're looking for general Skyrim tips and tricks, make sure to check out our Skyrim guides page for more. 

How to Wait in Skyrim VR on Oculus, Vive, and PSVR Fri, 06 Apr 2018 17:34:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Although Skyrim VR turns the vanilla game's immersion up to 11, letting you throw fireballs, fight off Draugr, and steal cheese wheels in an almost-tangible Elder Scrolls landscape, there are limits to what we players will do to achieve that. No one wants to wait half a dozen real-world hours for Riften's guards to fall asleep at their posts. 

That's where Skyrim's "Wait" function comes in handy. And whether you're playing Skyrim VR on the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR, you may have found waiting isn't as immediately intuitive as you might have thought. 

Using each platform's motion controls, all it takes is the press of a single button to wait in Skyrim VR

  • On Oculus Rift: Press and hold down the Y button
  • On HTC Vive: Hold the Left Menu button
  • On PSVR: Press the Start button

If you're trying to figure out how to wait in vanilla Skyrim, you can do so by pressing "T" on PC, the "Back" button on Xbox One, the Touchpad on PS4, and the "--" button on the Nintendo Switch. 

Simple as that. Now you can wait faster and easier than ever before -- both in and out of virtual reality. 

We have loads of Skyrim guides here on GameSkinny, from categorized mod lists to some effective builds.

The State of RPGs in 2017 Tue, 26 Dec 2017 12:32:38 -0500 Joseph Rowe

2017 saw a slew of new, noteworthy RPGs. Although most were sequels of previously established series, they were long-awaited sequels, and most were well received. Both Western and Japanese developers brought something to the table this year, so put on your RPG bib and get ready to dig in to our State of RPGs in 2017 roundup!

The Biggest RPG Releases of 2017

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Let's start this list off a little funky. Let's tackle the mess that was Mass Effect: Andromeda. The sequel to the mostly well-received Mass Effect trilogy had been anticipated for half a decade. While by no means the worst game of the year, many fans were disappointed with the weird graphics and the less-than-stellar storyline, likely caused by the game changing hands many times throughout its development. It currently sits at a user rating of 4.8 on Metacritic, with GameSkinny's ElConquistadork including it in his 5 Worst Games of 2017, but our own Synzer gave it a 9/10, showing that some fans of the series did end up loving it. They say that true art is controversial. I'm not sure that applies to this situation, but I imagine it's something the devs tell themselves to feel better about the scores it received.

Persona 5

It finally came out! Many Persona fans, including myself, had been anticipating this game for the better half of a decade. Luckily, the wait was worth it because Persona 5 lived up to the hype. With a user score of 9.1 on Metacritic, it's safe to say it was incredibly well received by most players. And with sweet tracks like the one above, can you blame them?

If you've been sitting out on buying any new RPGs this year, I recommend picking this one up! Whether it's the beautiful graphics, the gripping plot involving a talking cat and nearly mummified hikikomori, or its stellar soundtrack, there are no downsides to this masterpiece -- except maybe spending too much time building your social links/confidants up and neglecting your actual friends.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

The spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, Torment: Tides of Numenerais a story-rich 2.5D isometric RPG in which players take on the role of a reincarnated ancient being (more or less). In the process of controlling this dude, players have to make some pretty tough decisions that will have long-term effects on their gameplay. If you liked the original, GameSkinny's Ty Arthur thinks you'll like the new one, too. It does only have a 7 on Metacritic, indicating mixed reviews, but if you're looking for an in-depth, complex, story-based throwback RPG, you're going to be hard pressed to find a better one available right now -- unless you wanna just keep replaying Planescape and Icewind Dale.


This game has been described as a mix between Dark Souls and Onimusha. If that's not enough to grab your interest, I don't know what is. With a user rating of 8.5 for the PS4 version on Metacritic, Nioh was received quite well. Players loved its Souls series difficulty and kind-of-similar mechanics, and they praised the game's creativity that set it apart from other Souls-like games currently on the market. It's also made by Team Ninja, so if you're a Ninja Gaiden fan, you're missing out if you haven't picked this up yet.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

In a really big departure from the usual formula of the series, Nintendo went ahead and built a cooking Legend of Zelda game with an amazing open-world game built around it. Breath of the Wild is a breath of fresh air for the series, introducing tons of new gameplay elements, including a durability-based weapon system, crazy interactive environment elements that allow you to set fires, a tasty cooking system, and a degree of freedom that makes every other Zelda game look insanely linear. It currently sits at an 8.4 on Metacritic, with the only real complaints being about the durability system, but nearly everyone agrees that this is one of the best Zelda games in recent memory. 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

2017 brought with it a sequel to 2014's Stick of Truth. This time around, the focus is on superhero movie franchises. According to GameSkinny's own Ashley Gill, the game was a solid entry into the franchise and different enough from its predecessor to set it apart. Sitting at a 7.6 for the PS4 version on Metacritic, The Fractured But Whole has been praised for its combat system, its soundtrack, and its faithfulness to the humor and look of the Comedy Central original. Some players, like Ashley, weren't impressed by the crafting system, but most players enjoyed the rest of the game thoroughly regardless of its flaws.

Nier: Automata

One of the most well-received RPGs of the year, Nier: Automata sits at a user score of 8.8 on Metacritic. Practically everything about the game received praise, including its character design, its story, and especially its varied gameplay. The game is a sequel to the original Nier, made by PlatinumGames. Both games are spin-offs of the Drakengard series. Not only is the game itself amazing, but it's got a rich story that is only enhanced by any enjoyment or knowledge you have of the previous game and its sister series. Who doesn't love action RPGs with anime androids?

Hand of Fate 2

In Hand of Fate 2, players take control of a character who must fight through various multi-floored dungeons set up by a a dungeon master-like entity known as the Dealer. It combines roguelike, RPG, and deck-building gameplay to bring a unique spin to the genre. If you're a fan of D&D or other tabletop RPGs, this is definitely worth checking out. It's been generally well received, with a user score of 7.7 on Metacritic. The main criticism that pops up is its combat, but players praise its other gameplay mechanics and the improvements the sequel made over the original.

Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon

 In the spirit of other second releases of Pokemon games, Pokemon: Ultra Sun/Moon is basically the same as its originals but with a few extra goodies. It comes with a new Mantine surfing mini-game, a new online battle mode that allows players to rent Pokemon to create a new team, a Fairy-type trial, totem stickers, and more. One of the biggest updates is that the game now actually contains a real gym, whereas the original games got around that with the Island Trials. The coolest new feature added to the game is its post-game: you fight a supergroup of the previous game's evil organization leaders. Their name is Team Rainbow Rocket, which is the sickest name ever, I don't care who you are. If you're a hardcore Pokemon fan, this is worth checking out, but if you're not, you're probably fine just sticking with the 2016 release.


The Remastered RPG Releases of 2017

Final Fantasy XII: the Zodiac Age

If you weren't a fan of the original Final Fantasy XII, like GameSkinny's Ashley Gill, then you might still want to give this new game a try, as it completely remakes the MMORPG combat system into something more appropriate to the mainline Final Fantasy series. Not only does The Zodiac Age update the combat (which Ashley loved and which I will reserve my judgment on because I am one of three people who actually liked the original FFXII's MMORPG-style combat), but it also gives the game a lovely new set of updated graphics and, especially, sound.  Whether you're a fan of the original game or not, if you're looking for a new Final Fantasy to spend your time with this year, this one might be right for you.

Skyrim VR

Have you ever wanted to Fus Roh Dah a dragon face to face? Well, now thanks to the PS4 VR version of the game, you can. There's not much new to report on this other than some people really love Skyrim VR, and some people really hate it. If you're a fan of VR, though, you'll probably dig this update to the much-beloved fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series.

.Hack//G.U. Last Recode

Forget about your Sword Art Onlines and your Log Horizons, the OG stuck-in-a-game game is back with a re-release of the original .Hack//G.U. trilogy as well as a new installment: .hack//G.U. Vol. 4//Reconnection. Fans of the original game series or the anime, manga, and light novels it's based on will love this (re)release. .Hack//G.U. Last Recode sits at a well-received score of 7.9 on Metacritic, with players praising its improvements/updates to the original, its story, and its addictive gameplay.


What Was New in the World of Online RPGs of 2017

World of Warcraft: Legion continues

(The cinematic above contains some pretty serious spoilers, so watch at your own discretion.)

While World of WarcraftLegion came out back in 2016, it concluded this year with players finally confronting Sargeras and banishing him to space baby jail, while Illidan watches over him in a surprisingly poetic resolution to our demon hunting buddy's storyline. There's an upcoming patch that will tide players over until Battle for Azeroth releases, but for now, players will be spending their time raiding Antorus or competing in the current PvP season.

Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

Introducing the Warden as a new class as well as bringing players to the location of the beloved third Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind received mixed scores from players, largely debating about whether the price was worth it. However, many players feel like this gave the game enough fresh content to keep them interested, especially all that new lore. Delicious. It's what finally convinced me to want to give the game a shot.

FFXIV: Stormblood

In a bold move, FFXIV: Stormblood introduces the brand-new classes Samurai and Red Mage. Oh, wait, they're not new to the series? Well, they're new to this game along with a new level cap, new areas to explore, new primals, a new raid, and a few other new features. It was given a 7.1 user score on Metacritic, indicating that it was received neither well nor poorly. Most of the negative reviews came from players who had server issues, but the content itself seems to have been well received, making this one of the better MMO expansions to check out this year.

Destiny 2 and Destiny 2: Curse of Osiris

Bungie is a bit weird. They just released Destiny 2 back in September on the PS4 and XBox One, then released it for PC on October 24th. Yet, this month brought with it the game's first expansion: Curse of Osiris. Just like the original, the game is basically an FPS MMORPG that features both PvE and PvP. Unlike the original, it came with a better matchmaking system. It was well received at launch, with most players praising its varied gameplay, its graphics, and its new storylines. However, some players have since soured to the game because of the quick release of its expansion, which involved gating content from the original behind expansion-only gear levels (as well as misleading players in the original about the amount of XP they were earning). The Curse of Osiris' Metacritic score currently sits at a 1.7 for users, but that is likely due to (warranted) salt over the developer's content gating and the XP issue.


I wanted to like Absolver much more than I did. I really did. It's like Dark Souls and Jade Empire with a softer aesthetic. It was pretty great to play -- when it worked. However, this PvE-lite, PvP-focused online martial arts RPG was plagued with insane server issues at launch that killed a lot of the potential love I had for it. I gave it a 6, but the user score on Metacritic was a little bit higher at 6.6. It might be worth revisiting now that there's been some time to work out the server issues, but I'd rather just go back to Persona 5.

Citadel: Forged with Fire

This is another game that was plagued with issues in its early-access days when I was writing the review for itCitadel: Forged with Fire was an incredibly promising sandbox. It's like the other games, except you're a wizard and you fly on a broom. That might not sound exciting, but have you ever flown on a broom before? It's pretty dope. The main problems I had with the game were based on its early-access nature leading to numerous instances of game-breaking bugs, like server crashes, enemies who didn't attack, and an incredibly hard-to-navigate server browser. However, other players have reported that those issues have since been fixed for the most part, and the game's more recent reviews on Steam have been mostly positive. Given all that, it might be worth checking out if you want to get your Gandalf on.


What Does 2018 Have in Store for Us?

Kingdom Hearts III

While likely not coming out in 2018, a writer can hope, can't he? I've largely avoided playing the other games in the series (besides 1 and 2), so I've been waiting for Kingdom Hearts III for longer than I'd like to admit. When will Goofy come home?

All we have for now are trailers to hold us off, but luckily, this year's E3 showed off the combat system a bit more. The game looks just as good as it ever was. I can't wait to beat Pete up. Also, shout out to the accurate James Woods impersonator playing Hades in the Japanese dub.

Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom

The long-anticipated sequel to the original Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom comes out next year. Hype yourselves up, anime nerds, because this is looking to be a promising sequel. The Ghibli veterans who worked on the original game are reprising their roles for this, so if you got that same feeling from the trailer, you're justified. We might not get a Princess Mononoke 2 anytime soon, but at least we got this.


WoW: Battle for Azeroth

The Horde's done it again. We somehow managed to be aggressors again because story. So, after saving our world from utter annihilation and banishing Sargeras to titan jail, we will have another war with WoW: Battle for Azeroth. But at least we get some new allied races coming in, like the Zandalari Trolls and Void Elves. You'll catch me playing a Highmountain Tauren Druid while I explore Zandalar.

Call of Cthulu

Fans of horror RPGs and Lovecraft have a tasty little treat to look forward to next year: Call of Cthulu. Based off of the tabletop RPG of the same name, which is based off of Lovecraft's Mythos, players will be investigating some seriously spooky stuff in Boston, Massachusetts.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

When most Americans think of Bohemians, they tend to think of beatniks, but Kingdom Come: Deliverance is about to show that the Kingdom of Bohemia is back, sans the Kerouac books. This game is billed as being based on 15th century European history in the Holy Roman Empire. Everything from the clothing to the castles to the soundtrack is meant to be period accurate. If you're looking for a medieval RPG without the fantasy, this game will be worth keeping an eye on.


2017 has been a pretty generous year for RPG fans. Whether you're a fan of traditional JRPGs or Western MMOs, there's something for pretty much everyone. Persona 5 was hands down my favorite this year. How about you? What was your favorite RPG this year? Are there any games I overlooked? What are you looking forward to most next year? Let me know in the comments!


What is the State of VR Gaming? Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:28:05 -0500 Brandon Janeway

Virtual Reality was the talk of E3 2016, with Sony dedicating a large chunk of its conference to the new and exciting technology. Even HTC and Oculus made some big splashes at the event with showcases of their own VR headsets. But a year later at E3 2017, that same excitement had almost completely dissipated. 

Before the mass market's loss of interest, however, the hype for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive was out of this world and PSVR made the idea of Virtual Reality gaming seem easier to access than ever. But following an all too frequent trend of over-hyped products, it seems that VR was not the new best way of gaming that we were promised. Let's take a look back at how the state of VR came to be how we know it today.


VR systems were supposed to be the hot ticket item for fall/winter of 2016. Reporting sales of 1 million headsets, Sony had the biggest market share. They're not bad sales figures but it's no where near what Sony was expecting. In February, CSS Insight predicted that VR sales would increase by 800 percent by 2021, so maybe the future is brighter than we think for this new technology.

High expectations for the new devices were set and they didn't perform how we imagined. Ultimately, that hurt the sales worse than anyone expected, based on the positive reaction to their over-hyped marketing. The low sales figures were then mostly interpreted as Virtual Reality being a failed idea. But since VR is still a fairly new, and continuously developing technology, it needs time to grow and find its place in the market.


A possible hiccup for VR was the marketing. Every company, first and foremost, is trying to sell you a product. Because of this, it's easy to over-hype something in marketing materials and press conferences, setting an incredibly high bar in terms of expectations.

While the gaming community was focused and fixated on VR, the general public did not share the same enthusiasm. This is possibly because there was too much variety, too soon into the life-cycle of Virtual Reality. 

The average consumer may not know the difference between the $598 Oculus Rift and the $15 Google Cardboard. Therefore it can be hard for the general public to wrap their heads around what VR actually is, and this confusion is enough for most consumers to forego early adoption in favour of a wait-and-see approach.

Virtual Reality Software

In the gaming community, it seems there is just a dissatisfaction with the content that has been produced so far for VR headsets. Early on there was not a high diversity in their game library. EVE: Valkyrie and Batman: Arkham VR were a couple of big titles, both receiving mixed reviews. EVE received complaints because of its overuse of microtransactions and Batman: Arkham VR was said to have clunky controls that were frustrating at times. While there have been some VR indie gems to come out of this, they're not system selling titles that each of the headsets needed to stand out.

To wrap this all up, VR is not dead but there simply isn't the same hype around it any more. There are still some promising games coming out such as Skyrim VR and numerous indie games like The Climb, but nothing truly exciting. That being said, it is still a unique gaming peripheral that can provide a very engaging experience for the player, but it is up to developers to figure out how to make that experience a truly unique and wonderful one.

If you invested in a headset, you will certainly get some use out of it but perhaps not in the same way that was thought back in 2016, before the decline in popularity.


Let us know in the comments what you think we will see from VR in the next few years, and for more VR related content, check out some of our other VR articles:

No One in The Industry Wants to Admit VR is a Gimmick Fri, 30 Jun 2017 19:06:40 -0400 glados131

Virtual reality is on the rise at the moment. This exciting new technology is something that nearly everyone has at least some interest in, and who can blame them? Getting fully immersed in a game via VR has been a fantasy for almost as long as gaming has existed. And now, it's closer than ever to being a reality.

However, we should be extremely wary about accepting the current state of VR as "finished" or "mainstream". While incredible, the technology has a long journey ahead before that's a reality for a number of reasons.

The Price

The first and most obvious issue with VR is the price. Most consoles these days go for around $300 (or $500 if you're called the Xbox One X). The two biggest VR headsets, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, are priced at a whopping $600 and $800 respectively (note: the Oculus price is including the touch controllers).

Pretty much the only affordable way to experience VR.

The price on its own is intimidating enough, but then you need to consider the specs. You need a powerful computer to run VR. On a decent PC, you can get away with most visually demanding games-- a little frame lag is possible to work through. This, however, is unacceptable in VR. The framerate needs to be as crisp as possible to avoid motion sickness-- and to just maintain the illusion that you're in a virtual world. So if your computer is just "okay", you're not only looking at the price of the headset itself (plus accessories), you're potentially looking at getting a new graphics card or even a new computer altogether if you own a laptop. This lack of affordability amounts to a fairly damning lack of demand when it comes to VR.

The Technology

The price is one thing, but another is the technology itself. Because it is so new, there is very little standardization on how to work with it. I have actually worked on a few VR games myself, and each of them went through massive technical difficulties simply because there's currently no widely used software that's built specifically to develop in VR.

Pictured: The VR developer experience.

A similar issue with the technology is that the only popular item is the headsets. There are companies working on products like 360 degree treadmills and even haptic suits, but those are being developed separately from the headsets. Another vitally important thing that's still being worked on is eye tracking. At the moment, the Rift and the Vive cannot track your eye movements, but once that changes, the ramifications are huge. Once the headsets are able to tell where you're looking in a game, they will only have to render what is in your immediate field of view. This means that the graphical requirements we talked about above will go down drastically, resulting in a lower price investment.

The Games

Technology is one thing, but what good is a piece of gaming hardware without games? Well, this isn't an issue, as there are plenty of games available for the Rift and Vive. Or are there?

Well, there are, but that comes with a major caveat; there are a precious few-- if any-- full-length games designed specifically with VR in mind.

VR games these days tend to fall into a couple categories. The most common are what basically amount to tech demos, or environments to explore. This includes games like I Expect You To Die, Rick and Morty VRand the like. It should be noted that I Expect You To Die is an excellent game, and one that will help illustrate a point later on. There is, however, one trait these games all share: they are short. Nearly all games that have been developed for VR feel more like a proof-of-concept than a fully realized, fleshed out game. Even incredibly fun games like Budget Cuts and SUPERHOT VR fall into this category.

There are longer games you can play in VR, however. Some AAA releases like Resident Evil 7, and more recently DOOM and Skyrim have options to play in VR. However, the fact that these games weren't originally designed for it is a bigger problem than you think. Designing for VR is drastically different than doing so for more standard platforms. A great example is I Expect You To Die. Every facet of the game is designed with VR in mind, from the stationary position it puts you in to the sheer amount of item interactions that have been coded in. The CEO of Schell Games (the developers of IEYTD), Jessie Schell, wrote an extensive blog post where he discussed these differences at length (you should take note of lessons two and three in particular). The games I listed above, while they can be played in VR, do not follow these guidelines. Eventually we might have full-length games designed directly for the medium, but there needs to be a demand first, and that means the price will have to go down.

Because it definitely needed a VR version.

VR is a medium with a lot of potential, but it has a long way to go before that potential is fully realized. Between the price, lack of standardization, and lack of full-length games, it's currently more of a fun gimmick than a mainstream product. Granted, this will change with time, but the only question is... how much?

What are your thoughts on VR capabilities? Do you think it has a future? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Bethesda Is Never Going to Stop Milking Skyrim. Never. Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:23:32 -0400 LuckyJorael

Skyrim – for better or for worse – has been the standard set for RPGs since its release in 2011. In the past 6 years, Skyrim has sold a staggering 23 million units, which doesn’t quite break the top 10 best-selling games of all time list, but has earned Bethesda well over a billion dollars in revenue.

With the announcement of Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch and VR platforms, it appears that Bethesda won’t stop milking their prize cow anytime soon. Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch appears to be a straight port, with the exception of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild themed gear -- which has been available in some form or fashion via modding for a long time on PC -- and Skyrim VR is... exactly what it sounds like, complete with disjointed, floating hands. While making a decent port of a game isn't exactly easy, Bethesda seems to be devoting all of their considerable time and energy to recreating Skyrim's success on different platforms, and not, say, Elder Scrolls VI.

However, new variations on the same title aren’t the only way that Bethesda hopes to continue capitalizing on their success. Their second attempt at paid mods seemingly seeks to profit off of Skyrim for years to come.

Bethesda’s new Creation Club is Paid Mods 2.0, but the difference is how they’re going about doing it. Bethesda is giving mod authors who use Creation Club status as game developers, instead of modders. Bethesda is continuing to support a 6-year-old game in a business where franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed see releases almost every year. This means that much like other games have a Live Team, Bethesda will have a dedicated Skyrim team that's set to assist modders in continuing to pump out new content for the game.

However, even without a reimbursed modding community or an active Live Team, Skyrim has a truly dumbfounding amount of extra, free content available in the form of mods. Any fan of the title who has even thought about modding Skyrim can attest to this. Nexusmods, one of the larger repositories of free content for games, boasts over 53,000 mods for Skyrim -- which is the most of any game on the site. This includes everything from minor changes in experience gain to major overhauls of the perk system.

While players are often encouraged to donate to mod authors, it is only ever voluntary. Even the most ambitious mods for Skyrim – full-on expansions like Moonpath to Elsweyr and Falskaar – are free, with the hope that some players will donate to the authors.

What Bethesda appears to be expecting, however, are smaller, more polished mods. Pictures from Bethesda’s announcement include a fancy bow, a crab with a Dwemer skin, a “survival mode” and something called “The Grey Cowl Returns!” Nothing displayed so far even approaches the length or complexity of the mods available for free from Nexusmods, Steam Workshop, or even the mods available through Xbox One. And a quick perusal through Nexusmods shows that while there are no exact replicas of the mods from Bethesda’s announcement – “survival mode” aside, as there are at least a dozen mods for that – there are quite a few mods that are similar.

So if originality and complexity are out the window, why should gamers pay for Creation Club mods? Bethesda appears to be banking on quality and stability, which Skyrim and Fallout 4 are definitely known for (That's sarcasm, by the way; Bethesda RPGs are historically janky.). For sake of argument, however, let’s say that Bethesda achieves that goal of stability and that all the Creation Club mods play nice with each other. Maybe the mods are a higher quality than teased in the announcement, as well! If the mods have everything going for them -- we're talking about best case scenario here -- they still cost players money.

While modders might not care to line Bethesda's pockets any more than they already have, the potential for a paycheck will be hard to refuse. Others, still, might be drawn to the promise of support from a team of Bethesda coders and artists. In turn, what Bethesda wants from these Creation Club members – who are most often modders or junior game developers by any other name – are mods that will sell. Make no mistake: Creation Club is designed to make Bethesda money first and foremost; modders are merely being allowed to have a cut.

One of the potentially more worrying moves made by Bethesda thus far leads credence to this idea. Much like many other AAA titles and developers, Bethesda has decided that you need to first purchase their own currency which you will then use to buy the Creation Club mods. But hiding prices behind their own currency only comes across an obvious ploy to obfuscate the costs of digital products.

Let's say that Creation Club currency is a 1-to-1 transfer between U.S. Dollars and energy symbols. That means that the fancy bow from the announcement is $3.00, the Dwarven Crab reskin is $1.50, survival mode is $5.00, and The Gray Cowl Returns! is $2.00. Are any of those individual skins really worth that price? Even if these prices were halved I'd probably not be interested in any of that content.

In fact, I'd argue that starting a new paid mods program for a game with so many existing free mods of such variety and quality actually only hurts Bethesda's cause. For these reasons, Bethesda needs to have a very compelling reason for players to shell out cash for digital content that is extremely similar to what’s available to them already for free

Wyrmstooth, a DLC-sized mod for Skyrim

Maybe Creation Club is a way for former mod authors and would-be game designers to create high-quality add-ons and content for beloved games while gaining experience with real developers. Maybe players will be able to purchase things akin to full-on DLC expansions through the service, and the outcries from players will be ignored as Skyrim is revitalized through new, high-quality content.

But Bethesda has to step up their game, especially since Paid Mods 1.0 went so poorly. Because from where we are standing, this is merely the latest step in Bethesda's campaign to milk their most successful product dry in absence of making Elder Scrolls VI. In the end, maybe all we’ll get from this is Crab Armor. (Thanks to reddit user MrMoldovan)

[images courtesy of Bethesda Softworks LLC and YouTube]

5 Best Games to Buy for Playstation VR Mon, 03 Jul 2017 14:43:15 -0400 CarlyEvans

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was just recently announced to be in development for PSVR at this year's E3. With the success and support for Skyrim, it is no surprise that the game will make the leap to VR. With a remaster that came out last year, Skryim was ready for its next installment. 


Experience Skyrim as if you were there, holding your own weapons and fighting against the many enemies found there with PSVR. The fun gameplay from the original will only get better in a VR setting. Magic, shields, swords, arrows and spells will be at the tip of your finger tips this November! 




That wraps up our list of the best games currently available for PSVR. What are some of your favorites? Any games you're hoping see a VR port soon? Let us know down in the comments!


Eve: Valkyrie


Taking place in the universe of EVE, Eve: Valkyrie puts the player into the shoes of an outlaw band of galactic pirates, chasing infamy and wealth. 


Gorgeous visuals invite you into the world, and VR capabilities truly immerse you in this galactic universe. The use of the VR headset allows for a full range of motion to find enemies from every direction. The space battles feel real and challenging.


Eve: Valkyrie offers a variety of customization with weapon loadouts, different battle tactics, and an extensive collection of ships to choose from. Flying has never been so fun. 


Driveclub VR


Driveclub VR offers an amazing 360 experience for those who love racing games. With a solo campaign as well as competitive racing among friends, Driveclub VR is the best racing game currently available for VR. (And here at GS, we think the non-VR version is the best racing game for PS4.) Beautiful landscapes and amazing tracks will immerse you in a way that no other racing game can. 


The VR version also includes DLC from Driveclub, along with completely new modes and elements exclusive to the VR experience. Your street racing and car crashing days will feel infinitely more real and exhilarating with Driveclub VR. 




Farpoint, one of Sony's bigger promotions for PSVR, is a space survival story. You are tasked with meeting up with scientists who are already in space near Jupiter, right as a rupture in space sends everyone to a hostile alien world. 


While searching the world for clues about your crew and information about the world itself, you will encounter unfriendly alien creatures. Farpoint boasts the use of the PSVR Aim Controller, which allows the player to aim as if using a real weapon, as well as control your character with DualShock 4 controls. 


An innovative game like this one is definitely worth checking out! 


Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood


Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood is another horror VR experience that is sure to get your heart pumping. As an arcade-style first-person shooter, this game packs a different sort of gameplay that we don't see too often in the mainstream gaming world nowadays. 


But Rush of Blood delivers an incredibly frightening 360-degree experience, with enemies coming at you from every angle. The roller coaster ride offers multiple paths and waves of enemies that guarantees no two rides will be the same. 


If you are a sucker for horror games, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is definitely one you should pick up. 


Resident Evil 7


Resident Evil 7 is the latest entry in the Resident Evil series. A norm in the Resident Evil series, this game strays from the typical third-person shooter style. The shift to first person was implemented in order to run this game effectively in VR -- which makes the experience incredibly scary. Nothing gets your blood pumping like jump scares and dark hallways. 


Experiencing the story of Ethan Winters with the immersion of a VR headset really maxes out the spine-chilling setting and story. An incredibly creepy family has abducted you (and possibly your wife), and there is no easy way out. When you can step right into Ethan's point of view, this game will scare the crap out of you. 


Sony has recently announced that sales for the PlayStation VR have surpassed one million units. Since its launch, Sony has expressed its own surprise at the peripheral's reception. And of course, its success is somewhat because of the games released alongside it -- but it's also because the PSVR is a well-crafted and well-developed piece of hardware. In the world of VR headsets, Sony's PSVR holds its own. 


With previously released games like Skyrim moving into the VR space and new games being developed specifically to be explored in VR, now is definitely the time to see what kinds of worlds are being built! From developers like Capcom and Guerrilla Cambridge come some of the most enjoyable PSVR games out there to date -- many games that anyone can enjoy.


Here are the five best PSVR games that you can buy right now! 

Sony at E3 2017: It's All About the Games Tue, 13 Jun 2017 13:36:41 -0400 LuckyJorael

As with years past, Sony's E3 focus for 2017 highlighted upcoming games for the PlayStation 4, PS4 Pro, and PlayStation VR. After showing off Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, Horizon: Zero Dawn's DLC "The Frozen Wilds", and Days Gone, Shawn Layden took the stage and said simply, "We love games, and we want to see more of them tonight. It's all about the games."

And Sony delivered the games. Trailer after trailer came on the screen at the Los Angeles Convention Center; Sony showed off a whopping 17 games during their hour on stage, while Shawn Layden had a bare few minutes of time on the stage, comparatively.

Like Layden said: "It's all about the games."  So here's what Sony showed off.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

The focus of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4 spinoff, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, seems to be the tenuous relationship between its two protagonists, Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross, as they scour India in search of the Tusk of Ganesha. Fans of the series should expect the puzzles, combat, and harrowing climbing sequences Uncharted has come to be known for. The stand-alone game comes out August 22, for $39.99. 

Horizon: Zero Dawn - "The Frozen Wilds"

Set in a frigid landscape, "The Frozen Wilds" introduces players to a new tribe surviving in the robo-dinosaur strewn landscape of Horizon: Zero Dawn, as well as a mysterious mountain with a roiling, lightning-filled storm clouding its peak. "The Frozen Wilds" is expected to release later this year.


Days Gone

Bend Studio's zombie adventure game Days Gone got a new trailer at Sony's E3 Showcase, showing off some great-looking character animations, hand-to-hand combat, driving, and zombie hordes. We also got to see what happens to animals when they eat zombie meat: zombie animals (specifically zombie bears!). Days Gone will release on December 29, exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

Monster Hunter: World

The latest title in the Monster Hunter series strays only slightly from the previous titles in the series in that it is an open-world game, as opposed to having sectioned-off portions of the map from previous games. Aside from that, expect the same gathering, crafting, trapping, and giant weapons fans of the games have come to expect. Oh, and turning meat over an open fire.

Monster Hunter: World releases in early 2018 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Shadow of the Colossus

The beloved PlayStation 2 title Shadow of the Colossus is getting an HD remake, scheduled for a 2018 release exclusively on the PlayStation 4. Check out the trailer below:

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Sony debuted a new story trailer for the fighting game, highlighting the undoubtedly convoluted plot and the interactions between Marvel favorites and Capcom's characters. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite releases September 19, on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, but Capcom has released a story demo alongside the newest trailer, which you can grab now on PS4 and Xbox One. No gameplay footage was shown during the showcase. 

Call of Duty: WWII

Call of Duty: WWII goes back to the series roots by once again exploring the European theater of war during World War II. The Showcase trailer showed off some of the game's multiplayer elements, but in a more cinematic environment.

PlayStation owners will get access to a CoD: WWII private beta starting August 25, with Xbox One and PC betas to follow sometime after. The full game releases November 3, on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Skyrim VR

Bethesda's biggest RPG gets not only a Nintendo Switch conversion but a PlayStation VR version, as well. From the trailer shown at the showcase (seen below), there doesn't appear to be many improvements to the game outside of a virtual reality experience. Skyrim VR will be released November 2017 exclusively on PlayStation VR.

Star Child

News on Star Child, from developers Playful and Gametrust, has so far been fairly cryptic, leaving much to the imagination. The trailer shows a sidescrolling-style game with a menacing alien threatening the human character -- until a giant robot intervenes. Star Child has no confirmed release date as of this writing, but it will be released as a PlayStation VR game.  

The Inpatient

Supermassive Games is developing a new VR horror game, The inpatient, which is set in Blackwood Sanitorium 60 years before the developer's horror game Until Dawn. The trailer is light on details but heavy on tension and ambiance. The Inpatient does not yet have a release date as of this writing.

Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV

What goes together well? VR, fishing games, and Final Fantasy! Rejoin familiar faces from Final Fantasy XV and explore the rivers, lakes, and oceans in Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV. Monster of the Deep is scheduled to release in September of this year, although a specific date has yet to be revealed.

Bravo Team

Supermassive Games also unveiled a co-op cover-based military shooter the uses the PlayStation VR, Bravo Team. The gunplay looks fairly realistic, with the recoil from automatic fire making the rifle jump around. Bravo Team's release date is unconfirmed as of this writing.


Developer Polyarc showed of the VR game Moss at the Sony E3 Showcase. It sets the player character to helping an adventurous mouse with a green gauntlet, sword, and dashing red scarf. Players allegedly help the mouse solve puzzles and combat huge bugs, as well as a very large snake. Moss is expected to release winter 2017.

God of War

Kratos returns in a new trailer, unveiling more details about the plot and gameplay of the newest game, simply titled God of War. Gamers were treated to new weapons, enemies, and a voiceover from a green-eyed wolf -- likely the trickster Loki -- as well as confirmation that Kratos' son is along for the bloody, gory ride. God of War releases early 2018.

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human also got another trailer at the E3 Showcase, again highlighting the choices the player has in different situations during the game. The focus of the game appears to be the building android revolution in Detroit, and players will likely play Marcus, a free android with the ability to disrupt the control humans have over other androids. Detroit: Become Human does not yet have a release date.

Destiny 2

Developer Bungie revealed another cinematic trailer for their first-person shooter RPG, Destiny 2. And this time, the villain, Ghaul, gets plenty of screen time. The trailer also highlighted the PlayStation exclusive portions of the game: the Lake of Shadows strike, armor for each class, the City Apex ship, an exotic weapon named Borealis, and a PvP map named Retribution.  Destiny 2 releases on September 6 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and October 24 for the PC.


Sony wrapped up the Showcase with an extended look at Spider-Man, a third-person action game starring the titular webslinger. The trailer showed off Spidey's movement skills, combat prowess, and spider-senses, among other things. Spider-Man is expected to release in 2018.

That wraps up everything Sony showed off at their E3 Showcase.  What was your favorite trailer, and what are you most excited to play? Tell is in the comments below!