Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network The 11 Best Star Trek Games To Get You Ready For The Picard Premiere https://www.gameskinny.com/uvrmo/the-11-best-star-trek-games-to-get-you-ready-for-the-picard-premiere https://www.gameskinny.com/uvrmo/the-11-best-star-trek-games-to-get-you-ready-for-the-picard-premiere Mon, 20 Jan 2020 13:43:57 -0500 Ty Arthur

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Despite some solid contenders, I don't think we've seen the pinnacle of Star Trek gaming yet. While there are have been some great command sims, RTS space combat titles, and third person action games, we haven't seen them all come together yet.

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One day we'll get a title that seamlessly combines the exploration, diplomacy, logic and reason-based method of overcoming conflict, ship combat, and RPG elements all together.

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Until then, we've got these 11 classic games to play, and you can soon watch Picard on CBS All Access. What did you think of our listing of the best Star Trek games, and did we miss any that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below while you're waiting for the new show to premiere!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-trek-bridge-commander-77a20.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-trek-bridge-commander-77a20.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206050","description":"

Star Trek Bridge Commander

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Long before Bridge Crew offered a virtual reality take on ship command, there was Bridge Commander to put you in the role of newly-minted captain needing to keep your crew alive while researching space mysteries. 

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The aesthetics of the UI and way you issue orders to complete tasks on your ship will be very pleasing to Next Generation fans, and as a bonus you get to interact directly with Picard and Data! 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-trek-voyager-elite-force-db185.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-trek-voyager-elite-force-db185.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206048","description":"

Star Trek Voyager Elite Force

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Even more of a rarity than The Fallen's third person shooter take, Elite Force is probably the only first person shooter that makes sense and is worth playing in the Star Trek franchise.

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Yes, the character models (particularly the faces) are quite ugly by modern standards. Some of the injury sound effects are obnoxious, too but otherwise Elite Force is a solid FPS. This is basically Unreal masquerading as a Star Trek story, and its a lot of fun.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-14ba6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-14ba6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206047","description":"

Deep Space Nine: The Fallen

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While those early 2000s 3D graphics are looking pretty dated now, and there are some repetitive areas, The Fallen is one of the few attempts at a third person shooter in Star Trek that actually works.

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While this isn't exactly a horror game, you'll notice some big similarities between the gameplay here and later big name sci-fi horror entries. It's clear The Fallen had some influence on how characters are interacted with and even level design in a few titles.

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Fans of DS9 in particular will want to jump into this one, since you get to play through as Sisko, Worf, and Major Kira Nerys. In fact if you want the whole story, you need to play through all three characters in separate runs, as the major plot beats are split between each character option.

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Armada 3 Mod For Sins Of A Solar Empire

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This might sound like heresy, but one of the best Star Trek games of all time isn't even a Star Trek game at all, but rather a total conversion mod for Sins Of A Solar Empire!

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Basically this a spiritual successor to Armada 2 that is entirely fan-made, and its absurdly high quality. With five factions to pick, a customized UI, and a complete re-skin of the game to match Star Trek lore, somehow this mod ends up being one of the definitive titles in the entire franchise that you could easily sink 40 - 50 hours into.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-trek-armada-9fddb.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/a/star-trek-armada-9fddb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206045","description":"

Star Trek Armada

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An RTS set in the Trek universe, Armada should be on your shortlist if you like the idea of outfitting ships and then going around firing photon torpedoes at your enemies. 

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While the sequel had improved mechanics, the original probably still has the best overall campaign missions, and there are plenty of mods to extend its life.

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Sadly, Armada doesn't play well with Windows 10 on its own, even if you find an abandonware version. You'll need to conjure up some serious computer magic to get it running, but there are tutorials out there to help you along with a little Google Fu.

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For now, be sure to add the series to the GOG wishlist and keep your fingers crossed we get a legitimate re-release that works on modern PCs one of these days!

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Star Trek Judgement Rites

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Don't let the pixel graphics turn you off Judgment Rites is the ultimate original series game experience. The episodic nature of the levels, usage of classic sound effects, and overall storylines on display here are a serious love letter to the Enterprise crew.

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Unlike most other old school Star Trek titles, Judgment Rites somehow got a digital re-release and can now be picked up for a very reasonable price through outlets like GOG and Steam.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/b/stbc-box-head-4650f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/t/b/stbc-box-head-4650f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206041","description":"

Star Trek Bridge Crew VR

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A VR take on the tactical decisions taking place in the iconic bridge, Bridge Crew is as close as you are going to get to running your own star ship anytime soon.

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For serious Trek fans, this is a must-play experience and its available on PSVR, so you don't have to buy a whole new gaming rig.

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Since Bridge Crew is heavily multiplayer focused, you have to actually work together as a team like the characters from the show, while dealing with diverging personalities and leadership types.

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Want to really, really get into the universe? Some players will only go rounds speaking in Klingon! That's a level of dedication I haven't been able to get into yet.

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Klingon Academy

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Now its time to get to the real goods: the actual Star Trek video games. While many of them throughout the last 40 years have been mediocre to outright bad, more than a handful are rightfully remembered as hallowed classics.

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We'll start with one many players have probably forgotten about, despite being one of the best Trek games of all time: Klingon Academy. If you have fond  memories of Starfleet Academy, do yourself a favor and make sure to return to this Klingon focused follow-up that is the pinnacle of Star Trek space flight simulators.

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It's great fun, but you won't be able to buy this anywhere. Instead you'll have to scrape the abandonware sites if you don't still have the old discs, because this one never made it to GOG or Steam!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/h/51hpk9n0pzl-sl500-ss350-dc1b0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/1/h/51hpk9n0pzl-sl500-ss350-dc1b0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206040","description":"

Star Trek Fluxx

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The polar opposite of Ascendancy, the Fluxx take on Star Trek is way less epic, but also has way less setup time. Additional pluses lie in its far fewer pieces to keep track of, and it having basically no learning curve.

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You can jump right into Fluxx even with a brand new group of players for fast paced, zany fun with a Star Trek twist. Just about every franchise out there was received the Fluxx treatment already, but if you haven't played before, here's the low down: the rules are constantly changing.

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In essence, the changing rules are the game itself, so no two matches are ever the same and a player who seems on the verge of victory is probably the farthest from the finish line. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/5/715tsllonpl-sl1000-4ee55.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/1/5/715tsllonpl-sl1000-4ee55.jpg","type":"slide","id":"206049","description":"

Star Trek Ascendancy

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One of the absolute best board game iterations of the franchise, Ascendancy goes an unusual route in that there's not actually a board at all!

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To maintain ultimate flexibility as the Romulans, Klingons, and Federation vie for supremacy, the entire board has been ditched for a more freeform experience with cards and tokens.

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Despite that change, there's still a ton of depth here (as you'd expect from a $100 tabletop box set) and a lot of give and take between exploration, diplomatic trade ties, and conquest.

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Star Trek Adventures

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We'll look at plenty of digital adventures shortly, but first up its worth noting that infinite Star Trek tales await if you go the tabletop RPG route rather than pulling up a PC or console game.

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Right now Star Trek Adventures is the one to keep your eye on, whether you just want the main rulebook or are willing to shell out for the the ludicrously expensive (and ludicrously awesome) Borg Cube version. That release for the uber-fan includes its own Borg ship complete with drawers to hold the books and dice.

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This latest iteration of the Star Trek pen and paper RPG comes from Modiphius, a designer known for making high quality and visually appealing RPGs like the latest Conan, Fallout, and Mutant Year Zero tabletop games.

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Not a fan of the Modiphius rules system, or prefer something a little more classic? There have been plenty of other versions over the last few decades that can still be readily acquired second hand.

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The sadly defunct FASA (known for classics like Earthdawn, Shadowrun, and Battletech) released dozens of supplements throughout the '80s before The Next Generation even hit TV, and many of them can still be found on Amazon or eBay.

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If you prefer a system more directly derived from the TV series, the hard cover Star Trek: The Next Generation core book released by Last Unicorn Games in the late '90s had a solid rules framework as well.

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CBS is going all in with original Star Trek series to get us hooked on yet another streaming service as the long-awaited Picard spin off premieres this month on January 23 via CBS All Access. 

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This beloved anti-Kirk character was exactly what the franchise needed for its reboot as The Next Generation, and exactly what we need now going into an uncertain future.

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Renowned for his ability to overcome obstacles and solve problems through logic, reason, and compassion, the titular star ship captain still has plenty of adventures ahead. Hopefully he still takes his tea Earl Gray and hot.

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Want to jump into some classic games to fuel that nostalgia trip and get in the proper mood for the Picard premiere on January 23?

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Much like geeky fantasy counterpart Dungeons and Dragons, the Star Trek franchise has seen an absolutely absurd number of game releases of wildly varying quality.

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Starting with text based games back in the late '70s all the way up to VR titles in more recent years, there's no shortage of Star Trek video, board, card, and roleplaying games to sift through.

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Many of the best are far in the past, sadly, but if you don't mind dated graphics there's a treasure trove of top-notch games to relive. Ready to see the best of the best? Engage!

"}]]]>
11 VR Games to Look Forward to in 2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/b1ju9/11-vr-games-to-look-forward-to-in-2017 https://www.gameskinny.com/b1ju9/11-vr-games-to-look-forward-to-in-2017 Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:10:46 -0500 Lampstradamus

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In the future, many VR games are going to release as interest in the medium increases and its cost decreases. Some of the titles on the list might be misses, but many of them might  be hits.

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We can only look forward to finding out in 2017.

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SUPERHOT VR

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After the initial release of the hit indie title SUPERHOT, many fans were left wondering what was next for the developer and the series. This past E3 the developers presented SUPERHOT VR.

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In SUPERHOT players dive into the world and try to survive several scenarios presented to them. Sometimes players have a gun or a melee weapon -- or sometimes they have nothing at all. But they always have to clear levels and survive with a twist: Time only moves when they move.

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In SUPERHOT VR players will utilize motion controllers and a VR headset to move around, with time moving in response. They will have to stay still to freeze time, to analyze situations and to plan their next move.

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If you're looking for a cool shooter with a fun twist, this might be what you're looking for.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-e25df.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-e25df.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143301","description":"
Farpoint
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Farpoint is the sci-fi shooter in VR that you didn't know that you wanted.

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Farpoint takes players out into the depths of space and onto an unknown planet where they will fight to survive. You explore a desert-like environment, slaughtering bug-like aliens that can range from average sized enemies to giants.

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The game will release for the Playstation VR.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/c/9/f/c9fc24364223e5d3e1771370dc10ad719450095f600x338-2e0cf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/c/9/f/c9fc24364223e5d3e1771370dc10ad719450095f600x338-2e0cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143291","description":"
Budget Cuts
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Budget Cuts is a VR stealth game where players will move around an office trying not to get caught, while also murdering numerous robots.

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Budget Cuts was one of the very early VR demos that let gamers see what was possible with VR. It let players see what sort of gameplay that developers could possibly implement in VR.

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The demo is currently out on Steam for the HTC Vive, but the game has not been fully released yet.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overload-c2e4b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/o/v/e/overload-c2e4b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143293","description":"
Overload
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Overload is a six-degrees-of-freedom shooter developed by the team that originally created Descent. In Overload, players control a ship and explore various levels, defeating enemies along the way.

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After having been backed on Kickstarter for over $300,000, the developers have announced that there will be full VR support for the game.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/6/3/1/63112e257a9db4df2cb3b04a7b402ed90a1403ad600x338-bc4cf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/6/3/1/63112e257a9db4df2cb3b04a7b402ed90a1403ad600x338-bc4cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143290","description":"
Skyworld
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There are many genres that are thought to be a great fit for virtual reality, and there are many that people wouldn't have thought would work, but sometimes experiments do work.

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Skyworld is a turn-based strategy game where players build up their kingdoms and manage their armies to conquer maps. The game allows players to play a strategy game in room-scale virtual reality. Players can walk around the battle map or they can play seated if they wish.

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If you're looking for a classic turn-based strategy game with a nice, clean cartoony aesthetic, look forward to this.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-hands-6355b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-hands-6355b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143288","description":"
Resident Evil 7
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With Resident Evil going back to its roots as a survival horror game, Capcom thought it was a good idea to take it to the next level with VR.

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The initial reviews of the Resident Evil 7 in VR demos have been great, with many gamers and critics losing their heads in the setting of the game. 

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Players will go through Resident Evil 7 in its entirety in VR. And though survival horror games are generally terrifying, the first person perspective in VR -- as well as a good headset -- isolates players and turns the horror up to 11.

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If you're looking for a good thrill, then Resident Evil 7 in VR might be your thing. Just avoid throwing your headset after getting murdered.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/9/5/295e76fa11d9d0a6cd44aeff818481cb0767f7ab600x338-0f1cd.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/9/5/295e76fa11d9d0a6cd44aeff818481cb0767f7ab600x338-0f1cd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143286","description":"
Giant Cop: Justice Above All
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If you're looking for a more humorous approach to VR gaming, then Giant Cop: Justice Above All might be up your alley.

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In Giant Cop, you are a cop in the 70's era styled Micro City. It is your job to literally throw criminals in jail and to eavesdrop on people while towering over them. 

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Just be careful to not destroy the city as you dish out justice.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/4/9/c/49c32b3daa0ad9b34686a79e4b3da3165eb691d7600x338-cd756.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/4/9/c/49c32b3daa0ad9b34686a79e4b3da3165eb691d7600x338-cd756.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143284","description":"
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope
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There are many fans of the Serious Sam series, but now you can step into the shoes of Serious Sam himself.

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Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is the VR experience for the Serious Sam series. Players will be shooting wave after wave of enemies in this game.

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The game is technically out on Steam as an early access title but it isn't finished in its entirety. However, the alpha has received many good reviews from gamers and critics alike, so there's hope this will be good.

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If you're looking for a good wave-based shooter, then the full release of this game is something to look forward to.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-af5f1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/o/w/download-af5f1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143283","description":"
Fallout 4 VR
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Bethesda VR announced that they were looking into VR earlier this year and on the E3 show floor people could play the entirety of Fallout 4 in VR, not just some cutoff area.

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Many people were skeptical if Bethesda still had plans for Fallout 4 VR after the hype around VR died a little in the middle of the year, but Bethesda said it wasn't worried about it.

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Certainly, interest in Fallout 4 has died down since its original release, but the idea of being able to play through the entirety of an open world RPG in VR excites many gamers. 

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Fallout 4 VR is certainly going to sell many copies -- and maybe some headsets as well.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/j/aljc4wz4q2mobqor6moo-f3a6b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/j/aljc4wz4q2mobqor6moo-f3a6b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143282","description":"
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
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Ah space, the final frontier.

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Star Trek is getting the VR treatment that long-time fans of the series have been waiting for. The initial reviews for the demo at E3 2016 had many people excited for the game's full release.

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Players will be aboard a ship, along with several other players or A.I., and they will have to cooperate to complete their shared objective. Players will be doing things such as exploring planets, executing rescue missions and more.

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Fans of Star Trek can finally be the star ship captain that they've always wanted to be. And if you're not the captain, just hope you're not wearing red.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/2/8/8/2882181-oculus-touch-1434465834-ej3p-full-width-inline-6a2f2.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/2/8/8/2882181-oculus-touch-1434465834-ej3p-full-width-inline-6a2f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"143280","description":"

Virtual Reality gaming has come a long way from its original inception to its realization in early 2016. Since the release of the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift earlier this year, many things have happened with VR gaming. There have been a myriad of improvements and updates for both headsets, as well as the appearance of competition in the form of the PSVR

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But of course, the important thing about VR gaming is the games. 

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There have been quite a few hits and misses this year with VR gaming and though there have been more misses than hits, it doesn't mean you can't be optimistic for the future.

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Here are 10 VR games you can look forward to in 2017.

"}]]]>
Ubisoft unveils three games in VR lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/j5yls/ubisoft-unveils-three-games-in-vr-lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/j5yls/ubisoft-unveils-three-games-in-vr-lineup Wed, 24 Aug 2016 14:19:04 -0400 LoganKrum

The next few months will be packed with virtual reality from Ubisoft. The developing company revealed its upcoming VR lineup at Gamescom last week, showcasing titles like Eagle Flight, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and Werewolves Within.

Eagle Flight allows players to soar through the skies of a post-apocalyptic Paris from the perspective of the titular bird. The game was developed by FunHouse and is playable in single and multiplayer modes, the latter of which allows players to defend territory in aerial combat.

The game will be released to Oculus Rift October 18, PlayStationVR November 8 and HTC Vive December 20

Players will command the U.S.S. Aegis starship in Star Trek: Bridge Crew. The game was designed specifically for VR to allow players to immerse themselves in the unique Star Trek universe. The player is sent to explore an unexplored area of space known as The Trench, where all of the player’s choices will have an impact.

The game will be released to all three VR stations November 29.

Protect the village and discover the true werewolf with Werewolf Within. The multiplayer games assigns each of the 5-8 players a special role as they vote who to kill in their quest to eliminate werewolves from the medieval village. Similar to the card game One Night Ultimate Werewolf, the game will submerge players in the virtual village as they try to survive the vote, and the night.

Werewolf Within will be released to all major VR stations December 6.

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Virtually here: The best of E3 VR and what it means for the future of gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/huzqk/virtually-here-the-best-of-e3-vr-and-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/huzqk/virtually-here-the-best-of-e3-vr-and-what-it-means-for-the-future-of-gaming Mon, 20 Jun 2016 08:49:47 -0400 Seth Zulinski

In case you missed E3, haven't read anything about it, haven't talked to anyone that's heard anything about it, or have lived in a damp cave for the past few weeks, here's the main message of this year's showcase: 

The future is here. 

Buried deep in the dusty pages of old paperback sci-fi novels was an era we all knew was coming some day. From Star Trek to Sword Art Online, in countless movies and TV shows, for decades we've been presented with an evolution of technology (and gaming) that was made inevitable by how badly we wanted it more than anything else. Huge headsets and glowing visors, tactile controllers and motion controls. A deeper sense of being in the games we play.

True immersion

Well, that bus has come to a complete and total stop here, ladies and gentlemen. We've arrived.  

E3 2016 has marked this as the Year of Virtual Reality. 

Pictured: The future of gaming. Or Daft Punk. It's hard to tell.

While it's certainly true VR projects have been around for a while, this year's E3 marks the first year major players in the industry seem to have fully adopted the Virtual Reality revolution. Household names from Sony to Bethesda have come out in full force to let their game developers and the fans at home know that they plan to support the budding platform.

Let's take a look at a few of the virtually limitless games and tech unveiled at this year's conference:

PlayStation/Sony

While two of the first giants in the ring were PC oriented with the Oculus Rift, and Valve/HTC's lovechild the Vive, veteran of the console wars Sony sent a clear message that they weren't scared to step into the VR ring. The producer of the PlayStation promised 50 playable VR titles by the 2017 release of the Virtual Reality platform (creatively titled "PlayStation VR"), and we couldn't be more excited for: 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard VR

One of the biggest things happening in non-VR related gaming right now, Resident Evil 7's "PT"-esque survival horror demo Beginning Hour has been making its rounds -- drumming up support for the creepier, more horror-bent installment that's a marked departure from the series' more recent action-oriented entries. 

And as anyone who attended or watched E3 knows, this demo (as well as Resident Evil 7 itself) is going to be a fully playable title on the PlayStation VR, running on its very own RE Engine. 

Resident Evil 7 promises to be a return to the series' horror roots, so be sure to check out this gruesome reality next January when it's released.

100ft. Robot Golf

I'm not sure that we even have to explain why this is awesome, but here it goes:

Coming in 2016 to a PlayStation VR system near you, 100ft Robot Golf is a game where you completely destroy a city as you pilot a 100 foot tall robot through a game of golf. 

Customizable playstyles and abilities? Sure. The capacity to tweak and remodel your paramilitary putt-putter? Absolutely. The ability to play as five dogs in a suit? You be-- wait what? You can do that? Yes. Apparently playing as five dogs in a suit is a thing you can do.

And if the ability to play in Virtual Reality as a team of corgis piloting a giant war robot through a Par 6 metropolis isn't your idea of the future, then yours is a future I don't want to live in. 

Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission

If there's any VR game that deserves a live orchestra playing its soundtrack at the reveal, it has to be a Star Wars title -- specifically, Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission. 

With the Virtual Reality revolution fully underway in 2016, pilots will finally be able to don their VR helmet-visors and get the full experience of "actually there piloting an X-Wing" Red (or in this case Blue) Squadron and exploding Tie Fighters for the first time.

The (Virtual) Reality of Sony's Lineup

While these are certainly some of the top-of-the-pile VR offerings, Sony's dedication to Virtual Reality doesn't stop there. The console/gaming/tech mainstay has also teased at or revealed a ton of other high profile VR releases, ranging from Batman Arkham to VR segments of Final Fantasy XV. From storybook flight game How We Soar to horror-noir title Here they Lie. They even showcased Tether, an adorable little base-building game where you order adorable creatures to do adorable daily tasks, adorably build a tiny adorable base, and adorably club monsters to a presumably adorable death. 

With such a powerful presence pledging support for the fledgling VR platform, it seems the threat of Virtual Reality being a flash in the pan is more smoke than fire. 

Microsoft

In what might have been the most surprising turn of events given the rather VR-centric nature of 2016's E3 conference, Microsoft was surprisingly quiet on the VR front. While nothing too overt came from their segment, Project Scorpio (frontrunner for "potential Microsoft VR system") was finally teased.

And the footage for Scorpio was a goldmine promising "Premiere VR experiences", not the least of which comes from...

Bethesda

If Sony brought out the big guns with the likes of Star Wars and Final Fantasy, other platforms are renting out whole battleships with two of Bethesda's hottest releases coming to VR systems. The most notable of the two, of course, are...

Fallout 4 VR

With a player base as loyal as any Dogmeat and a world known for both vastness and depth, Fallout 4 is the perfect title for the young VR platform (specifically the HTC Vive) to really let players stretch their virtual legs in the new gaming landscape. Complete with Pip-Boy functionality by raising your in-game left arm, players will soon be able to help settlements like never before -- totally immersed in and surrounded by a post-apocalyptic Wasteland.

So it's a lot like visiting New Jersey, except from the comfort of your own home once this title hits the HTC Vive mid-2017.

DOOM VR

While initial reports vary wildly and leave readers and watchers with a very "hit and miss" verdict when it comes to Bethesda's DOOM VR demo at this E3, a lot of the "misses" are tell-tale signs that Bethesda is aware of the limitations and and differences Virtual Reality titles have when stacked against more traditional gaming systems. 

This is a good thing

By release (currently date and platform are unspecified), fans of the series, Bethesda, and Virtual Reality will all assuredly have a rock solid entry into the Virtual Reality Demon-Fragging genre, giving players a little more pace than plot in a VR title. 

What it all means

"I have absolutely no idea what most of this says."

While many of the titles shown off at this year's E3 are certainly familiar franchises, the results of this year's concerted effort to make VR a talking point by major players in the game mean more than just "a new way to play Fallout" or "another weird thing that isn't a Summon in Final Fantasy". 

This is the year where titans in the industry stepped up to a worldwide audience, showed their hand when it came to the Virtual Reality platform, and told us "Yeah, absolutely. This is happening. This is here."

It's a new, powerful way to play everything. It's a whole new avenue to explore that's both compatible with existing technology and the start of a whole new front of advancement -- and it's being embraced by people and companies with the power to make lasting impacts in the area. 

Now, sure, similar things have happened with, say, movement controls like the Wii and PlayStation Move -- but those were more alternative controllers than "entire new frontiers for immersion". A little more gimmick than "totally different ways to play games that literally puts the player in the middle of the action" -- and even then, at least one of those was a pretty heavy success. 

What it means, as fans of Virtual Reality, fans of science fiction, fans of gaming, or even just people that know fans of any of those things, is that Virtual Reality -- the awesome thing we've seen or read about for decades -- is being held onto tightly by people with the power to make or break what gaming and technology have to offer us. Virtual Reality gaming -- Virtual Reality period -- is going to happen. It's already happening.

This isn't a guy with frazzled hair standing on the corner ranting that one day we're all going to be plugged into machines with cool goggles. This isn't the plot of a Wachowskis movie, and it isn't a Star Trek episode (though Ubisoft did reveal Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR).

This is the year where titans in the industry stepped up to a worldwide audience, showed their hand when it came to the Virtual Reality platform, and told us "Yeah, absolutely. This is happening. This is here."

"The future is now."

Seriously though. Are these like alternate Oculus Rift models, or...?

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