We are all familiar with VR and the most popular headsets. One of the coolest features of VR is that it opens up a whole range of new types of games one of the most interesting ones is the development of light gun style games in virtual reality – more commonly referred to as VR shooter games.
There are many different types the games that loosely could be called shooting games available on VR but the ones that I’m most interested in are on rails shooters that more closely mimic the traditional a gun games.
Those are the games that I am going to be focusing on in the first part of this article, but lots of other people like the more varied styles of games that fall into the vr shooter game category so I will also attempt to cover a range of the best of those as well.
The games that are possible to play in virtual reality that mimic this style, range from very close ports of traditional games such as time crisis all the way to games that more closely mimic a first person shooter but wit,h you shooting using a light gun (or rather the vr controller mimicking a light gun).
You have games such as time crisis that can be emulated in applications such as new retro arcade or even on a virtual desktop and also games like FarPoint for the PSVR they’re much more close to traditional first person shooter but with a light gun controller.
So while light gun games in virtual reality open a fantastic range of possibilities for new gameplay mechanics, the real question for most traditional light gun gamers is not the different features that can be brought into the game but the feel of the shooting mechanics itself.
Probably the most important thing is the is the feel of the gun and how it aims is vitally important for these games to work. You want it to feel that you are holding a gun and aiming it rather than moving the mouse cursor around on the screen. If the aim drifts or doesn’t follow what you at least perceive to be a line of sight then the game well it may still be fun won’t work as a light gun game. When this happens, it is comparable to playing shooting games on the Wii with the Wii remote where you need the crosshairs on the screen because you are moving that around rather than aiming.
This is a problem in the real world (not in VR) on games on modern TVs. As we all know most modern light gun implementations are prone to the aim sliding off as you change positions although this is getting better especially with a lot of the new technology coming out and some of the homebrew projects that are now available.
In this article I’m going to look at the range of light gun games that are available on VR. I’ll be looking at how good the aim is, how good the feel of the gun as a controller you’re holding in your hand is and how close that mimics the feel of a gun as well as commenting on how much movement you control and how well this is done. In some games you control the movement of your character on the screen but this if not invented Implement it properly and ruin the feel of the game.
Okay first up can you play the classic shooting games in VR?
Games like time crisis, point blank and House of the dead I’ve not been released on any modern systems for a while and they certainly haven’t been directly released On virtual reality. The ideal scenario would be where like other games you are really standing in the game so the screen took up your entire field of you when you think about it though this will be quite difficult to implement because those games were not 3-D they were flat screen so perhaps the best option would be on a large virtual screen in front of you. Almost everyone who play these games has dreamt of playing them on a 70 inch or 100 inch projector screen.
The good news is that you can do pretty much that in a few ways with almost all of the classics. If you have managed to play them on your PC already then you are almost good to go and if not then there wi just a bit of set up to do to get the emulators working (that is covered throughout this site and is different for each system. Feel free to comment and ask any questions if you need help).
Well when I would look to agree because these games are playable to To certain degree in a couple of emulators we have new retro arcade available for a range of that surely platforms in another open source platform called EMUV are. In this one to put you inside a retro bedroom complete with screens and all the original consoles and allows you to play on a number of screens.
New retro arcade
Imagine being back in the arcades of your childhood walking round the different arcade machines putting some kind of playing your favorite game.
This is the attraction of New retro Arcade. With your VR headset on your transported into one of those iconic arcades of your childhood and you can play as many arcade machines as you like.
The developers of new retro arcade recently released an update for this software which allows you to play all the classics time crisis and even operation warcade right from that realistic looking arcade.
Emuvr is similar to new retro arcade but instead of transporting you to an arcade, it puts you in a bedroom full of classic consoles. Again, they have released light gun support so that you can play the old console light gun shooters.
It relies on you having the roms and used retro arch in the backend so there is a certain amount of setup to get going but once you are there, the experience is pretty good and makes you feel like you are really playing them!
So if you have already gone to the trouble of getting your light gun games set up to run on your emulators under windows then you can basically just plug your vr headset in and start gaming on a huge vr screen.
Using virtual desktop you can have yourr vr headset as your screen and use the controler as a mouse pointer. Once you hiode the actual pointer, itsjust as you would run in using a light gun but now you are playing on a massive screen and hopefully, your controller is more accurate than your go to lightgun controller for a pc.
Check out some instructions here
But here are the steps in brief:
1) install virtual desktop and launch it
2) set your virtual screen size, distance etc. as you like. This will be the screen where you will play your favorite light gun games
3) in input options, untick these boxes: “show lasers” and “show contacts” unless you want to see where you are aiming on the screen while playing (the last option was added by the author after my personal request, hehehe)
4) now keep VD running, and launch the light gun game you wish to play (just make sure that you previously set the mouse as controller in the game). I suggest to launch the game (or the emulator to play your game) by using the keyboard and the computer screen, since at the previous step we chose to hide the mouse cursor
5) put on your headset and play the game, shooting by aiming directly at the virtual screen with you favourite VR controller. Virtual desktop emulates the mouse with you VR controller, which is fast and accurate.
Okay so we’ve covered traditional consoles and the old school lightgun games but the thing is we all have new PCs and new consoles and it will be cool to take full advantage of your VR headsets for a more immersive shooting experience. Well we are in luck there is a range of games available for all of those platforms that fall to a greater or lesser degree in this camp let’s have a look at some of them.
The games that are closest to your traditional light gun game are called on rails shooter and they are the ones that I am going to focus on first with a selection of the best.
On rails VR Shooter Games
I’m going to come clean. I started this article off to be the top 5 VR shooting games, but it turns out that there are loads of really great ones and it would seem like I was letting you down if I artificially limited it to 5. So its way more than 5 but all of the VR shooter games that I’m listing her are great and I’ll try to give you enough information to pick the styles that you like out of the pack.
Available all the platforms PS4 with psvr are quest and vive.
Opertation Warcade is a great VR shooter game. It’s a real shout out to the Old school lightgun classics. The game has two game modes – A side scrolling affair with the screen moving along as you shoot the enemies as they come up as well as the more immersive real First Person View that puts you right there in the game.
The side scrolling mode of the game you play from the point of view of someone standing in front of an arcade cabinet in an Arcade and hold on to two uzi style machine guns.
There is a lot to keep you occupied, loads of great action different guns styles of play there are also times when shooting a particular object suck you in at the game and change of perspectives to remove First Person View.
Then there is second game Style which has you playing is if you are in the game. there’s loads of different modes and objectives to achieve in the game and it will have you coming back for more many times .
Drop dead is a zombie focused on Rails shooter on a wave style shooting. the game doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s a lot of fun, You get a lot of gore and silly humor in Drop Dead and it reminds you of the old style style games. You’re not going to be blown away by anything new here but, what it does, it does well and it’s a lot of fun to play. if you do like rials type shooters and you like shooting Zombies then you’re probably going to like drop dead.
One thing that Drop Dead does differently is a Gears of War style reloading mechanism. Basically when you reload you have to click a second time on a moving bar. hit the bar bang on and you get a fast reload, miss it and you will be waiting around for ages. This adds another level to the game and keeps you on your toes.
It has a surprisingly decent story for one of these games – it’s not going to win any awards or get any spin-off series, but it keeps you interested while you play.
The shooting is great in drop dead and the mechanics work well whether you are dual wielding pistols or shotguns or even holding axes.
HordeZ is a great game. it’s a wave survival shooter where basically wave upon wave is going to come in and try to kill you and you will shoot them all!
Your character moves steadily and slowly towards the end of the level and you can move a little bit by physically moving yourself.
You get a sub machine gun, a pistol or a shotgun a well as a katana and grenades to p;lay with- more than enough to keep you occupied without overwhelming you.
Rush of blood
Until Dawn: Rush of blood is one of the standout vr rails shooters. Its a spin off of the Until Dawn games and is a PSVR exclusive. If you are a purest then its certainly one of the best ps4 vr shooting games available.
Its a pretty straight forward game really – you travel along a carnival horror fair ground ride and all sorts of baddies try to get to you. Your job is to shoot them before they do!
Its a lot of fun to play. You dual wield the whole time and the tracking is great, making it feel like you are shooting where you are aiming which is key.
To be fair, there is nothing that’s going to blow you away here, its a standard rails shooter, but it is one that’s done well and it makes it a lot of fun to play.
Eve Gunjack is set in the EVE Online universe and you play a gunner defending your ship. As such there is no movement at all except of course the movement that you create by moving and aiming your gun.
It is available on a range of platforms and plays well on even mobile vr as it is quite simple.
Eve Gunjack is a fun game to play and makes a decent addition to any light gun collection although it is quite a different experience from the normal rails or clasic style of light gun games.
More rails games worth mentioning:
Blasters of the universe
On rails with rhythm thrown in
Guns N Stories, Bookhaven Experiment, Blasters of the Universe, Cosmic Trip, Dick Wilde, Gal Gun, Killing Floor Incursion, Shooty Fruity, Space Pirate Trainer, and Zombie Training Simulator