Sunday, January 16, 2022

Top Five First VR Experiences

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Fully immersing yourself in virtual reality for the first time is an unforgettable experience. If you ask anyone who has experienced what the virtual realm has to offer, they’re sure to be able to tell you exactly what their first experience was—and how it completely bamboozled their sense of what this reality is. 

However, for some that first dive into virtual reality was memorable for all the wrong reasons—be it due to a janky application or that unshakable feeling of lasting motion sickness.

Today we’re going to run down five of our favourite first VR experiences, to ensure you and your friends can have a first experience that leaves you in awe and wanting more… not running for the bathroom.

Woman with VR glasses

Learning the Ropes: Oculus First Contact

It takes a little while to find your feet—or perhaps I should say hands—in VR. Grabbing two strange controllers with a huge box strapped to your face isn’t exactly natural after all…

Oculus First Contact provides one of the best tutorial experiences out there. Not only does it help you quite literally get to grips with VR, but it presents a variety of common game mechanics all in one controlled and eminently adorable setting.

If the fact that it’s such a good tutorial isn’t enough to sway you, it features an absolutely adorable Wall-E-esque robot to guide you through a tactile ten minutes, helping to hide the fact that it is a tutorial.

The only caveat of Oculus First Contact is that it, of course, is exclusive to Oculus devices.

Action: Superhot VR

Whether you’ve had a tutorial or not, Superhot VR is sure to see you learn fast.

Pulled from the modern classic of the same name, Superhot’s premise is simple: time moves when you move. Within that simple rule you need to punch, shoot and hurl objects towards menacing red humanoids who want to see nothing but your demise.

One of the most beginner friendly elements to Superhot VR, beyond its easy to grasp mechanics, is that its fast-paced action doesn’t require you to navigate around 3D space—meaning it’s especially friendly to those not yet used to the motion-sickness inducing movement of VR.

Movement with a touch of Vertigo: Aircar

If action isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of excellent first experiences out there.

Aircar is an emotional experience unto itself. Some players might recall the game’s Blade Runner-fuelled fantasy of taking a flying car through a neon-lit city, while others are likely to recall the dizzying thrill of vertigo thrust upon you from both the main menu and the barrel rolls you just can’t resist doing.

Whether this sounds like your cup of tea or not, I would highly recommend getting your hands on Aircar and play seated. It’s a fantastic introduction to the sensation of VR movement without producing intense motion sickness (provided you limit your playtime). And, on top of all of that, it’s completely free!

Puzzles and Personality: A Fisherman’s Tale

For those looking to engage themselves in a larger narrative filled with some light puzzles, A Fisherman’s Tale is a great first experience. Its kinetic puzzles which play with scale within the 3D realm are satisfying and intensely characterful.

Its understated graphics, memorable narration and beginner-friendly movement all make it an excellent first puzzler for new users.

Cinematic: Within

VR is far more than just gaming. The medium has tonnes of applications ranging from industry to cinema. Within offers a window onto VR cinema, providing you with a plethora of free VR films to watch in the comfort of your own headset.

Given the wealth of content available on the platform, it’s almost unfair to place Within on this list as it has the potential to keep you exploring exciting fiction, documentary and experimental works for hours on end.

So, for those looking to go beyond gaming and understand the true range of entertainment VR has to offer, Within should certainly be on your radar as one of the first applications to try.

As more and more people are trying virtual reality for the first time, it’s important that we make those first experiences memorable. Whether you’re looking for your first experience or wondering the first to show your parents the titles on this list are sure to fit the bill!

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