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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: PlayStation VR

(PlayStation VR, Sony)

Thinking about giving someone the gift of virtual reality this Holiday season, but don’t even know where to start? Still in its adolescent stages, not knowing where to start is fairly normal. Thankfully, PlayStation VR is a cheap option for those wanting to get someone the gift of another reality, and there are plenty of great games to choose from since its release last year.

From full-fledged horror titles to collections of experiences, there are many worlds you can inhabit with virtual reality. Below are a list of great gifts to give someone who is just entering the world of virtual reality for the first time.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

(Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Capcom)

There still aren’t too many experiences in virtual reality that are long and AAA. Resident Evil 7 is an absolute must buy for its use of PlayStation VR. While you could play the game without being in virtual reality, you’d be doing yourself a true disservice. The game is one of the most immersive experiences and works because of its haunted house set-up and exploitation of feeling like you are in the game. It also has options for movement and camera rotation so that players can adjust those for whatever their comfort level. I could play for a couple hours without too much issue. For one of the most terrifying games you can play in VR, Resident Evil 7 is great and doesn’t require you to have played any of the previous games in the series because it is built as a standalone experience. An easy gift for the horror fan in your life that you just want to terrorize.

Polybius

(Polybius, Llamasoft)

Once again, this is another game that can be played without virtual reality. But, as mentioned in our review of the game, its best in virtual reality. Utilizing an urban legend as its foundations, the game plays like a classic arcade title that has existed for decades. It feels like a history museum of video game references with a fun aesthetic. Meanwhile the gameplay is fairly straightforward until it suddenly jumps in difficulty and adds more puzzle components. There will be plenty to mine from this experience for gamers who just want to dig into a score attack game for a while. Polybius is perfect for short bursts of gaming.

Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-wing VR Mission

(Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-wing VR Mission, EA)

This is technically a free experience, but only if you own Star Wars Battlefront. With a new movie coming out and Star Wars Battlefront II offering a similar multiplayer experience to the original game, its worth giving the gift of Star Wars even if its an older game. The good news? You can probably get it for really cheap right now. The benefit is that the X-wing VR Mission is a Star Wars fans dream come true. Piloting an X-wing is really cool and being able to see other Star Wars ships fly around you is one of the most immersive experiences you can have. It’s a straightforward mission, but its one of the better experiences you can have with a Star Wars property.

Rez Infinite

(Rez Infinite, Enhance Games)

As one of the launch titles for PlayStation VR, Rez Infinite wowed me almost immediately. While it is an updated version of the PS2 game, Rez, it’s another great example of how much better a game can be with virtual reality. While playable without, it’s a game that felt like it was always meant to be in VR. The cyber aesthetic complements the idea of being inside a headset and is only intensified by Tetsuya Mizoguchi’s electronic-infused soundtrack. For fans of the original game, there’s also a new level to add a bit more value to that package. Called Area X, it was designed specifically for virtual reality and offers enough justification to want an entirely new game designed from the ground up for virtual reality.

Job Simulator

(Job Simulator, Owlchemy Labs)

There are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of games that offer smaller experiences but are sold for a larger-than-justified price. What Job Simulator offers is a bunch of smaller experiences all compiled into one package. Each experience offers a sandbox full of fun ways to experience VR. I’ve had so many fun times just watching friends try Job Simulator out and just messing around. It’s got a neat premise – robots have taken over and created a museum to show how humans passed the time – taken to a silly degree.

Superhot VR

(Superhot, Superhot Team)

Alright, Superhot is probably the coolest game you could get someone for VR. The single gameplay hook is addicting and helps the rest of the game carry forward knowing that there’s always cooler things to do. The gameplay involves time slowing down when you’re not moving and speeding up when you do move, all while you dodge bullets and try and take out all the enemies in an area. The original game was extremely fun, but in virtual reality, it becomes a new level of immersive. While there are plenty of games that feel tailored to being adapted to VR, Superhot VR is one where the player gets a lot more of a dopamine release each time they physically dodge a bullet or kill an enemy.

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