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The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that you can currently fund on Kickstarter, and the project involves some of the biggest names in the industry. This modern take on the centuries-old concept of full immersion via virtual reality is looking very much like it could catapult us further into the future than we've ever reached with hardware such as the Virtual Boy, or even the PlayStation Move, Kinect, or Wii.
Our first impressions of the device were favorable, and we're looking ahead to some possible additions to the Oculus library that would make great use of the emerging technology. There'd be nothing virtual about how much we'd enjoy these Oculus-ready versions of some of our favorite games.
Quick, what was that noise? Turn around, quick! Oh, no. Looks like you only managed to startle it. Or is there anything there at all? Is your sanity slipping again or is there really something coming to get you?
Amnesia is one of those perfect, rare moments in gaming where the darkness and absence of threats is just as powerful as the monsters who hide within. An Oculus augmentation would be a most welcome incarnation for the cult horror classic, especially considering the way the player must interact with the environment by physically pulling open and pushing closed doors, as seen in the previous Penumbra games. This mode of play lends an even more chilling element to the already sinister atmosphere, and being transported in-game with the power of virtual reality would be a welcome experience for thrillseekers. Pushing through the Prussian Brennenberg Castle to the Inner Sanctum could be a doubly taxing affair with the aid of the Oculus.
Failing the main campaign's ability to coerce players into feeling as though they're actually hallucinating as they make their way through the game, additional support for the DLC Justine would give players the chance to come face to face with the three ill-fated suitors -- and trust us, only the bravest of souls will want to take on that challenge. As far as the most immersive of horror-based worlds go, Amnesia's got our vote for being Oculus-ready.
Do you remember how it felt the first time you traipsed through the foreboding empty castle of Super Mario 64? It was a brand new world for gamers and fans of everyone's favorite plumber in both tone and what could be done in-game.
Imagine being able to survey the colorful landscapes and intimidating platforming of each area feeling as though you're actually in Mario's shoes, or flitting around in the air while wearing the Wing Cap. Sliding down chilly hills with penguins, coming face to face with gruesome underwater beasts, and kicking Bowser into the dirt again with the illusion that you're actually the mustachioed man in the overalls would be an achievement in itself.
The first 3D Mario game would mesh quite well with what could potentially be the first viable virtual reality headset, and we're ready to be first in line -- especially if it means traversing the infamous looping stairs with a first-person view. Imagine jumping into the paintings to get each level underway, too. Trippy stuff.
With Thief 4 a possibility in the near future, what better time to revisit the classic stealth franchise and get up close and personal with those rich so-and-sos while you rob them blind? Really, the only part of emulating Garrett that wouldn't be awesome would be a club to the back of the head for being a taffer. Creeping around in the shadows, drawing a moss-tipped arrow to pad the sound of your footsteps, and going in for the kill are hallmarks of the series, all attached to the thrill of being a master thief.
Bringing the Oculus Rift into the equation would give players the adrenaline rush associated with being right in the center of the action, guards swarming around you in the darkness of a king's bedroom, poised to assassinate your target if necessary. The thrill of Thief has always arisen from moments like these, with memorable segments that would only be amplified further with virtual reality tech. Imaging pulling off the biggest heist ever with guards on your trail, hidden under cover of darkness and lying in wait for your pursuers to pass. And when and if you're finally discovered, think of the shock you'd receive when you're so entrenched in the game with the Oculus you forget you're not actually going to die.
We're bringing it back to the Nintendo 64 with one of the most beloved adventures starring a fox and various other anthropomorphic animals, especially creepy little Slippy, for a frenetic adventure we'd see in a whole new way with the Oculus headset.
Sure, there's mostly polygons on-screen and poorly-rendered donkey heads, but with a modern update and the ability to fly as though you're right in the middle of McCloud's cockpit, it's a whole new game -- just try to keep from losing your lunch with the disorienting barrel rolls you keep pulling off. Not only would you finally get a close-up view of space, the structures you're flying like a daredevil in between, and those darned rings; you'd finally have a more intimate and innovative session of classic StarFox than motion controls could ever give you.
It may seem like a shoo-in to wish for a fighting game in which we can pretend we're actually the superheroes and familiar Capcom characters we love locked in intergalactic combat. Toss a punch, feel as though you're actually beating Wolverine to a pulp.
Who wouldn't want to step into the role of one of their favorite characters? This classic frenetic and entirely competitive gem is a prime candidate for virtual reality. And we'll take you on any day. Any day, do you hear us? Just as long as you don't assist spam us. Even if it feels like we're really there, that's never okay.
Which games are you ready to fully immerse yourself in? Are you feeling the Oculus Rift, or do you think we're ready for a legitimate virtual reality device that doesn't give us a migraine? Dust off your Virtual Boy and get back to us in the comments below.