VR gaming recommendations as Meta bets big on platform despite huge layoffs

VR gaming recommendations as Meta bets big on platform despite huge layoffs

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, laid off more than 11,000 employees this month as the tech sector showed signs of slowing. But it’s still on track to spend billions on VR this year.

The company does not plan to turn off the tap any time soon. So I strapped on a headset (kindly provided by Meta) to check out what attracts most people to this metaverse – video games.

Meta Quest 2 offerings initially exceeded expectations. Years ago, I borrowed a friend’s quest to try the knockout rhythm game, “Beat Saber.” It didn’t disappoint when I revisited it, this time listening to a new Lizzo playlist.

Other experiences haven’t quite landed. “Iron Man VR” thrilled me as I soared into the stratosphere, battling robots that attacked Tony Stark’s private jet mid-flight. But while my headset was in the clouds, my feet were on solid ground — and the cognitive dissonance left me paralyzed with motion sickness.

In “SUPERHOT VR”, time only moves when you do, letting you dodge bullets and perform amazing action stunts. (Courtesy of SUPERHOT Team)

After an hour in the metallic shoes of Iron Man, I was afraid that virtual reality was not for me. But that same night, I fell in love with “SUPERHOT VR”. The game immerses you in intense action scenes. Faceless polygonal goons charge at you with knives, hammers and guns. It’s up to you to beat them all and take it to the next minimalist level.

But here’s the catch: In “SUPERHOT,” time only moves when you do. So as a barrage of bullets rush towards you in slow motion, you have precious seconds to think about how you’re going to handle each threat around you. You might need to throw a dog bowl at the first guy, a hammer at the next, then pick up a gun that flew to light up the third goon.

It’s an experience that works your brain and even your body, and it got me so immersed that I accidentally punched my TV and tripped on my couch. But injuries aside, it proved to me what an unprecedented experience virtual reality can be.

“WHAT IS THE BAT?” gives you two baseball bats and fun puzzles to solve in the most absurd way. (Courtesy of Triband)

So, with my faith in the platform restored (and with my motion sickness, over time, largely assuaged), I was able to try many more games for the Meta Quest 2. Here are a few of my favorites for newcomers:

  • SUPER HOT VR» : Alternately tactical and frenetic, the only thing I have against is the physical space it takes to really get the most out of it.
  • WHAT IS THE BAT?“: From the creators of the excellent comedy game “What the Golf”, each level of “What the Bat” essentially plays out like its own joke. With nothing but baseball bats in both hands, you’ll find ways to brush an elephant’s teeth, fly paper planes, and generally wreak havoc.
  • Among Us VR”: If internet connection problems have sometimes spoiled this game, it is a worthy follow-up to the phenomenon of social levy which caught fire in 2020.
  • beat the saber: There’s a good reason why Meta often offers this game for free with its Quest 2 headset. It’s brilliantly accessible, and it makes you feel like you’re doing cyberwarrior ballet – even if your sick moves seem laughable in the real life.

James Perkins Mastromarino produced and edited this broadcast interview with Gabe Bullard. Perkins Mastromarino also adapted it for the web.

This article originally appeared on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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