Unquestionably the most-anticipated VR game ever made, Half-Life: Alyx is the series’ first game in a decade. Set between the events of the first two games, it’s a full-fledged Half-Life game with unprecedented interactivity. Alongside combat there are puzzles and a story that lives up to the series’ very high pedigree. It’s Half-Life like you’ve never played it before, but still contains classic enemies and its unmistakable atmosphere.
Half-Life: Alyx is a full-body VR experience. You’ll climb ladders by moving your arms over your head. First-person shooting is a two-hand affair, with one focused on reloading magazines. You can also move around your environment to a limited degree if standing up. When combat gets frantic, your movement speed will, as well. Because the game is so long, you could play for a few hours and burn calories during the majority of it.
Release Date: March 23, 2020
Compatible With: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality
Link: Half-Life: Alyx
Way of the Orb
Looking for something a little less story-focused this week? In Way of the Orb, you’ll face off against a variety of monsters and bosses by deflecting orbs back at them. As they fly toward your face, you swing your weapons to defend yourself and send back damaging projectiles. It’s a simple but effective twist on traditional VR defense games, and is light enough on violence for younger players to enjoy.
You will be swinging your arms for the entirety of Way of the Orb. The orbs fly toward you very quickly, requiring good reflexes and reaction times. You have multiple weapons you can use to keep things interesting, as well as a shield. With several bosses to defeat, you should stay invested in sweating as you send back the projectiles. The lighthearted music and settings also perfect to keep a smile on your face while your blood pumps.
Developer/Publisher: Brimstone Brothers
Release Date: March 23, 2020
Compatible With: HTC Vive, Valve Index
Price: $4.50 to $5.00
Link: Way of the Orb
B-Team (Oculus Quest)
Developed by the arcade-action experts at Twisted Pixel, B-Team is now available on Oculus Quest. The game tasks you with defeating an alien invasion using any means necessary. In your case, that means, guns, shields, and explosives. It has a classic ’80s feel to it that is perfect for the story, and its production values are higher than most Quest games. It will also keep you laughing just as much as it will make your heart race.
B-Team is an eclectic game that will get you moving in several different ways. You have access to a variety of weapons, and you’ll aim them or swing them using tracked motion controllers. You’ll also be using your arms to solve certain puzzles, such as one involving laser-cutting through metal. When enemies are up close, you’ll need to be quick as you spin around and attack them with whatever you have equipped.
Developer/Publisher: Twisted Pixel/Oculus
Release Date: March 26, 2020
Compatible With: Oculus Quest
Link: B-Team (Oculus Quest)
Finally out of early access, ZomDay is a bloody and very physical action game with several challenge modes to keep you on your toes. You can use melee weapons to take out zombies or go for something a little more advanced. These zombies don’t all look like your classic movie monsters, so you will need to change up your strategies. Some can even take several bullets before going down, requiring careful positioning and planning.
During hectic sections of ZomDay with hordes of the undead, you will be swinging your melee weapon as quickly as your arms allow. The zombies aren’t slow-moving monsters, so you will need to make sure you are in a good location and can slice your way through them without taking damage. Transitioning between doing this and firing a gun can be tiring, so you will need to pace yourself to avoid getting overwhelmed.
Developer/Publisher: INTO GAMES
Release Date: March 27, 2020
Compatible With: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index
Price: $5.99 to $9.99