Forza Horizon 2 is just about everything you would expect from an already superb game upgraded and moved to a stronger platform. While it's disappointing that higher end driving rigs still can't be used, the quality of the game and the Xbox One's controller ease the pain just a bit. This one is well worth the 100+ hours it will take to work your way through.
The idea of a minuscule studio putting out a game that will potentially entrance millions with its easy accessibility and well-graduated complexity curve proves that there is still room in the market for the little guy. Race the Sun is not only a fun little addiction but hopefully also a harbinger of the return of boutique developers.
While it may seem like a step backward with its lower track count than previous Forza versions, in reality it is quite the opposite. The tracks are an example of quality over quantity, and one could assume that a future DLC solution will address this anyway. The new Drivatar system is basically a crowd-sourced AI training system and results in a more realistic (and, at times, frustrating) racing experience. Multiple configuration options allow the challenge to be finely calibrated to any skill level. If nothing else, the visuals alone are worth the upgrade.
Shenzhen I/O is perfect for those that have an interest in programming the old-fashioned way, and those that enjoy experimenting with code-drive electronics, without the hassles and burdens of working for the man. It is a fairly steep learning curve, but that's just the cost of puzzles that provide immense satisfaction when completed.
It's easy to scoff at the idea of VR making any appreciable difference in a VR game, but you would be wrong to do so. Moss, a combination platformer/audio book, is exactly that, and it is very, very well done. If asked if I would have enjoyed it as much "flat," I have to say that I wouldn't have. The VR aspects are subtle, but still make large contributions to the overall game play. It appears to be a small kid's game at first, but the difficulty does ramp up to a fairly challenging level.
F1 2019 encompasses the breadth of experiences, car choices, track choices that provide a far deeper experience for the player than would be available in a generic sim. That depth truly demonstrates the complexity of not only the hardware, but the ever-changing conditions during a race.
I Expect You to Die provides everything I want in VR room escape type of game. Objects are easy to manipulate, the puzzles don't require great leaps of non-intuitive logic to solve, and the experience itself is quite entertaining. It can look spendy at full price, but it's on Steam so it' just a matter of waiting for a sale.
The cars respond realistically in VRC PRO, so don't make the mistake of thinking it will be easy, especially if you aren't willing to invest the time to practice and the funds to get a suitable controller. If you do choose to do so, VRC PRO will reward you with the opportunity to use them to prove your mettle against either AI drivers or in online multiplayer races.
DiRT Rally 2.0 is a worthy successor to DiRT Rally. The driving/car physics, which feel as sophisticated as anything else out there, are only slightly hindered by mediocre force feedback. The tracks and surrounding countryside are gorgeous in their own right; the environmental lighting and shadows serve to make them stunning at times. The addition of Rallycross serves to make DiRT Rally 2.0 two great simulations in one package.
Archangel is a great example of what VR is all about. The all-encompassing environment removes all worldly distractions and enhances game action to a fever pitch. Movements feel fluid and natural, and the periodic introduction of new or upgraded weapons follows the increase in difficulty well. The story aspects are unobtrusive yet satisfying.
GORN makes a gory, bloodfest type of fighting into a fun pastime that can also serve as a fairly good cardio workout. While there are buckets of blood and dismembered body parts flying around, it is designed in a way to make what would normally be prohibitively gross into something so fun that you will find yourself laughing at the incredible mayhem that surrounds you.
Empyre: LordS of the Sea Gates offers an innovative style of gameplay to liven up the RPG nature of the game. The writing is well above average and does a great job of setting the appropriate tone and, at times, is quite witty. Combat is approachable in the early stages, but becomes increasingly difficult as the game progresses.
Perfect for anyone that remembers playing the original in the previous century or folks looking to visit gaming of the past, Auroch Digital's OGRE is a faithful re-engineering of a venerable classic. You get all of the strategy and tactical action of the original absent the bookkeeping, lost game pieces, and requirement of having friends actually in your house to play.