Hands-on with 5 of the best new PS VR games

From first-person horror shooters to stomach-turning spaceship battlers, these are the new VR titles coming to your PS4 this year

Despite its flaws, we really like PlayStation VR. It’s the cheapest, most accessible way to get virtual reality - and, most of the time, it works really well.

Thing is, there aren’t all that many games, yet, for PS VR - and certainly not enough to make buying it an absolute must.

Sure, there’s Resident Evil 7, EVE: Valkyrie and Rez Infinite - but, beyond that, big-hitting titles are relatively low in number.

Good news, then: there’s a raft of new PS VR titles in the works, from first-person horror shooters to stomach-turning spaceship battlers, hitting shelves in 2017.

Better still, we’ve been hands-on with five of them to see just what the future holds for PlayStation’s VR system. Here’s everything we learned.

Farpoint

Thought forking out for a PS VR headset was the last time you’d be spending on peripherals? Think again: Farpoint puts a two-handed plastic gun frame in your paws for properly accurate, totally addictive alien-shooting action.

Farpoint sees you marooned on an alien planet in search of your missing crewmates, and there’s a full story mode to pursue in this vein. The real drama, though, comes when (un)expected creepy creatures start flinging themselves and their projectiles in your direction.

Cue aim, shoot, cover, reload, repeat action, as you zap and detonate crawlers of all shapes and sizes, through abandoned domes, arid deserts and all kinds of environments.

Yes, it can feel a little bit Starship Troopers, but the dedicated Aim Controller adds a new dimension that goes beyond the floating weapons you get with the normal controller, and many Oculus Touch-enabled games for Rift.

Aiming means bringing it up to your face; finding cover means physically ducking; and shooting around corners means, well, shooting around corners.

It’s easy to get a bit disorientated in the action, but a bevvy of pickups and weapon types, as well as fluid co-op play and a real sense of reward for your accuracy, makes Farpoint one to watch if you’re a wannabe gunslinger.

Release date: 17 May

Price: ₹3,499 

Get Farpoint here from PlayStation

StarBlood Arena

If motion sickness is your enemy, look away now: even sitting down, the zero-G, rolling, pitching combat of StarBlood Arena left me feeling more than a little bit queasy.

Crammed into the cockpit of a weapon-packed ship, StarBlood is all about dodging fire and blasting enemies, any which way you want. Movement is uninhibited, with the ability to strafe up, down, left, right and, well, just about every direction.

It can all get a bit disorientating, especially while trying to switch between weapons and lock onto fast moving opponents - but that does make the eventual hits all the more satisfying.

Single player is fun, but the real carnage begins when you fire up the co-op or multiplayer matches. Battle through the mayhem in gritty, pipe-strewn environments to unlock upgrades for your ship and its weapons, in the quest for Arena supremacy.

Yes, it’s full-on, but with a bright aesthetic, a stellar soundtrack and engrossingly difficult gameplay, this could well become the VR Rocket League - if you can stomach it.

Release date: April 11

Price: 2,750

Get StarBlood Arena here from PlayStation

Statik

How smart are you? Not, how many University Challenge questions can you answer; no, rather, how good are you at unlocking cryptic conundrums using nothing more than an unexplained set of knobs, leavers and gizmos attached to a box that, in turn, is attached to your hands?

See, Statik is a slow-paced, mind-heavy puzzler with more than a small helping of malice. Watched by a sarcastic scientist, it’ll take all of your focus, first, to discover which buttons on your remote control which actions on the cube (which you’ll need to look all around in VR) and, then, to find the incredibly subtle clues hidden in the room around you. Things are only made more intense (though also devoid of distraction) by the VR environment.

If this all sounds a bit too much like hard work, just give it a try. Sometimes you’ll surprise yourself with how the answers seem to come to you, as your fingers fluidly operate the sinister machine that’s got your hands trapped, unravelling the evidence to print out a receipt of success - a touch that never fails to elicit a smile.

At other times, you’ll be dumbfounded and confounded again and again, with the contraption apparently impossible to crack. If VR can get you thinking, this is the game to do it.

Release date: April 24

Price: TBC

Korix

A glowing, wireframe strategy title set in space might not seem the optimum use of PS VR’s abilities, but Korix proves that taking a simple concept and doing it well can serve up a real tabletop treat.

Sure, the gameplay doesn’t do all that much new in terms of the strategy genre, with familiar build, upgrade, repeat mechanics that have you stacking walls, placing lasers and dropping bods to farm energy crystals.

All the same, the VR environment, together with a tougher-than-expected enemy, will soon suck you in and draw all of your focus in a way that playing on a flat TV screen can’t match.

If you want a straightforward strategy game free from clutter to play for hours on end, this one’s well worth a look.

Release date: Out now

Price: 1,664

Get Korix here from PlayStation

The Persistence

Imagine the horrifying offspring of Dead Space and Resident Evil 7, wrapped around your face for PS VR. That’s pretty much The Persistence.

A simple premise (a failed resurrection of the spaceship’s crew has created a host of malevolent zombie types) leads to excellent gameplay that’ll have you creeping, shooting and dying with great regularity.

Death, though, is actually a key component, with each fatality seeing you reborn to face a new, procedurally generated level with a whole new set of challenges. Collecting stem cell tubes as you go, you’ll be able to improve your character’s abilities and, just possibly, stay alive a little bit longer.

Uniquely, there’s set to be a companion app, too, which will see your mates able to tag enemies, operate doors and point out helpful tidbits from their smartphone or tablet - or, indeed, alert your enemies to your presence, if they’re feeling malicious.

Throw in a clutch of cool weapons, from a gravity bomb to a rage serum that sees you wreaking havoc for a short period of time, and The Persistence becomes a FPS thriller with a difference.

There’s still some work to be done, particularly on the gameplay audio and soundtrack, but this could well be one to watch, if you like your thrills gritty and space-bound.

Release date: TBC

Price: TBC