VR FPS Games: A New View in Shoot’em Up!

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Photo by RoboxInvasion from Pixabay and Minh Pham on Unsplash, composite by Christopher Hooker

Do you remember playing Cops and Robbers as a kid? Running around the playground, firing imaginary guns at each other, and occasionally coming into conflict over who shot whom first? We wondered back then if there would ever be a means to resolve such conflict. And now, people can play ‘shoot it out’ online, everyday!

First Person Shooter, or FPS games, are a large part of the video game market, and have been for many years. The first of these was Wolfenstein 3D and the monster-laden sequel, Doom. The original Doom engine was created when 3D wasn’t actually possible yet in a video game, and was still just a 2D illusion of 3D environments. But by giving you a sense of moving in a space, the designers cleverly tricked your mind to believing you were actually in a real 3D environment. (See the video below to find out how they managed that!)

The FPS offerings have come a long way since Wolfenstein 3D first appeared, not only in terms of graphics and physics, but in terms of how they immerse you in their environments, And they also have managed to use licensing in these simulators to include your favorite fantasy and adventure worlds.

War simulators now come in many shapes and colors, from Battlefront marrying itself to the Star Wars universe, to the physics of the latest incarnations of Doom knocking people around. Games like Rust take the concept of kill-or-be-killed survival and add crafting and salvaging components to increase the player’s involvement. Instead of being just a fast-draw story, it’s about building a home (or a community) with the resources you have, as others actively try to kill you to steal yours.

The immersion of FPS market has only been enhanced by attempts to move it to virtual reality (VR) headset gaming. One of the most popular offerings for the Oculus Rift has been Vader Immortal, a Star Wars universe game that includes lightsaber dueling and climbing in first person.

As mentioned in the above history of Wolfenstein, in 2019. MachineGames released Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, which marries the experience of being a player seated in a gaming chair with a VR headset on with the storyline of a hacker confined to a wheelchair taking virtual control of various robot tanks and enemies on a rampage through enemy territory.

As advances in graphic and physics become closer and closer to real human experience, VR FPS is growing from a blocky Nazis of Wolfenstein to very real encounters with realistically shaded and detailed enemies. As players learn to use better controls and VR gear, the future of FPS in the VR setting looks brighter and brighter. 

This is the exciting future Holon Studios is working towards in Monterey! We are building game environments where friends and strangers from across the world can challenge each other in a virtual world of cops and robbers, or team up to take on enemies together in the same shared environment. If you have game design experience and would like to be a part of the future we are building in Monterey, click on this embedded link to be taken to our careers page, which is updated regularly as we grow!