After experiencing the stunning power (and the queasiness) of the Oculus Rift last week, I could not prevent my brain from scouring through all of the first-person games that I wanted to support the innovative, if not revolutionary, headset. The sensation of being able to move my head to adjust the first-person camera view was inspiring, and the developers already agree: Over 100 titles are slated to support the Oculus Rift, including Titanfall, Team Fortress 2, Minecraft, and Half-Life 2. Seeing support from these four titles will not be argued by me, but there are five titles I believe would make perfect sense for the Oculus Rift.
Let's start with a safe answer, or is that the most un-safe? Leaping off buildings, climbing up colored pipes, sliding under objects, and wall jumping up staircases would be among the most extreme experiences for the Oculus Rift. Simply flying into the air in a mech suit in Hawken made me nauseous, so I can only imagine what flipping and contorting every which way would do the player's digestive system. With the amount of retries it usually takes to nail particularly tricky parkour section, the player will need to become accustomed to the sensation of falling to one's death. With the Oculus Right, Mirror's Edge must just cure acrophobia… or cause it. Either way, this is one experiment that almost begs to be tried.
Speaking of experiments—GLaDOS would approve—Portal may just be only video game that would be sicker than Mirror's Edge with the Oculus Rift. Zipping through blue and orange apertures and using gravity to traverse gaps a hundred feet wide can be disorienting as it is, but the curiosity of how the headset would change the game cannot be denied. While falling infinitely through portals, the player can finally look around and view the freefall from another angle. It makes me want to place a ridiculously large fan in front of me so that I can experience the thrill of skydiving, all in the comfort of my living room. I'll probably also need a vomit bag, but it would be worth it.
Forza Motorsport 5
The reason I say Forza Motorsport 5 and not Gran Turismo 6, though it deserves as much attention, is because of the Kinect. Microsoft should be eyeing the Oculus Rift with great, dollar-sign interest, because it can with one fell stroke legitimize the Kinect. The combination of the Kinect and Oculus Rift could pave the way toward the fantasy of complete immersion and games with an innovative range of controller-less interactions.
But putting those discussions aside, Forza Motorsport already has head-tracking technology through Kinect, where the player's tilt of the head changes the camera angle of the view. The Oculus Rift would effectively replace this, making this one-to-one correspondence that much stronger. Besides, professional racers put on goggles anyway, so it makes almost too much sense. Add in a high-end cockpit peripheral (and that giant fan I talked about earlier), and I might not ever want to leave the virtual racetrack ever again.
As a fan of the arcade classic Title Fight, I am privy to the first-person perspective for boxing titles. But the technology to support this has never been that solid, and the third-person side view or over-the-shoulder perspective has been understandably the most popular. For the Fight Night franchise, though, some fans want to see some kind of first-person view as was available in Round 3. With the Oculus Rift, this could be a reality, as it would make first-person immersion is natural and would make the blocking and parrying system much more intuitive. Pairing the Oculus Rift with some real boxing gloves made specifically to register with the Kinect or the PS4 camera would be the next logical step and an intense workout, I'm sure.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Bethesda's ever-popular Skyrim already has a Kinect add-on feature that allows you to switch weapons, use potions, and speak shouts via voice activation. Wearing a horned helmet notwithstanding, slipping on the Oculus Rift would bring that level of immersion more than a single notch higher. It will give you the ability to peek around corners and discover traps a bit more easily, and make combat more visceral and in-your-face, especially if you turn off all the HUD elements. And riding dragons would be that much more sensational. Not only that, but the modding community would go nuts, and everybody benefits when that happens.