On Wednesday, the latest Oculu — er, Meta Quest virtual reality gaming showcase revealed a mix of sequels and new games coming to the all-in-one Quest 2 system “within the next year.”
The event’s biggest game reveal came in the form of Bonelaba sequel to 2019’s innovative-but-clumsy PC-VR exclusive Boneworks. Its designers at Stress Level Zero insist that this sequel will come to the weaker Quest 2 hardware, along with a PC-VR version “later this year.”
Like the PC original, Bonelab will revolve around a mix of parkour- and physics-driven interactions with guns and melee weapons, only this time, it will take place in a variety of fantasy-style levels and include new monsters, like walking skeletons — which VR players can apparently grab with their hands and tear apart, bone by bone. Its Quest 2 version will support community-made mods like maps, weapons, and outfits — though it’s unclear exactly how those will be built and imported into the Quest version.
The event’s other major surprise is harder to call a “game” thus far, owing to its reveal as a pre-rendered CGI concept, but Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg thought it important enough to show up for the event’s “one more thing” snippet: Ghostbusters VR. Developed by nDreams, the makers of VR stealth game Phantom: Covert Ops, this new game appears to work as a four-player co-op adventure, where players explore factory-styled levels with ghostbusting gear to zap and capture ghosts. It’s unclear whether this game and its lack of legitimate gameplay footage will launch within the event’s promised “within the next year” window.
The event did not clarify why a Sony-affiliated film property like Ghostbusters is launching its first home VR game on Meta Quest 2, as opposed to Sony’s own upcoming PlayStation VR2 system. The series has previously appeared in a “VRcade” experience that combined VR headsets with real-life “4D” twists like spinning fans and scents.
In an example of a “genre we’d like to see more of in VR,” Cities VR was announced as a new entry in the long-running city-building sim series and its first game in virtual reality. Its trailer is quite revealing, as it shows how typical Cities menus appear in clever, VR-specific ways based on hand and wrist placement. The trailer showed an aspiring VR mayor doing typical series of tasks like checking budgets, placing buildings, managing street traffic, and altering geography — all either from a bird’s-eye camera angle or directly at street level, while walking around an admittedly lo-fi simple -texture VR universe.