Best Games for VR

Whether you ran out and bought an Oculus Rift as soon as it was available, have already been using a phone-based VR headset, or still haven’t dipped your toes in the warm, sparkling waters of virtual reality technology, VR tech is already beginning to turn the entire gaming industry upside down. With new additions to VR, like the Virtuix Omni treadmill coming out later this year, VR gaming consoles are sure to replace any platform you’re currently using within a year or two. The following are some of the best games that are currently on the market with VR gameplay in mind.

Elite: Dangerous
Elite: Dangerous is a space faring game that allows the player to fly their spacecraft through the cosmos in search of adventure and gold. This is an MMORPG that sets your character in the 34th Century where you can loot, craft, and trade your way to riches or join a multi-crew co-op on your way to glory. This game was built from the ground up to support virtual reality and 4K UltraHD graphics with positional head tracking, arm tracking, and even the ability to stand up out of your seat to walk around your spacecraft.

Spirited Away: The Boiler Room
This one isn’t so much a game as it is a virtual reality demonstration. By recreating the Boiler Room from the animated film “Spirited Away”, VR developer Nick Pittom has provided gamers with an opportunity to step inside one of their favorite 2D scenes that has been converted into an entire 3D environment, complete with soot sprites running back and forth with their tiny clumps of coal to keep the fire blazing. While this demo may not be as interactive as some of the other games on this list, it does give players a wonderful opportunity to bring a classic fictional environment to life.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Yes, you read that correctly. Though Skyrim is not *officially* supported, a third-party software called VorpX allows players to convert their regular 2D games into stereoscopic VR experiences equipped with 360 degrees of sight and head tracking. While Skyrim VR can be a bit wobbly and downright stomach-quenching at times, it’s a mesmerizing experience to wander the nine holds of Skyrim as if you were really there. If you get the chance to find yourself at the base of the Throat of the World, Skyrim’s largest mountain, be sure to take a long look at its snowy peaks and just try to remember that you’re really sitting on your bed and not about to spar to the death with a mountain troll.

GTA V Couples Mode – Other New Features

gtavJust in time for Valentine’s Day, GTA V has released a new Adversary Mode for GTA Online entitled “Till Death Do Us Part” that allows couples to team up against opponents to show the world who the most pimped out, gunned-down gangster couple really is. The Adversary Mode will support up to 4 couples a time for a total of eight players in one game, but couples will have to work together in order to win because if one team member is killed, the other player’s character will blow his or her brains out in an action-packed blaze of glory over the loss of their loved one. Team members will also receive regenerate their health faster when standing near their partner and five different romantic map locations will provide maximum gameplay.

First Person Upgrades
Another update for GTA V is the all-new animations and graphics that have been released for virtually every 3D model in the entire game. The pedestrians, animals, vehicles, street signs, trees, fire hydrants, and everything in between have been redesigned to be far more realistic and detailed. When riding around in a vehicle, for example, first-person perspective allows the player to see the entire dashboard of the car (or helicopter) that they’re in, including a functional speedometer and working brake light. Players can even take a selfie of their character by using the camera feature on their in-game cell phone.

Future of GTA (VR, Graphics, etc)
As the series progresses in a world fueled by virtual reality and Terminator-esque graphics cards, it is likely that we’ll be seeing a lot of new features from GTA VI and beyond. In fact, a group of modders has already created an unofficial patch for Grand Theft Auto V that makes the game compatible with the Oculus Rift and the Virtuix Omni, two of the leading virtual reality systems currently on the market. While the Oculus Rift provides head tracking and visual effects that make it seem as if the player is actually in the GTA universe, the Virtuix Omni is a 360 degree treadmill that simulates walking. The system even includes a rifle that tracks the player’s position and firing. Combined, these features create a truly immersive version of reality that makes regular GTA gaming pale in comparison. Therefore, it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before Rockstar Games provides built-in support for future GTA editions.

New World War II FPS – Battalion 1944

1944Battalion 1944 is an upcoming first-person shooter, World War II game that’s specifically designed to look and feel like older games, such as Enemy Territory and Call of Duty. Developer Bulkhead wants to combine old-style first person shooter experiences with modern graphics technology. In order to bring that vision to reality, they asked for £100,000 in a Kickstarter campaign that lasted just 48 hours before reaching its funding goal. While the campaign is still ongoing, the developers have yet to release what their future donations will be used for.

Battalion 1944 places the player smack in the middle of 1944 Nazi Germany where the Allied forces must conquer the Nazis in order to rid the world of their invasive rule once and for all. Players are able to visit historical cities such as Carentan and Bastogne and use real-world weapons such as the Kar98, M1 Garand, and Thompson.

While similar games have been made in the past, Bulkhead states that Battalion 1944 brings back a lost period in gaming that many young adults remember from their childhood. Games like Call of Duty, Brothers In Arms, and Battlefield 1942 were hallmarks of a previous era in gaming that brought together historical fact with raw action-packed gameplay. Unfortunately, these older games are no longer available on newer gaming consoles, such as the PS4 or Xbox One. To bridge the gap between these older games and newer technologies, Bulkhead set out to create their own WWII game that will allow a younger audience and older players alike to appreciate the subtleties put into Battalion 1944.

Battalion 1944 is loaded with small customizations that make the gameplay unique for each player. Players can, for example, engrave a message on the side of their rifle, customize their uniforms with a variety of patches and badges, and swap out insignias for different ranks and positions. Every detail has been meticulously considered, such as the sound a real Thompson makes when it’s being reloaded, and included throughout the game for a very realistic experience. Characters are also trained how to move by using body suits that allow real actors to capture realistic body movements while running, jumping, shooting, and simply turning around. The exact release date for Battalion 1944 is so far unknown, but it will be available on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

EU Members Make Push For Better Internet Neutrality Policies

The opinions of 318 Internet service providers, consumers and independent groups were solicited by the European Commission in order to better gauge what the true definition of open Internet is. Internet service providers regularly restrict how much bandwidth a customer may use according to their contract, but the same companies seem to be going against contract stipulations and are giving bigger companies priority when it comes to unrestricted Internet access. The European Commission penned a telecom framework that outlines how consumers and Internet providers should approach the matter, and most of the 318 subjects agree. ISPs that use traffic management techniques to customers into tiers may inadvertently be violating confidentiality and alienating certain groups. By ascertaining the type of data being transmitted across the Internet, ISPs try to unclog the airways by assigning and removing accessibility privileges by customer tiers.

Questions of Internet congestion, illegal filesharing and excessive downloading came up, prompting the Motion Picture Associate to state their opinions. The MPA believes that illegal filesharers should essentially be placed on the lowest rung in an attempt to get them to stop. They believe that illegal peer to peer filesharing and hosting does nothing good for the Internet as a whole. Yahoo, on the other hand, has a different opinion. They state that anyone who pays for access should be able to access the entire Internet as they see fit. Consumers are given a wide variety of packages from various ISPs, so the comments made by different companies could ultimately color perceptions as well as how who people choose to do business with.

Buying Video Games for Children

The market is filled with video games in a number of different genres, types and age appropriateness. When buying a video game for a child, there are a few things to think about before you purchase. Nearly every parent in the world becomes concerned at some point as to whether a specific game is suitable for children of varying ages. If your child is a video game enthusiast, there are some things to consider when you are buying games.

First, you have to consider the actual age of your child or children. Game ratings are based on age so if a game is rated M for Mature then it is typically not a good choice for a child. If you have toddlers or younger children, you should spend more time focusing on games that are rated E which means that they are perfectly suitable for anyone of any age. Teenagers have their own rating and then adults have another. It is important that you familiarize yourself with how video games are rated for age so that you know when one is really not appropriate for your child. Some games that are rated for teenagers and adults can contain language and scenes that are certainly not supposed to be viewed by younger children.

If you have younger children, the video game market is filled with educational games that are perfectly suited for all ages. Games designed for toddlers and preschoolers can help children to learn to identify their shapes and colors. Many of these games use popular cartoon characters to entice children to play and learn. Older children may enjoy games based on popular television shows such as Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants and other very popular titles. Some of these games also teach valuable life lessons but still give children a very enjoyable way to pass the time. Games that are suitable for children are often grouped together in retail stores and categorized by age so you can easily find the ones that are best suited for your child’s age group.

Before purchasing a new game for a child, particularly if you are not familiar with the game title or contents, it may be a good idea to find a reliable game review website and see what other parents have to say about that particular title. User reviews are reviews written by real parents so you can get an honest opinion of the game as well as its appropriateness. You can learn more about what the games teach and what specific features they offer so that you can determine whether or not your own child will enjoy playing them.

Again, games today contain ratings that should let you know that they are appropriate for children however, you should always double check that system just to be certain of what you are allowing your children to have access to. Review sites will let you know of any content in the games that is not suitable for your child so that you know which games to avoid when buying and which ones will actually help your child to learn something while they play them.