VR, or Virtual Reality, has been a consistent consumer demand in entertainment since the advent of video games themselves. Realizing a true VR game environment turns out to have been a bumpier journey than anybody anticipated, but lately, VR games are slowly entering what everyone is accepting as a standard level of quality.
The only trouble with VR gaming is that, as difficult as it is to produce true VR hardware, which is still a developing technology, it’s just about as difficult to develop software for it once the device comes on the market. Many a gamer has played through the available titles that interest them and begun to wonder if it’s possible to port old flat-screen games into the VR experience. Surprisingly enough, there’s actually a decent selection of these efforts available.
Probably the most obvious candidate for VR modding ever, a Minecraft mod brings the 3D block-building environment to the Oculus. The mod is called “Minecrift,” and you can find several demo videos online to see how this works. The gameplay is pretty natural and easy to maneuver, but there’s still some bumpy areas such as the interface windows. Open the crafting table, inventory, or interface for any other Minecraft device and the warped display is nearly non-functional in VR. They might get this bug worked out later or we might get an official Minecraft VR port, but until then, even a limited Minecraft experience in VR seems to be something every gamer wants to try at least once.
World of Warcraft
Before anybody gets their hopes up, this is more difficult to get running than it sounds. For one thing, the mod requires support from “Tridef 3D,” which is a paid app. Then you have to set the Field of View (FOV) high enough to be usable in Oculus. WoW doesn’t really make an account for wide FOV, since it’s a 3rd-person RPG, so it has a habit of not rendering things it thinks the player can’t see at the moment, resulting in buildings and objects phasing in and out of view. Finally, the mod is only partly functional. You can move around and interact some, but things like the spells and abilities are menu-bound and would require further modding to make them usable on Oculus. For those interested, seek out the interview with YouTube gamer “Hoopermation” to explain the recipe.
Id Software FPS classics
This mod includes support for Doom, Doom 2, Heretic, Wolfenstein 3D, and Quake, all on the Oculus Rift. It’s available on GitHub as the “GZ3Doom” mod, working with all the classic FPS games based on early ID Software engines. They run perfectly and even a bit better than their DOS command-line counterparts. The games are of course primitive in the graphics department by standards of modern games, but for veteran gamers looking for the nostalgia kick of plowing through grenade-tossing ogres again, this mod is well worth the trouble to seek out.
Games supported under VorpX
“VorpX” is a general game mod platform that attempts to port PC-standard games that used DirectX 9-through-11 to the Oculus. This is a huge list, including popular titles from the 2000s and early 2010s such as Assassin’s Creed, Bioshock, Call of Duty, Elder Scrolls, Grand Theft Auto, Half-Life, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Unreal, and much, much more. VorpX allows you to map mouse and keyboard commands to the VR headset and controllers, and even allows you to view video files in 3D. Some games have a rough interpretation to Oculus and a few tics and bugs, but overall this is a mod that will access a huge chunk of gaming history.