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The best upcoming VR games: Grand Theft Auto, Peaky Blinders and more

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his year could be massive for virtual reality. Sony’s PSVR 2 is coming for PlayStation 5 owners, and the new headset will usher in a whole host of new players to the wonderful world of room-scale VR. As well as having a few exclusive titles of its own, the new headset will also benefit from some of the best VR games you can play today.

Apple, too, is reportedly entering the VR space this year, and will no doubt have its own killer apps to show off the hardware.

But it’s not just early adopters of these headsets who will have new titles to look forward to. Those with PC headsets or the standalone Oculus Quest 2 are also being catered to, with some very exciting new titles and ports scheduled for 2023 and beyond.

Here are the games we’re looking forward to the most.

Best upcoming VR games

Horizon: Call of the Mountain

Format: PSVR 2

The first, big must-have title of PSVR 2 looks set to be Horizon: Call of the Mountain. Not only is it a spin-off from one of the PlayStation’s best exclusive titles, but Sony is also offering it bundled with the headset itself. This is a big vote of confidence.

Unlike the other Horizon games, this isn’t an open world you can explore yourself, and the whole thing will take only six to seven hours to complete. But as showcases of what PSVR 2 will offer, it looks pretty hard to beat.

Release date: February 22, 2023

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom

Format: PSVR 2, Quest 2, PC

It’s nice to play a VR game set in the UK, even if it’s limited to the seedy underbelly of 1920s Birmingham and London. Yes, Peaky Blinders is an official tie-in with the series of the same name, with Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson providing their vocal talents to bring their respective characters to virtual reality.

What should you expect? Early previews suggest it’ll be a mix of gang warfare and conspiring in suitably atmospheric, smoky pubs — yes, including The Garrison.

Release date: March 9, 2023

The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR

Format: PSVR 2

Originally planned as a PSVR 2 launch title, Switchback is a spin off from the choose-your-own-adventure horror anthology series The Dark Pictures. This in turn comes from the makers of Until Dawn and The Quarry.

We don’t know what Switchback will be, but given Supermassive Games was behind PSVR on-rails shooter Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, we could well expect a similar, scare-packed experience here. This would be no bad thing, as Rush of Blood was one of the better PSVR experiences.

Release date: March 16, 2023

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

GTA San Andreas

/ Rockstar

Format: Quest 2

Grand Theft Auto in VR. Need we say more?

Yes, just as Resident Evil 4 was reimagined for virtual reality on the Meta Quest 2, the world of San Andreas will soon follow suit, with the entire game replayable from a (presumably) first-person perspective.

We say ‘presumably’ because there’s yet to be a trailer, or even any screenshots. But we all know what to expect from GTA at this point, and exploring San Andreas in VR will undoubtedly be an absolute treat.

Release date: TBA

Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord

Format: PSVR 2, Quest 2

Who you gonna call? Up to three friends to help you to bust ghosts, that’s who. Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord looks like Left 4 Dead in VR with the Ghostbusters licence slapped on top, which sounds pretty good to us.

It’s being made by nDreams — which was behind games including Fracked and Phantom: Covert Ops. It looks like it’ll have everything to make your 80s childhood fantasies come true, right down to proton packs and traps. Just don’t cross the streamers, okay?

Release date: 2023

Firewall Ultra

Format: PSVR 2

Firewall Zero Hour was essentially Rainbow Six in virtual reality: a tactical team-based shooter, where players have to work together and not just run and gun to stay alive.

But it was limited by the nature of PSVR — a single camera that would frequently lose tracking if you moved out of shot. With PSVR 2’s room-scale VR, things should get a lot more interesting with the sequel, Firewall Ultra. We’ll find out soon, as it’s a PSVR 2 launch title.

Release date: February 22, 2023.

Hellsweeper VR

Format: PSVR 2, Quest 2, PC

Probably not for those who struggle with VR motion sickness, Hellsweeper promises an “intense, no-holds-barred locomotion system” with “wall-running, power sliding, backflips, jumps, bullet time and more.” Goodbye, lunch.

But if you can stomach it, it looks like a whole lot of fun. A roguelike first-person combat game which sees you beating the Hell out of Hades’ demons with a mix of guns, melee weapons and magic. PC and Quest 2 versions have been confirmed, and the developers say they’re also “targeting” PSVR 2.

Release date: 2023.

Behemoth

Format: PSVR 2, Quest 2, PC

We don’t know a great deal about Behemoth, but the fact it comes from Skydance Interactive — the studio behind the brilliant Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners — suggests it’s certainly one to watch when it emerges at some point in 2023.

The trailer suggests intriguing fantasy-world exploration and visceral sword combat — which should feel very realistic and weighty if the intense melee battles of the aforementioned Walking Dead game are anything to go by.

Release date: 2023.

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