After a lull in PSVR quality titles, PlayStation VR owners can now look forward to a handful of genuinely promising titles appearing for the platform in over the next few months. We pick 3 of the most promising PSVR games to either recently surface or on their way imminently.

Tiny Trax [Futurlab]

A somewhat anachronistic concept, slot car racing seemed old hat when I was a kid 30 years ago, but the fact that the likes of Scalextric are still making racing sets today says something about the format’s evergreen appeal. That said, Futurlab‘s virtual reality slot racing title Tiny Trax is still an unexpected title to find in the upcoming release roster for Sony’s PlayStation VR headset.

Tiny Trax is a multiplayer racer which, aside from slot racing, takes some cues from the ‘diddy’ racing franchise Micro Machines with a sprinkle of Hot Wheels too. Up to 4 friends or AI opponents take on a series of invitingly wacky and torturous tracks replete with loop the loops and upside down stretches all set against some extremely polished looking backdrops. As the title is made for VR, as a player you can stoop in and peer at the track as close as you’d like and it’s a viewpoint that was supremely (if somewhat surprisingly) demonstrated with the excellent Blaze Rush. Players can take advantage of the game’s “super-smooth drifting mechanic to recharge your boost gauge” – with reckless use of this seeing your car careering off the track.

Although the source of Futurlab’s inspiration for Tiny Trax may seem bizarre, it looks as if the title’s strong art design and general infusion of fun could make the title one to watch. No precise release date has been announced, but we’re expected to learn more about the title at E3 next week.

Theseus [Forge Reply]

Theseus, from developers Forge Reply, is a 3rd person action-adventure which revisits the ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth. You play the titular character, on a quest to slay the Minotaur and save his love Ariadne, whose voice helps guide Theseus through the labyrinth.

Think Chronos meets God of War here as developers Forge Reply promise a dark narrative-driven experience and slicey-dicey combat befitting the mythical, ancient setting. Notably though, it’s Theseus’ level of production design which makes it instantly stand apart. Although the VR games market is maturing rapidly, finding games which rival the looks of traditional triple A titles is still uncommon and the lighting, character design and setting all look darkly beautiful.

The title is due for release this summer and we’ll likely learn more at E3 next week.

The Persistence [Firesprite]

Next up is Liverpudlian developer Firesprite‘s The Persistence, a new procedurally generated survival horror title, made from the ground up for virtual reality. Awoken from cryosleep in the year 2521 aboard the titular ship, you face the aftermath of a an experiment which has gone horribly wrong leaving the crew of this ship looking a tad worse for wear and with a lust for your human flesh. Zombies in space it is then, but the twist here is that The Persistence adds rogue-like loot and a procedurally generated environment every time you die and awake once again. You need to fight your way through enemies to save the ship with power ups persisting across resurrections.

“Stealth Horror is a perfect match for VR. Not only for the sense of presence that virtual reality brings, but also for the natural control head tracking offers. Sneaking around and hiding behind cover; it’s second nature in VR to just lean round or peek over cover to gain the advantage,” Commented Lead Designer, Alex Moore.

Once again, the title looks very pretty indeed, with solid looking production design and animation. Additionally, the title promises to let friends join your virtual world by using mobile devices using a companion app to “hack” terminals in the gameworld to help you out (or not, depending on how the game decides to reward the player in question).

Firesprite’s development team holds DNA from some historical companies like Psygnosis which became SCE Studio Liverpool – studios responsible for classic Sony franchise Wipeout.

No release date is forthcoming for The Persistence as yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

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  • I am so tired of the horror games, it’s become a terrible crutch to VR game developers and is over-saturating the tiny VR marketplaces. The alternatives are barely developed minigames and “experiences” (e.g. Tiny Trax), leaving the horror games the only things that feel like full games. Make shooters/experiences that are actually interesting, rich, and enjoyable without the jump scares, or don’t bother. Otherwise VR will never become widely profitable.

    • Master E

      Totally agree… maybe once every couple of years. I’d never been down for a horror/thriller game this often. Played Amnesia then RE7 in VR, both of which were great, but only got RE7 because of VR not because I enjoy those type of games.

      Why don’t we have a Skyrim like Sword and Shield AAA game with move controllers yet?

      Or even Mount and Blade VR would be super fun. Even a basic RPG and a lot of rinse and repeat in Mount and Blade, but it was still super fun.

      • Tony Murchison

        Well, the reason we don’t have a Skyrim-like game yet is simple. Skyrim took three years and huge investments to make, even using an existing engine and experienced team. Even now, starting a game on such a scale for VR would be risky and immensely expensive.

        And besides, Skyrim sold over five million copies. Even if every single Rift, Vive, and PSVR owner bought this AAA VR game, they wouldn’t hit half the sales of Skyrim, despite the higher investments required.

        I have little doubt that VR will become a huge commercial success, but it’s just not reasonable to expect companies to take huge risks right from the start. The popularisation of entertainment industries is a series of increments, not a sudden leap.

        • Steve Johnson

          Those are good points, but does anyone know how difficult it is for developers to CONVERT and existing FPS like Skyrim over to VR? Can converting be done after the fact? Or does a VR game have to be built that way from the ground up?

          • Tony Murchison

            Well, that’s fairly easy to answer. Bethesda is currently doing that. With Fallout 4, to be precise, which runs on a version of Skyrim’s engine. It is supposed to take them about a year, though it’s not known how many people are working on it. It’s still a huge and expensive endeavour.

            And that’s for a Bethesda game, which has the advantage of being relatively slow-paced, built for first-person, and quite rich in environment interaction compared to the combat part. Making another game suitable for VR might be much more difficult.

  • Darshan

    Persistence stinks “Dead Space”

    Tiny Trax mix of HotWheels TrackMania and RC Stunt still looking
    worth a shot if not released at steep price.

    • Anthony Kenneth Steele

      doom 3

    • Steve Johnson

      Yeah, but even if it Persistence was a perfect Dead Space clone, it would still be better than the original DS because VR makes everything better! IMO, a top rated regular game is like a middle-of-the-road VR in terms of immersion and fun.

  • NooYawker

    I’d love to see a god of war type game on the vive.

  • David Lazarek

    Hmm. If Theseus has a good RPG component it could be cool. I would love Chronos on PSVR

  • TheBusterMan

    What’s happened to The Persistence? Not a dickie bird in months.