It wasn’t long ago that virtual reality still felt like something of a distant future – a technology far beyond our grasp and nothing more than an idea seen in science fiction films. But in 2012, the Oculus Rift was announced via a Kickstarter campaign and later released to the general public. In the preceding decade, virtual reality headsets have become significantly more accessible, popular, and, most importantly, affordable.
With the platform’s user base growing by a significant margin, it’s not surprising to see more and more big-name properties and franchises make their leap into the virtual world. Properties such as Star Wars, Resident Evil, and The Walking Dead have all released games supporting virtual reality, though that’s merely scratching the surface of what’s out there. One category of video games that hasn’t been too prevalent on VR is historically-based games. With historical games typically being very focused on immersing players, we can’t help but ask why there are so few historical VR games.
Historical Games Would Flourish in VR
It’s really a shame that there aren’t more historical VR video games, as the genre would flourish in the new entertainment medium. Virtual reality is all about immersing the user into the game world, and many history buffs play historical games for that exact reason. Historical gaming franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Civilization, and Age of Empires are popular because they successfully allow players to roleplay as and interact with historical figures and worlds, and bringing these worlds into a VR space would further enhance these experiences.
Though there isn’t a ton of variety yet, there are a few historical VR games out there that gamers can check out today. Some of the best include Titanic VR, Anne Frank House VR, and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Even though their numbers are few, the historical VR games that do exist only further illustrate that virtual reality is the perfect place for historical video games. Each of the games mentioned are all excellent experiences and deserve to be played if you’re a fan of those historical events and periods.
Franchises That Would be Perfect for VR
It’s a bit disappointing that there aren’t more virtual reality games with historical roots. The release of a VR-exclusive title from the classic WW2 franchise, Medal of Honor, makes us wonder why there aren’t more war shooters on the platform. Historical shooters Call of Duty and Battlefield feel particularly long-overdue for VR installments, and we would love to see the former appear in some way or another. Perhaps one of Call of Duty’s older entries could receive a VR port.
Another franchise that we feel would fit perfectly as a VR game is the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Ubisoft recently revealed it would be bringing the time-bending series into the virtual space. Considering the fluidity that comes with VR, we can see scaling buildings, engaging our hidden blade, and launching onto a nearby guard – all without breaking our stride. Taking a trip into the Animus feels natural with virtual reality, and we hope that Ubisoft follows through with its promise.
A New Way to Experience History
All-in-all, there are so many historical gaming franchises that would benefit from added VR support. Gamers and history buffs alike would surely love the ability to explore popular periods like Ancient Egypt, Feudal Japan, Early America, and so much more through a view of a VR headset. This new entertainment medium would not only allow deeper immersion for gamers, but it could also help us better understand history and allow us to experience first-hand what it may have been like to live through those eras of history.
At Epoch XP, we specialize in creating compelling narratives and provide research to give your game the kind of details that engage your players and create a resonant world they want to spend time in. If you are interested in learning more about our gaming research services, you can browse Epoch XP’s service on our parent site, SJR Research.
(This article is credited to Ben Price. For as long as he can remember, Ben has always loved playing, discussing, and writing about video games. Since receiving his B.A. in English, he now writes about them for a living.)