In the run-up to a new console release, it's easy for games to get lost in the excitement and shuffle of new hardware. Thankfully, Meta and its partner developers are planning on supporting the Quest 2 hardware for a long time to come.
This year is proof that plenty of developers aren't waiting for the Meta Quest 3 to launch new Quest games. In fact, in the past month alone, I've played over half a dozen new games, and I think five of them are totally worth your money.
And while few developers have announced Quest 3-specific enhancements for their games, I fully expect many of these to see updates and patches with new features and/or graphics upgrades as soon as the Quest 3 is available. Looking for some new games to pass the rest of the month? Check these new releases out first.
Fans of Stranger Things will immediately recognize the theme here. Inverse is a 4v1 asynchronous multiplayer game where five human-controlled players face off against each other in a unique way. Four people play as humans attempting to get power back online so they can access weapons necessary for killing the monsters that keep coming from the horrifying Inverse dimension.
Meanwhile, one human player takes control of the monster who can roam the map at will with the goal of eliminating all the human players. It's a fairly simple premise that's an absolute blast to play.
Michael Hicks and I got to spend an hour with the developers playing the game a few weeks ago and now that the game is out, you can play it with your friends for some truly frightening evenings.
I imagine this type of formula would be easy to mess up but, thankfully, the skilled developers at MassVR have balanced out things very nicely. While the monster is all-powerful and can kill players in just a few swipes, it moves fairly slowly and has a stamina bar that has to be refilled after a handful of attacks.
Meanwhile, the weaponless players are able to not only revive fallen players but can also set traps, close doors, and otherwise put obstacles in the path of the monster. Plus, thanks to a clever blend of local and walkie-talkie communication, players can intelligently work together to trick the monster and wipe out all traces of The Inverse.
Buy for $29.99 at Quest store
If you've played Quest games for any length of time, you'll know there's no shortage of roguelikes to play. In fact, many of the best Quest 2 games utilize this formula to some degree, and this one does it more successfully than some others.
If you're not familiar with the term, a roguelike is a game where you'll play through a level — usually one that's randomly generated — until you die, earning loot and XP that you take back to some sort of hub area to spend on upgrades.
The formula here is no different and does nothing "new" to enhance it, per se, but Dead Hook's core gameplay mechanics are what really help the title shine among the plethora of options. As you might have gathered from the trailer art above, Dead Hook is deeply inspired by Doom, and just about everything feels like the deepest homage to that classic series.
But, unlike Doom, players aren't confined to walking around or jumping with just their own two feet. Instead, players have hooks on each arm that can be launched at any surface, extending a giant chain to swing by.
To say Dead Hook feels utterly visceral doesn't quite come close to describing the game's energy. Levels are randomly generated, multi-level halls that players will find themselves constantly ascending and descending to eliminate demons with an array of upgradable weaponry.
Plus, kills unlock special moves and melee attacks that end combat in the most brutal ways possible. It's really good to see a proper spiritual successor to Doom VFR, this time with more VR-centric movement in mind.
Buy for $20 at Quest Store
I Expect You To Die 3: Cog in the Machine
I have a love-hate relationship with the I Expect You To Die series, and the third entry does nothing to change that. Yes, this is a bit of a strange way to introduce a stellar new entry into a longtime, well-reviewed series, but it's because this entry does not attempt to win over critics of the series. It's made entirely for the fans.
I Expect You To Die 3 puts you in the shoes of a secret agent attempting to stop the evil Zoraxis and its infinite number of henchmen. This time around, however, you'll be chasing after brilliant Dr. Roxanna Prism while simultaneously unraveling the mystery of what Dr. Zor is doing behind the scenes.
I've got a soft spot for the parody 60's Bond theme here — it's probably all those hours playing Goldeneye 007 as a middle-schooler — and this game pulls off the theme like none other on the Quest. The intro credits alone will give you an idea of what you should expect from Schell Games' latest entry.
The gameplay and presentation are as honed as ever as this fully-seated experience, which aligns with the gameplay and mechanics of the past two games. As I said before, this title is essentially identical in its theme and skillset required to play, which is both a positive and off-putting experience for me.
Personally, I'd like to see a spin-off of this series that allows me to walk around rooms and more intricately explore the areas in this incredibly intriguing world. Despite that, Schell Games has put together yet another excellent spy-themed escape room-style experience that's a joy to play.
Buy for $25 at Quest Store
I once spent a month experimenting with HEMA — that's Historical European Martial Arts — but wasn't a fan of the "most people break bones regularly" concept of real sword fighting. Sorry, I need these hands to work, and they don't work well when broken.
That's where Swordsman comes in.
No doubt, if you're interested in sword combat on a VR headset, you've probably played Blade & Sorcery. The game is the stuff of legend and has rocketed many a YouTuber to success with the never-ending barrage of mods and clever content additions. But there's one thing Blade & Sorcery doesn't do well: swordplay.
That might sound kind of weird for a melee-based VR game, but you'll know exactly what I'm talking about if you've ever played it. It's just not realistic, and the game doesn't penalize you for swinging a sword around like it weighed as much as a pencil. Swordsman, however, comes at this from the exact opposite angle.
I took that month of knowledge I gained from HEMA classes, put it into practice the moment Swordsman came out, and wasn't in the least bit disappointed. If you know what you're doing, this game will make it feel like you're battling a real person on the other end — aside from the occasional physics glitch, of course.
And that realism is what kept me coming back to Swordsman when I gave up on the plethora of other similar titles on this system. This isn't just a "wave your weapon around and kill bad guys" kind of game. It attempts to make weapons feel real, including rewarding real stances, strategies, defenses, and attacks for players who take them seriously.
Plus, it's not just medieval knights swinging at each other. The game includes ninjas, Mongols, Samurai, Vikings, and more. Plus, it's not just a bunch of sandbox arenas to fight in. There's actually a story here, albeit a fairly shallow one.
Buy for $20 at Quest Store
When Hubris was first announced, I thought the name seemed pretty on-brand. What looked like a shallow — yet extremely pretty — game turned out to be an impressive Halo-like sci-fi narrative-based shooter.
Some of it's a bit cheesy, don't get me wrong, but the overall presentation, graphics, and gameplay mechanics help make up for some pretty boring dialog. It'll take you around six hours or so to run through the story, which, to me, is the sweet spot for most single-player games.
Aside from the visuals — which are among the very best you'll ever see on Quest 2 hardware — the game's variety and interesting mechanics kept me wondering what was around every corner. There's plenty here that's familiar, but the game introduces these mechanics and enemy types in a way that feels fresh enough, especially since this may be the first time you've ever seen them in a VR title.
I'm talking about enemies that look an awful lot like Headcrabs from Half-Life, grabbing and climbing mechanics that feel straight out of Horizon: Call of the Mountain, and gunplay that would feel right at home in Halo VR.
My biggest gripe, aside from the fairly boring dialog, is a lack of co-op multiplayer. Maybe the Quest 3 hardware will give Hubris' developers more room to work with, but I always enjoy these types of sci-fi shooter games better with a friend.
Buy for $30 at Quest Store
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