I think it is safe to say that video games in recent years have strayed from local multiplayer. With the spread of online multiplayer, global leader boards, and everything massively multiplayer it seems like fewer and fewer console games ship with the ability to fracture a screen into quadrants. Indeed most choose to merely divide the screen once if at all. And this is mostly fine. However it means myself and friends will spend an inordinate amount of time in games that do choose to include a local co-op mode. (As I was writing this friends and I began trying to play some old xbox games together which, alas, only allowed for two player co-op. We played Mario Kart instead.)
Virtual Reality is a game changer in... well in a lot of ways I hope. I picked up an HTC Vive a few weeks back. I could say a lot about it but there are tons of reviews for these headsets out there and those writers already said it better then I ever could. Basically it all boils down to one point. VR is the most impressive piece of technology I think I’ve ever had the privilege to use. Its not quite Star Treks Holodeck yet, but it’s close enough for me.
But what will VR mean for person to person interactions in games?
We’ve been playing a lot of “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” for example. In this game the player in VR is “in” another room with a bomb. All of the other players remain in the real world with manuals and coach the defuser through the game. Using VR the game puts one player in another room visually but everyone can still talk to one another. It’s a bit of a sidestep from most of the VR demos you get to try which do their best to immerse you fully in another world. Now don’t get me wrong that is a super rad experience that I want to play, but the thing those worlds mostly seem to be missing right now is human interaction. Without other people things are a bit stark. Given that it’s a $1000 investment though right now that may not change anytime soon.