Just because virtual reality is in the hands of more users than ever doesn't mean it's at all poised to be the next big thing in gaming, but at least 2020 is giving VR devotees plenty to celebrate. From a bespoke Half-Life revival to great support in games like Phasmophobia and Star Wars: Squadrons, VR's got lots of new, high quality titles. Next up, a classic World War II multiplayer suite.
Respawn Entertainment's Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond just dropped its first trailer for the multiplayer modes, and I think it's fair to say there's more here than most people would've expected. The game's single player was previewed over a year ago and we got a good look at the storytelling this summer, but multiplayer appears to be anything but an afterthought.
The trailer shows off five different modes coming to Medal of Honor's VR selection: on top of your regular Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, there's also the ever-popular military shooter staple Domination and two more unique modes. Mad Bomber looks like it's poised to leverage some particular VR strengths by tasking players with setting and/or defusing bombs with their hands (always a more involved process with position-tracked controllers) in order to score points. Blast Radius is King of the Hill with rocket launchers (perhaps a bit awkward to aim and shoot) granted as the upper hand to whoever's ruling.
Of course, Respawn isn't the only pedigreed developer trying to crack the multiplayer VR shooter code this winter. Frostpoint VR, a PvPvE-focused title developed by Wasteland makers inXile, just launched yesterday for PC VR.
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, which launches on Dec. 11, will also be a PC VR-only affair. This means that even though Oculus is partnered with Electronic Arts and Respawn on the release, it won't be playable standalone on the new $299 Oculus Quest 2 without a PC connected via Oculus Link. Folks who're interested in checking Above and Beyond out but who don't want to wade into Facebook's VR ecosystem won't have to, either: it's also getting a Steam VR release with full cross-play.
If Medal of Honor multiplayer really does gel in VR, then a wide cross-play release should hopefully give it enough of a playerbase to thrive. Then, if that comes to pass, hopefully we'll all get what we really want in VR: the chance to pilot a Titan. C'mon Respawn, maybe we can't get wallrunning in there, but I want to see what it's like to have BT yoink me up off the ground.