August 21, 2018
VR looks cool, but are those sweaty, panting gamers just out of shape or is there something to be said for what VR games can offer regarding exercise? After my countless hours spent in a wide variety of VR games, here are my top 3 weight-loss VR games that offer the most replayability:
Beat Saber had a few gameplay videos go viral before its release, so odds are you’ve heard about or seen this game. Often simplified to Guitar Hero with lightsabers, Beat Saber has players slashing at incoming blocks to the beat of different electronic songs explicitly created for the game. The direction of each slash must match up with the arrow on the front face of the block otherwise it will be considered a missed beat.
Although the official level editor of the game has yet to release, there is a free mod that surfaced which allows players to create their own levels. This mod also connects to an online repository where players can download new song levels made by others.
I’m a real sucker for beat games, but only when they’re well-implemented. Let me tell you Beat Saber’s implementation is just that. The gameplay is smooth and cohesive. Nothing feels like it doesn’t or shouldn’t belong in the game.
To top it all off, this game will keep you moving. It might not be the most strenuous activity, but it’s constant, and that’s what will start helping you healthily shed some pounds. Skilled players are going to see the most benefit as the harder the difficulty you play, the more engaging and active the gameplay gets. The Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise even did a study on Beat Saber, rating the game’s exercise as equivalent to that of playing Tennis!
Beat Saber is my personal favorite on the list for the simple fact that it keeps you active while not requiring you to spin around and lose immersion by having to skip over the cord to the HMD. With wireless solutions not quite reaching the level of affordability for a mass market yet most of us will still be using our corded HMDs, which this game makes sure isn’t an issue. There are other games that keep you even more active than Beat Saber, but I think this one blends a simple concept, cohesive gameplay, and physical activity very nicely.
Want to get an arm workout in for the day? Merely play Sprint Vector, and your arms and shoulders will feel like pudding after a few matches.
Sprint Vector is a game where players can become one of the galaxy’s fastest sprinters and compete in matches against other runners to be the first to complete a set number of laps on the map. Think Mario Kart without the go-karts, and everybody is faster than Usain Bolt.
Players will have to run, jump, climb, fling, drift, and fly their way across different sections of each track and use different projectiles and upgrades to gain an edge over their opponents. Nearly all the game is played with some sort of arm motion, the primary one being swinging your arms back and forth in a sprinting-like motion. What’s even more fun is that the game utilizes some wild electronic music to get you in the mood for your races.
It can also be played online or in singleplayer, meaning even if people aren’t online and looking for matches you can still play against bots that, in my experience, felt pretty challenging.
As you can imagine, “fake sprinting” is going to wipe you out after a little while, but your arms and shoulders are going to end up getting a good workout!
One of the most hyped up VR games of all-time, GORN thrusts players into fierce, gladiatorial combat with all the fixings: blood, guts, and the deadliest of weapons. GORN has gained its fame through its’ violent combat, physics, and the hilarious gibberish enemies yell at you during games. Enemies that are hit will move with respect to the forces applied to them, and they can even lose limbs depending on the weapon you use and force you apply!
The weapons you can use include everything from nunchakus and short swords to massive two-handed weapons and specialty fist weapons like claws and grappling hooks. You’re sure to find something in GORN you like dismembering your enemies with.
If you’re looking for a good, overall workout, I’d say GORN is going to be the VR game to give it to you. GORN will have you throwing punches, swinging weapons, and spinning around every which way to survive.
My friends and I have put many hours into GORN, and from our experiences no matter if you’re fit or out of shape, you’re going to be getting a workout in this game. Jump into Endless Mode, and you’ll be stuck fighting off hordes of gladiators that will get more difficult over time and get you working up a sweat. Endless Mode also means you can play as long as you want, then just quit when you’re ready to. You won’t have to worry about leaving a match, teammates, or anything like that. It’s just you, your weapons, and a bloodied arena!
People wake up sore the next morning from this game, most of the time in places they didn’t know they could be sore. Swinging digital weapons through the air and not actually hitting anything means you won’t have any sort of opposite force to stop your swing, which is where the real muscle work happens. Did you just throw all of your weight into a swing? Guess what – after you slice off your foe’s head you’d better be ready to stop that swing too!
VR games have shown they aren’t merely activities, but physical activities. I wouldn’t recommend completely replacing your workout with VR games as they lack true physical force behind any lifting movements unlike traditional lifting workouts, but they are definitely a good source of aerobic exercise and could help you with your cardio.
Either way, these three games are sure to get your heart pumping a bit more than the average VR game!