EVE Valkyrie & Oculus Rift
This old gamer cannot lie: I can’t express enough excitement for this game. EVE Valkyrie has, at this point – all. The developer’s gambit with going full-on VR *ONLY* on the Oculus Rift (you could win both in a bundle if you sign up for our little contest here), the hyped trailers and alpha testers and a game with a variety of playing modes that are made to attract everyone. [We talked about Valkyrie going Oculus only here, btw – Editor]
Up until I found out about EVE Valkyrie, I used to look at all the videos of people using VR sets (such as the famous “sex” scene with Sandra Bullock and Sly from Demolition Man. You know, the film where he gets teleported to the future to fight present future Wesley Snipes who is, obviously, a genius criminal wanted for awesome crimes against humanity? No?) and wondered if that would happen in my lifetime. Looks like it has – right?
If Valkyrie manages to live up to the hype, it just might open up a whole new level to future gaming. Launching alongside the new Crescent Bay platform, it just might be the thing that will propel these two companies to a whole new level. It is a perfect example of corporate synergy, so to speak. But let’s take a look at what’s waiting for us this spring when everything launches!
A Whole New World
According to Andrew Willans, the head designer of EVE Valkyrie, the VR experience will be something that will have to come with basic training (EVE Online, anyone?) because of the control system, the need to visually track enemies, as well as looking at the dashboard for ship status. It’s going to be one hell of a ride!
Of course, given CCP’s known habit of making the learning curve of their games ultra-steep, the game comes with a “scout” mode where they let players fly around, exploring the environment and just hanging out in space. This should be a great way to get people acquainted with the VR environment, as well as warm them up for the traditional 5vs5 deatchmatch and a can of whoop-ass that’s likely to be opened in their general vicinity in PvP combat. If you’d like to avoid said can, the game features two additional game modes, one being a single player campaign called Recall, and a classic Survival mode.
If CCP’s gambit pays off and this it might start a revolution.
The ships in the game will be your basic fighter, heavies (‘tanks’), and support ships. Simple and direct, with weapons being the ‘usual’ gatling guns and missiles (although ‘usual’ in 3D VR isn’t usual in the usual sense…).
The heavies are pure tankers loaded with armor and a micro-warp ability in order to jump short ranges when needed. Support ships are sort of a mix and match between an engineer and a healer, with abilities to drain enemy shields, spiderbots and your essential Mr. Fixing Friendlies.
The more you fight, the better you get and the more experience you earn. The XP gained will allow you to buy ships and customize them to make your own birds of prey – something that we’re really excited about here at FoH. XP also boosts your rep and helps you become known for your mad sk1llz. Of course, this wouldn’t be the 21st century without the usual microtransactions which, the developers note, will not affect the game experience (famous last words, I know). At FoH we’re of the opinion that very, very few games have gotten microtransactions ‘right’, so we’re very leery on this aspect of Valkyrie. We’re certainly hopeful that it’s relegated strictly to cosmetic details only and doesn’t impact gameplay, but details remain to be seen.
The game’s visuals are “OMG” impressive, but what makes the game even more stunning is the fact that it is being made for Crescent Bay, so no one has seen seen what the game will actually look and feel like. As it currently looks drop-dead gorgeous, it’s gonna be impressive as hell!
If CCP’s gambit pays off and this medium lifts off it might start a revolution, but it will be interesting to see if AAA developers will pick up the scent and get on board the gravy train. Barriers to entry are many (you have to have a Rift after all, and a computer capable of pushing ~90 FPS TO said Rift) but as tech improves, they’ll definitely lessen. One other question will be how will the wider gaming audience react to something that is that intense – will it be the famous story of the “a man can’t travel faster than 20MPH of he’ll die” and/or Betamax? I doubt it. I think and hope VR is here to stay.
Unlike Sly, I will embrace the future and most definitely get myself a Rift + Valkyrie, just to see what VR induced stomach-churning feels like. Wait, Katee Sackhoff is the voice actor for Valkyrie?
Alright, take my money!
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