Virtual Reality had a massive presence at Sony’s annual PlayStation Experience event. One of the most obvious examples of this was CCP Games’ EVE: Valkyrie booth. Sporting lines upwards of three hours, it was also one of the most popular, even if the game has been out for a bit (peep our review here). We managed to get some head-on time with the game running on the latest patch and PlayStation 4 Pro while at the event, and have a preview ready below.
Cool Setup, CCP!
EVE: Valkyrie definitely had one of the more unique booth setups at PSX. There were several cockpits on either side of the booth, separating teams out automatically. Each booth was itself a mockup of the cockpits of one of the actual ships from the game. Inside the cockpit was everything you needed to play – a PS4 Pro, Camera, VR headset, and DualShock 4. Once an attendant wiped down the VR headset and assisted you with setup, you were off in one of the coolest gaming setups seen in quite a while.
Alright, so, admittedly, the typical gamer’s setup won’t be so elaborate. But the basics of the game could be picked up easily in this kind of environment. If you’ve played EVE: Valkyrie before, then not much has changed in terms of controls. Head-tracking is still very freeing, and necessary in the case of certain weapons. EVE: Valkyrie remains one of the coolest examples of intense VR action done right.
The new map, dubbed Gateway, takes place in and around a massive, under-construction warp gate. The scale of the structure shouldn’t be taken lightly – as you zip around and through many of its intricate rings and pillars, you’ll find yourself amazed at just how many locations and paths you can find through it. Once you’re more familiar with the map, you’ll no doubt use parts of the structure as strategic cover. The entire thing has a planet as a backdrop, which adds to the sense of scale, and is awe-inspiring. But you’re not here to sightsee, so pay attention before you end up as cannon fodder!
What is new is pilot customization. Though we weren’t shown it during the demo, you can now purchase pilot flight suits and helmets, along with color schemes to match. Naturally, these all cost silver, one of the game’s currencies. While waiting for the match to start, players could look around the area, and see teammates, including the exact direction they were currently looking in. This kind of felt like a missed opportunity to show off the customization options available, but with such a long line at the convention it is understandable if they wanted to move things along.
The PlayStation 4 Pro version we played benefits from dynamic shadows, increased and more detailed particle FX, increased resolutions all around, and reduced loading times. All this means that the game is generally more enjoyable, and better looking. I can confirm that even though we were on a massive level, with explosions and ships all around, the frame rate stayed solid throughout. Many people walked out of their cockpits after the short six-minute demo sweating, which may depend on their prior experience with VR, or lack thereof, but is a testament to how immersive the experience can be.
If you already have EVE: Valkyrie, then you already have this latest update! CCP Games appears to have been working hard at taking player feedback and incorporating it into this latest update, and there should be more to come before the end of support is reached for this entertaining VR game.