At PAX West 2022, we had the opportunity to meet with Tripwire presents to preview their upcoming VR shooter Espire 2.
Although VR is still considered a niche in the video game industry, it has started to gain some ground. After we had finishing our previous demo with Deceive Inc., we moved over to Espire 2.
Espire 2 Hands-on
Espire 2 was my second experience with VR gaming. As a tall gamer, calibrating the headset and controls for one’s height added an extra layer of challenge. Once the system was calibrated, I felt as if I were playing as the mechanized being in the game rather than an observer.
The game allows players to choose whether or not they want to go guns blazing or play through the level stealthily. Once I had passed through the tutorial portion of the game, I decided to basically go guns-a-blazing shooting at enemies until I was out of ammo.
Killing enemies in the game was fun but took a good bit of time time to adjust to the virtual reality aspect of shooting a gun.
Shooting felt unnatural compared to shooting a gun in real life. Whenever I was attempting to play stealthy, I was required to crouch and move slowly.
Enemies could be taken down by using the repair tool. The repair tool could also be used to heal the character after taking damage.
I found using the repair tool would cause some issues when trying to use other features but that came down to player error rather than the game’s fault.
Trying to adjust your body to move a character beyond the standard controller atmosphere took a while to get used to but I can see the game being a lot of fun once getting oriented to the gameplay. Thankfully, there was a button on the Meta controller that I could push to crouch without having to crouch in real life.
This crouch feature made it easier to hide dead or unconscious bodies and pick up ammo. I could also hide by moving through vents rather than running directly at the enemy. This ultimately saved me when exiting the facility by pop shooting from behind the cover.
As someone who is not that familiar with VR, playing the Espire 2 demo was a lot of fun. The developers did a great job limiting motion blur and creating a smooth transition when moving.
Once I understood the basics of combat, it was almost too easy to take down enemies. Although the game was fun, it will not be able to convince people to pick up an Meta Quest 2 to play it. Hopefully, the game will release on a different platform in a future date.
Espire 2 is launching sometime later in 2022 for Meta Quest 2.