Developer: CCP Games
Publisher: CCP Games
Platform: PS4 with PSVR(Reviewed), PC with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive
Release Date: March 28, 2016 PC, October 13, 2016 PlayStation VR
Players: Single and Online Multiplayer
This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review above, or read the full review of the game below.
The vastness of space is hard thing to imaging experiencing. It has been the subject of movies, novels, and games ever since those medias have existed.
With the advent of VR new experiences have now come to life and EVE: Valkyrie aims to allow our inner space cowboys and girls to experience it to the fullest, but that experience is not going to be a good one for everybody.
Valkyrie is an amazingly detailed game, everything from menus to the inside of your cockpit are amazingly fleshed out. Seeing your in game body in a similar position to yourself holding the controller helps you feel like you are actually there.
This game could have easily failed if they went with a overly stylized version of space instead of the more realistic and gritty style they chose. It is actually shocking to see a PlayStation VR launch title look so amazing.
A minor gripe I have is that the loading screens tend to pull you out of the immersion of the game. Everything just seems so amazing, then suddenly, a loading screen that does not blend at all with the rest of the game. Granted, load times are relatively quick, but it’s enough to pull you out of the experience.
The ship designs are divided up into 3 unique classes Heavy, FIghter, Support. As you progress in Multiplayer you will be able to unlock upgrades as well as new and better ships within that class.
You can also unlock customizations like paint jobs, cockpit designs and emblems. Sadly it is rather hard to see these designs when you are moving quickly through space firing rockets at said target.
Gameplay is rather straightforward and not at all complicated, which makes the game accessible at a control level to almost everyone. Each ship has three types of actions, normally boiling down to two attacks and a special ability. These simple controls help keep the action moving along at breakneck speeds.
One word of caution to all potential players: if you get vertigo easily or motion sick, stay far away from this game. While I personally did not experience any issues, and normally handle my own in multiplayer fairly well, others that I had play the game became sick extremely fast.
For those who don’t get ill they will find themselves being able to fly through wrecked ships at fast speeds, pulling off Star Wars style Death Star trench runs, and avoiding enemy fire throw space colonies.
With all that this game does extremely well in terms of game-play, the biggest problem is there is not enough variety of maps in multiplayer or single player story missions, clocking in at just 4, which are extremely short. When you start the game you feel like you are about to embark on an epic space journey.
However, the single player is mostly set up for you to get a feel for the ships and combat, which it does competently, but it was not the setup I feel most players will be expecting. Even with the lack of variety, you can easily spend 40 hours in this game within a blink of an eye.
This might stem from the fact that EVE Online is just that, online, and this spin off is more of what the company knows and is focused on.
They do try their hand at some exploratory single player modes that will see the player looking for audio logs, picking up bits and pieces of the story, while searching wreckage for salvage.
This is a nice change of pace if you just want to fly a ship around in space without being blasted to bits, enjoying VR space flight. There is a Horde type mode as well that has leader boards, but get ready for a real challenge if you do not have any multiplayer ships unlocked.
One thing in the game that makes me scratch my head is micro transactions to buy in game currency. Do you really need that extra paint job right that minute? Others will barely see it and you can unlock it in a few rounds of multiplayer you are going to do anyway.
I understand that’s where EVE Online makes its bread and butter, and some marketing guy most likely came in and told the team it was a good idea, but the developers tucked it off to the side out of the way, so at least it really does not effect anything.
With that said, there are a whole lot of ships and unlockables to be earned via multiplayer, where you will be spending 90% of your time with the game. If you play well enough, it’s like you hit a loot pinata after every match-until you unlock everything in game. Most of the unlocks are visual, but you will be getting quite a few ship upgrades as well.
Music fits well with the themes, and while not having anything new or mind blowing, are extremely competent in their compositions. There is a bit of variety to them as well, so you won’t feel like you are in a loop when looking through menus, picking out ships, or looking at stats.
When it comes to the sound department, that is where Valkyrie steps up their game. There was not a single time where I questioned the execution of sound choice. For VR this is extremely important. When you get ready to be push out into via a magnetic sling shot, the sounds and execution are simply perfect. This is often overlooked, but it is vital for a good VR game, and Valkyrie nails it.
You are a clone of a clone of a dead person. In what is easily the weakest part of the game, Valkyrie sets the story up to explain why you are able to re-spawn in multiplayer. With an interesting premise having vast potential, they use next to none of it. The story is divided into 4 short missions, which set up some amazing ideas, and then it just ends. Everything is geared to pushing you into multiplayer matches.
EVE: Valkyrie is an amazingly strong launch title for the Playstation VR, and VR in general. While being light on multiplayer maps and story missions you can easily find yourself lost in the experience, not even noticing that you have sunk a full day into playing the game. This is a VR title that will stay on my shelf and serve as a benchmark on how to competently make a VR experience.
EVE: Valkyrie was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a digital copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.
The Verdict: 8.0
- A fully immersive VR experience right in your living room.
- Beautiful and detailed world that will draw you in.
- Amazing space battles, that set a benchmark for game development.
- Way to few story missions.
- Needs more multiplayer maps.