In February, we pondered if Espire 1 could be the VR stealth game Metal Gear fans were clamoring for. Michael Wentworth-Bell started his project to fill a void that he only recognized because he personally wanted to see more stealth games on VR platforms and his prototype footage for Espire 1 showed off an impressive stealth shooter with fluid locomotion, engaging weapon/tool use, and even voice command elements to fully immerse you and make you feel like an ultra badass operative.
Despite a bit of silence, development charges forward for the intriguing stealth game and the first development diary has surfaced which details a couple game engine additions and new controller support.
From the video above, we can tell Espire 1 officially has adopted Oculus Touch support. The original tease of the game showed the dev playing with the HTC Vive controllers and, considering how features utilized the devices (using handheld cameras to peek around corners, rolling over enemy bodies), this announcement was likely not really up in the air and just a matter of time as development moved forward.
The other two elements shown off in the diary display the dedication to making this the stealth VR game fans of the genre expect and deserve. The first is an evolution of the locomotion within the game. Requested by fans after the prototype debut, Wentworth-Bell has welcomed realistic traversal and climbing to the game’s engine. Players will be able to grab protruding ledges to move hand-over-hand as they traverse areas realistically both vertically or horizontally.
The other feature, called the Physics Actor Messaging System, gives realistic properties to inanimate objects in Espire 1’s world. This ultimately means that items will give off realistic sounds as you use them to distract enemies. It even allows you to strike enemies in the head with weapons instead of shooting, giving you another stealthy option to take them out while saving ammo. Both of these features enhance the potential immersion of Espire 1 in a large way, laying a couple really solid stones on the path toward what is looking like a mechanically sound VR stealth game.
Wentworth-Bell apologized for going radio silent since the initial reveal of the game, saying that he simply was overwhelmed and unprepared for the massive reaction to the prototype video. He’s working full-time on the game now and if he continues to make massive improvements like what’s shown in this dev diary, he may end up with quite the game on his hands.