Having played a lot of VR games in the past two years, I can verify that there’s nothing quite like stepping foot into a virtual world for the first time that’s also occupied by other real people. The first time I played Onward, a realistic tactical team-based military VR shooter, it was remarkable how authentic everything felt.
Now with Evasion, an upcoming cooperative class-based shooter from Archiact, a lot of those same principles are being applied to a bombastic and over-the-top game dripping with personality.
Similar to Blasters of the Universe, Evasion takes the bullet hell genre of shooters and puts it in first-person VR. However, unlike that game, Evasion is squarely focused on delivering fast-paced cooperative thrills. The team reportedly took heavy inspiration from the likes of Borderlands, Mass Effect, and Destiny for their mechanics and multiplayer features. It feels like a combination of Blasters of the Universe and another co-op VR shooter, Gunheart.
To date, Archiact has shown two classes: The Surgeon and The Striker, which are like the combat medic and fast-paced damage-dealer, respectively. Today, the studio is announcing two brand new classes: The Warden and The Engineer. Here’s the class breakdown according to the developers:
The Warden: Our tank. The Warden is ideal for players who like to charge into battle. He can take more damage than any other class and has unique abilities that allow him to get up close and personal with the enemy.
The Surgeon: Our combat medic. The Surgeon is the only class that can heal other players, making him invaluable to any team. The surgeon can also turn his abilities against the enemy in deadly ways.
The Striker: Our fast mover. The Striker is agile and deadly. Her weapons deal awesome damage, and she has unique skills that allow her to bolster teammate’s weapons.
The Engineer: Our most versatile class. The Engineer can use her tether to grab enemies and whip them around. She can also deal incredible damage and energize teammate’s weapons.
A lot of work has gone into balancing each of the two classes. “The Engineer and Striker make a fantastic team,” explains Ian Rooke, Senior Game Designer on Evasion. “The Engineer can clear out large groups of grunts while the Striker focuses her powerful weapons on taking out the big tough guys. Or the Striker can use her finishing move, the Singularity, to pull groups of enemies together while the Engineer fires charges of chain lightning into the cluster, destroying them all simultaneously.”
But even though the Engineer and Striker complement each other in such specific ways, that doesn’t mean that each class can’t be played otherwise or even played solo. Everything is designed to be fun no matter what combo of classes and characters you use.
However, some setups will be more natural than others. “The Warden and Surgeon are the classic gameplay duo where the Warden is the tank and the Surgeon is the healer,” says Rooke. “The big difference in Evasion is that they can both deal devastating damage. The Warden goes charging in and gains a bunch of aggro while the Surgeon keeps him healed from behind. And the two of them lay waste to everything in their path.”
We still have a long ways to go before Evasion’s supposed Fall 2018 release on Steam, according to its store page, which leaves plenty of time for there to hopefully be more details about the game’s progression systems, additional classes ideally, and even variations for maps and missions.
For now, the team took the time to outline just how The Warden and Engineer play to give a better idea for how each class performs in action:
“The Warden is the A.P.C. of the Vanguard. He has the largest shield, wields a shotgun blaster, and lobs high-velocity grenades. His Surge Attack is called ‘Cluster Bombs’. During this attack he is dual wielding grenade launchers that fire clusters of grenades every half second.
The Warden’s finishing move is called ‘Harpoon’. He uses his tether to snatch an enemy out of the sky, yank it to point blank range where he can blow it away with this shotgun. This causes a detonation that blasts outward in a cone, annihilating everything in its path. He can also buff a teammate’s damage resistance, allowing them fight longer and harder.
Players who love explosions and like to charge headfirst into battle will love this class.”
“The Engineer wields deadly energy weapons. Her blaster fires powerful orbs that grow in size as her weapon powers up. Her charge shot fires a blistering ‘Chain Lightning’ attack which can affect multiple enemies. With upgrades, that attack can also stun enemies. Her finishing move is a tether slam. She grabs a weakened enemy with her tether and can toss it around, slamming it into the environment or other enemies, or just send it flying.
The Engineer’s Surge Attack is called ‘The Conductor’. She dual wields fully automatic blasters that fire energy orbs at the enemies, triggering chain lightning on impact. The result is dozens of enemies getting electrocuted and stunned. Her tether can also be used to buff teammate.
Players that like dealing a ton of damage and enjoy the crowd control role are ideal for this class.”
For our hands-on thoughts for how Evasion plays, make sure to read our hands-on write-up from last year and check out the game’s Steam page. Archiact will be at GDC next week demoing the game at Intel’s booth if you want stop by and check it out first-hand.
And if you’ve got any questions or comments about Evasion or Archiact as a whole, be sure to let us know down in the comments below!
Update: This post was updated after publication with a name correction and minor additional details.