One of our favorite Early Access SteamVR titles is getting a whole lot better today just in time for the holidays. The latest Zero Dark update for Island 359 [Early Access Review: 8/10] will add full trackpad locomotion, a new arcade mode, the legendary T-Rex dinosaur, a new progression system, and a massive all around overhaul.
Ever since Cloudgate Studio’s debut VR title released earlier this year, it’s started a trend of large, game-changing updates. Instead of just adding a weapon here and an enemy there, each update has fundamentally altered the way the game can be played. Most recently with the Second Blood update, they added the much-feared triceratops, a stealth-based hunting game mode, and the ability to use a powerful bow instead of just guns.
The Zero Dark update is adding even more to this dino-hunter’s paradise. The biggest addition is undoubtedly the inclusion of optional trackpad locomotion, meaning you no longer have to use the sprint-based teleportation feature for movement. After that, there’s also a new Arcade Mode which plays out like a relatively standard wave shooter, or horde mode style affair. There are three different general locations (Jungle, Beach, and Valley) with 5 different areas per location, adding up to a lot more content than just the single map and endless waves you might find in other wave shooters.
“As you progress through Arcade Mode, you’ll earn credits and level up to allowing you to spend your earned credits on player or weapon upgrades,” Cloudgate President and Co-Founder Steve Bowler explained in an email. “We will be making these carry over to Mercenary Modes in the near future, but we need to blow out the profile system a bit more before we can do that. The plan is that playing Arcade Mode will allow you to spend your XP on some actual inventory items as well that you can take with you to improve the Mercenary Mode missions, allowing you to achieve higher scores. You can level up your gun damage, reload speeds, bow distance, health (there’s even a small health regen), etc.”
You also probably noticed in the images here that they’ve added a T-Rex finally as well. Bowler explained that it’s still a work-in-progress (like everything in this game so far, it is in Early Access after all), but the beast is already included as a boss in the Valley map’s Arcade Mode currently. A Mercenary Mode mission featuring the T-Rex should be coming as soon, which “will be your premium Rex experience” according to Bowler. That’s expected early next year.
In addition to a handful of other updates and tweaks throughout, this is shaping up to be another major update for what’s already a beefy game. You can purchase Island 359 on Steam for $19.99 with the current Steam Winter Sale bringing that down to $14.99.