Space Junkies Hands-On: Unreal Tournament In Zero-G VR

by David Jagneaux • September 27th, 2018

I’m a simple man. I like zooming around in space, I like shooting stuff, and I like VR. Space Junkies is a game that combines all of these things with the polish of a AAA title directly from Ubisoft and it’s shaping up to be one of the best new competitive shooters in the VR space.

By doubling down on competitive multiplayer, Space Junkies does a lot right. The tracking is excellent, the visuals are superb, and the sheer breadth of ways you can customize your loadout and upgrade your avatars makes this feel like, end-to-end, one of the most feature-rich shooters we’ve seen.

Please do me a favor and watch this trailer. Just do it. It’s only a minute long and it’s guaranteed to make you smile:

Space Junkies is a very, very fast game. The standard movement speed is already very quick as you zip around maps in zero-gravity, but you can also engage an extra boost to escape hairy situations or close the gap on your enemies. Each of the various avatars all have their own stats for health and speed, varying between fast and squishy with low health or slow and tanky with lots of health. In the past I’ve played basic modes like Team Deathmatch and Free-for-all, but this newest demo gave me a first look at a brand new “King” game mode.

In King, there is a crown placed on the map. When picked up, that player is labeled as the “King” and has a floating crown over their head and all enemy players can see their location at all times. The match we played was just 2v2, so things didn’t get too crazy. The objective of the mode is to possess the crown until your team’s score reaches 100 — you can only gain points while someone on your team is wearing the crown. Once the crown is picked up, the only way to get it is to kill the person currently wearing it.

This isn’t that inventive of a concept, we’ve seen iterations on this sort of game mode in shooters over the years, but it’s nice to see they’re delivering some variety beyond the typical deathmatch scenarios. Other objective-based modes would be really cool to see hopefully in the future.

The other tidbit of newness we got to see during this latest Space Junkies demo was a brand new map. At the  center was a large open area and it was surrounded on all sides by corridors and cave passages. Certain areas of cave walls and even floating barrels can be destroyed to alter the map’s pathways and cause some delicious mayhem.

So far I’ve been really impressed with Space Junkies visually and this map only strengthened that feeling. Colors are bright and eye-catching and the team at Ubisoft has done a great job of giving everything a strong sense of personality. It’d be very tough to mistake Space Junkies for any other game, which is a great credit to the art team that’s worked on this one.

Space Junkies is due to release later this year on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Don’t forget to watch our past livestream, comparison to Echo Combat, and previous hands-on impressions for more.

And let us know what you think of the game so far down in the comments below!

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