During its livestreamed State of Play presentation today, PlayStation showed a sizzle reel that included a handful of upcoming PSVR games including one called Stardust Odyssey, which we had never heard of before today.
From the brief clips shown during the presentation it looks like a pretty straight-up space shooter, albeit one with lots of bright colors. The locales on display were extremely vibrant with deep purples and strong orange colors. A far cry from the traditional blackness that pervades most space flight games, for obvious reasons.
According to a PS Blog Post from Jordan Parrin, the Art Director & Concept Artist on Stardust Odyssey:
The aim was to create an 80’s-style, French sci-fi universe inspired by the likes of Mœbius and Jean-Claude Mezières, leaning more towards a world of fantasy based on magic and not industrial, advanced technology. We wanted to create a world where you would steer ships filled with ornaments and items made of primitive materials, such as wood, stone, leather and gold, floating through space with their wind-filled sails. The idea was to create a warmer feeling for the players, in contrast to the cold, futuristic materials and minimal design often found in sci-fi games.
The second key element behind the game’s artistic concept was to come up with an original, exotic sci-fi look, taking inspiration from ethnic oriental cultures. The game’s main source of reference is the Silk Road and its convoys of merchants constantly travelling across land and sea to trade their merchandise; the middle-eastern civilizations of nomad clans and ethnic groups like the Berbers.
Choosing the Silk Road as a reference point meant inviting players to travel through two types of environments and atmospheres: deserts and seas. Instead of flying through space, our ships, designed like boats with sails, would float above a sea of clouds. With the constant presence of sand covering the hulls and cabins also referring to the idea of stardust.
Unfortunately we really don’t know anything else at the time of this writing. Stylistically it does evoke some themes from past Stardust games, but this one certainly seems to offer a new perspective on the formula with more action-packed gameplay from what we’ve seen. Perhaps it’s just the name similarity but it gave me some Scavenger’s Odyssey vibes, which was one of the included short games on the PSVR Worlds collection three years ago.
Despite the fact that VR headsets burst onto the market with space shooters such as EVE: Valkyrie, Elite Dangerous, and various others, the genre has been a bit slow since. End Space and Eve are probably the two best on the PSVR specifically, other than the brief X-Wing Mission in the original Star Wars Battlefront reboot.
Let us know what you think of this news, we’ve linked the snippet time stamp for Stardust Odyssey right here.
Update: After publication we updated this story with quotes from the Art Director included in a PS Blog Post.