EVE: Valkyrie was one of the biggest titles in the Oculus Rift’s launch line-up, but it’s got the potential to be even bigger for PlayStation VR. With recent releases like Overwatch, competitive multiplayer is better than ever on consoles, and Valkyrie stands a chance at getting ahead of the competition when it comes to VR’s impact on the genre.
So it’s a good thing that the PS VR version is shaping up nicely.
I got to play a seven minute round of Valkyrie on PS VR at Gamescom this week. As someone that’s played a fair few matches of the game on Rift, I came away pleasantly surprised with just how well the console version of the game is shaping up.
Visually, for example, Valkyrie looks pretty much identical to what you can see on PC, despite running on lesser hardware. Its textures might not be quite as crisp (it’s hard to compare without the PC version sitting there) and some of the fidelity is lost on the kit’s slightly blurrier screen, but I had exactly the same kind of immersive experience on PS VR that I’d come to expect from the Rift version.
It wasn’t long before I was throwing my shoulder over my head looking for stragglers and boosting out of dangerous situations, secretly enjoying the game’s death animation too. If Valkyrie’s final PS4 build can deliver this experience and enough players flock to populate the servers, then it could have a long life on the console.
The DualShock 4 is also the perfect tool to play Valkyrie with, much like the Xbox One gamepad that it uses on Rift. Its triggers provide a satisfying crunch to firing off a gatling gun or providing a torrent of heavy gunfire. Though CCP’s games are often associated with being quite slow and cumbersome, Valkyrie on PS4 plays more like a blistering first-person shooter, perfect for any new PS VR gamer to jump straight into.
I also got to play the game’s Crossfire map, which was recently added to the PC version via a free update. The extra time it’s taken for PS VR to launch will allow Valkyrie to be a more fully featured product when it finally releases in just under two month’s time, without fragmenting the community with extra maps that not everyone plays, though those are sure to come later down the line.
Overall I expect EVE: Valkyrie on PlayStation VR to be another headline launch title. It’s going to be interesting to see just how popular it becomes with those ready to invest in Sony’s device in the near future.
But that’s not all; I also got the chance to sit down with the latest (and perhaps final) edition of Gunjack, CCP Shanghai’s turret-based shooter. The game debuted on Gear VR before making its way to Rift and Vive and is now predictably bound of PS VR. We’re still eagerly anticipating news on its sequel, but the console version is shaping up nicely in the meantime.
I played a single level of the game, which remained largely similar to the experience I’d had when I first played through the campaign on Gear VR. It’s a light, breezy introduction to the platform, essentially giving you the same initial wow factor as Valkyrie though not risking losing you too quickly in deeper mechanics, and it feels great to shoot with a controller rather than a touchpad. If you’re looking for a great piece to show less experienced gamers the wonders of VR, this is it.
The bigger question for Gunjack’s PS VR version will be if it finds a place in the headset’s burgeoning launch line-up, which is quickly becoming populated with far more compelling shooters like Battlezone and World War Toons. That’s an issue that will likely be addressed through pricing rather than features, and if CCP does nail that tag then I’d have no problem recommending it to anyone looking for something quick to play on the platform.
So it’s so far, so good for CCP on PlayStation VR. What we’re more excited to see are the future content updates for EVE: Valkyrie, with features like cross-headset matches in the pipeline, it’s an exciting time to be a pilot in the EVE Universe. Combine that with continued progress on Project Arena, which looks set to arrive on PS VR too, and CCP’s VR offerings are as bright as ever.
Now if only someone could work out how to get EVE Online in VR.