EVE Valkyrie Review
It is every kid’s dream, or at least every kid who is fascinated with the vastness of the unknown universe, to have the opportunity to be a space pilot. Ever since I was young and first saw Last Starfighter I wanted to be that kid, recruited to fly a futuristic star fighter and defend the galaxy. Well know that reality has come to fruition, or at least virtually. EVE Valkyrie was my number one game on my list to grab with my PSVR headset, finally I get to live out those far-fetched dreams.
EVE Valkyrie first released in March on Windows for use with Oculus Rift. Designed solely for VR, EVE Valkyrie sees you take the role of a clone of a deceased pilot, designed as a body for his or her consciousness. So not only are you a space pilot but you are also immortal. Overall the story has little depth, you are part of a space pirate team named Valkyrie, you blow other starships up, and that’s about it. But Valkyrie was not designed for its story, it was designed to make little boys dreams a virtual reality.
There is a smallish campaign mode but the game you will play and return for is the multi-player. Matches are made of two teams with eight pilots on each side. Team death match and capture the flag modes are available along with a more unique mode, Carrier Assault. Eight versus eight sounds small when you consider the vastness that is space, yet in game you are never far from the action. Things get hectic and dogfights are fast, heated and at times chaotic. All matches are frantic, and although I have played all three modes, I spend most of my time in Carrier Assault.
Carrier Assault see’s your team attempting to take down the opponents Flagship. To do this you need to capture two points to take down the ships shields. Once completed you need to take down the Flagship by attacking its weak points. Whilst this is happening you need to worry about defending fighters, things get hectic and if you succeed there are few games that make you feel as successful.
Remember this is a team based game, team work generally wins out. There are three different classes of space craft, Fighters which are great for dog fighting, heavy fighters that are great for controlling an area and support fighters which can aid your team with repair bots and also dropping mines. When you have a team that has decent pilots for each you the game is brilliant, however have an unbalanced team and defeat can come quickly. There are also a variety of ships for each class to unlock along with mods to add and enhance to each ship.
I have always enjoyed a good flight sim but have always felt that if they could somehow become more immersive they would benefit more than any other genre. Welcome VR. From the first moment that you are in your cockpit you will be in awe. Each cockpit is unique and very different; all feel extremely real. Just when you’re thinking, “how good is this” you get ready for launch. A launch tube lights up and suddenly your ship accelerates, the nose lifts a little under the massive thrust and you shoot at huge speed toward the opening. Then things feel slower, you are in space. The first dozen or so times I launched I had a stupid grin on my face as I leaned back into my chair. The feeling is amazing!
The controls are very simple to use, similar to any flight sim you have ever played. The only difference being that you control the ships within a virtual reality environment. Some weapons use a lock on system that is targeted by looking at your enemies. It works extremely well and looking around is your best hope of surviving. However, in intense combat with a few fighters locked in battle your constant movement can cause disorientation. It has happened to me a few times and feels quite strange. Those who suffer motion sickness will not enjoy this.
Overall EVE Valkyrie makes me happy every time I play it. You really feel as though you are piloting a space craft and the action is frantic. I would have loved to have had an in-depth story to play through but I am content with the fantastic multi player on offer. The only issue may be longevity as earning enough xp to use is a grind. You are able to use real money to speed up the process and at times you see a pay to win strategy employed, which makes the grind all that more real. But from what I have seen CCP’s latest addition to console is a good one, I am now even more excited for Star Wars VR. Now excuse me, I have some space pirating to attend to!
The Good: A real sense of being a pilot, great visuals and sound, fast frantic action, Carrier Assault is excellent as a mode, I’m a space pirate.
The Bad: Pay to win or grind, longevity may be a concern, no story mode, may cause disorientation.
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