Most of the people who follow the development of VR have tried CCP Games’ EVE: Valkyrie at least once. The award-winning space shooter was one of the very first titles to be supported by virtual reality hardware developers. At gamescom, we had the chance to get a glimpse at the rest of CCP’s line-up as well.
Even though EVE: Valkyrie has been around for so long, I haven’t get the chance to try it in the past. As the game is pretty fast-paced in its nature, I didn’t feel quite comfortable with it. I genuinely enjoyed exploring my environment in a spaceship, but wasn’t that much into the 360-degree combat. Luckily, CCP had brought another game – the arcade shooter EVE Gunjack.
While Valyrie throws you into hectic space battles, Gunjack doesn’t have any movement options. You take on the role of a gun turret operator on a stationary spaceship, which needs to be defended. By moving your head, you aim at incoming enemy ships and projectiles, so your hands are only used for switching between fire modes and for triggering the shooting. EVE Gunjack provides players with an intuitive, easy-to-learn VR experience, which is not only perfect for newcomers, but also for people who just want to have an enjoyable time or have general problems with movement in virtual reality. It perfectly supplements Valkyrie with something the game was so desperately missing: casual fun.
Also, I had my first VR multiplayer experience at CCP’s gamescom booth. Project Arena, an upcoming HTC Vive and Oculus Rift title, allows players to play against each other in a Tron-like future version of Pong. You face off in a corridor – with one hand, you protect yourself with a reflecting shield, in the other, you wield a gauntlet that launches glowing discs. How gameplay works needs no explanation, as it’s intuitive and extremely easy to pick up. Playing this while actually being close to the second player will most likely be a rare case. That exactly is the great thing, as I felt totally close to my opponent, which allows connecting players all around the world in a new way. With this sort of media, the Skype call with the partner in a long-distance relationship might even become obsolete.
Altogether, CPP Games offers a diverse line-up for VR-ready players. EVE Valkyrie lets players test their stomaches and be competitive in ultra-fast space battles, EVE: Gunjack knows exactly how to make players comfortable with the medium, and Project Arena feels like the VR dream of the 90s.