Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – EVE Valkyrie
I’d never played a dogfighting game before, but the promise of EVE Valkyrie in Virtual Reality lured me in. Immersion is something often discussed in gaming, and many had suggested that with the era of Virtual Reality now here, the levels of immersion were primed to explode thanks to our ability to completely shut ourselves inside the experience. While this is partially true and has benefitted other “traditional” games in theatre mode, games developed intentionally for VR such as EVE Valkyrie are the biggest beneficiaries. What you get when you play EVE is a fast raced, totally immersive, blood racing experience that could only be as good as it is thanks to VR.
Players immediately have a nice selection of modes available to them, from the typical Team Deathmatch to point capturing modes, but the one that sticks out amongst the rest is Carrier Assault. The goal is a simple one, take down the enemy flagship, but to achieve this there are some steps you must go through including capturing key points, which knock out the flagship’s shields – only then can you launch your final assault. The 8v8 Team Deathmatch is great, as are those other typical Multiplayer Modes, but the arm wrestle that takes place in Carrier Assault is riveting as both a participant and as an observer.
EVE Valkyrie is frenetic and you can’t afford to drop your guard because you could be under attack at any time with the barrage possibly coming from any direction. You need to balance aggression with a defensive mindset and should ensure, wherever possible, to remain within short range of your teammates. As a team-based game, it’s important that the team has solid communication because should one member of the team take off on their own, without any support, then it will quite likely result in lights out for them. It also helps if the team is a balanced one, with an even distribution of fighter class ships as well as heavy fighters and support ships.
Perhaps this one is my own fault for letting my hopes and expectations get the better of me, but I was a little disappointed that 1v1 skirmishes essentially descend to the two players circling one another until one pulls a tricky move that gives them the upper hand. I would have loved to have seen some of the fancy tricks play out that we see in films such as Star Wars, though I’m sure my stomach may have struggled to handle it, and I’m sure players such as myself were a consideration in this decision. What was much more satisfying however was the moment you spot an ally in trouble, swoop in and pick the attacker off – the self-five I gave myself was fantastic.
Level progression is very slow, making the grind towards unlocking new ship varieties feel like a chore. You can speed this process up by equipping an “implant” which boosts the gained XP, however, the effects of these are only temporary with the ability to buy more hinging on the amount of in-game, or real life currency you have at your disposal. I felt that you were being nudged towards spending some of your own hard earned a little too often, and I certainly got frustrated by the fact that despite having already paid full price for the game, I was being taken down by those with more potent weapons than I purely because they’ve paid extra to progress quicker.
There’s much to enjoy about EVE Valkyrie, it’s fast paced, exciting and has team-centric focus which requires players to be alert to all their surroundings at all times. What leaves a sour taste in the mouth though is that in order to be a gun contributor to the team, you may find yourself needing to fork out a little more money on top of your initial purchase – something that understandably many may not wish to do. EVE Valkyrie is my first dogfighting experience, but I’ve quickly realised that VR is the only way to play these types of games. How could I go back and play a game that doesn’t allow me to swing by head about and look at what’s going on behind me?