Eve: Valkyrie is a multiplayer dogfighting game that uses the technology of virtual reality headsets to give you the sense of being a pilot. Set in the EVE universe the game was developed by CCP Games using Unreal Engine 4 and was released on both Oculus Rift and Playstation VR. This Eve: Valkyrie review is for the Playstation VR.
The storyline in Eve: Valkyrie is almost non-existent. The single player campaign consists of 4 missions called recall missions. The main premise is that when your character dies your consciousness gets downloaded into a clone body. The recall missions are a way for you to learn what happened to you and how you died. These recall missions’ main purpose is to introduce you to the different systems and game modes used in the multiplayer aspect of the game.
By far my favourite part of the single player missions was my mentor Rán Kavik. Voiced by Katee Sackhoff I felt like I had Starbuck from Battlestar: Galactica guiding me though the missions which was a surreal experience. So while the story of Eve: Valkyrie leaves something to be desired. It serves as a great medium to teach you about the multiplayer in the game which really is the focus.
The gameplay in Eve: Valkyrie is rather simple. In multiplayer you have one of three game modes to choose from. The classic team deathmatch where pilots try to score 30 kills before the opposite team (this is my favourite game mode). Then there is the control mode where each team drops drones near 3 relays in the attempt to take control of them. All while trying to kill the other team. The more points you control the more each kill takes of the opposite teams clone reserves. The final mode in multiplayer is Carrier Assault. In this mode pilots take control of relays in order to drop the shields on a carrier so it can be attacked. This is by far the most interesting mode.
The main problem I have found in multiplayer is that if there are not enough players to fill a team A.I gets assigned to the team. The A.I in these game seems extremely inconsistent. It seems like the A.I on one side are ACE pilots while the other teams A.I is no better than cannon fodder.
If you do not want to play PvP there is an option to play Co-op against A.I. Unfortunately the only mode available against A.I is team deathmatch. So you might end up getting a little bored of the repetitiveness. The A.I is the main problem in this match. In one match you could be quite even in ability, the next they are 2 easy and then the next match its almost impossible to score a kill. This can make the game rather infuriating.
For a more single player experience you have the options of scout missions where you get to explore the maps in Eve: Valkyrie without enemies. All while looking for salvage and echo points which give you a look into the lore of the game. There is also the option of survival mode where you go against waves of enemies and try to survive as long as possible.
That is basically all the game has to offer. There is not much but the loop of playing missions, getting rewarded with new ships then upgrading them ships is majorly addictive. I found myself saying I will stop playing after I fully upgrade the current ship I was using only to get a new ship and start all over again. I spent more time on this game than any other VR game.
Graphics and Immersion
Eve: Valkyrie is the best looking VR game I have played. The first time I played I found myself awe stuck. Getting Catapulted out of your tube into space for the first time was amazing. It’s hard to express in words just how amazing that experience was. It’s by far the most exciting experience I have had in VR, and in my opinion made buying the Playstation VR headset worth the money. As for the immersion aspect of playing Eve: Valkyrie, I often found myself forgetting I was wearing a VR headset. There was a moment I reached to get my drink. I knew my drink was right next to me but when I looked down to pick it up I was confused when I could not see it. It took me a couple of moments to realise I was still playing the game.
I found the controls of Eve: Valkyrie to be intuitive and extremely responsive. Even without being told which buttons did what, I would reach to perform a barrel roll the buttons where right where they should be. Boost, breaking and even the ships counter-measures were all where I expected them to be. Everything about the controls felt natural and is probably some of the best controls I have seen in any game and not just a VR game.