EVE: Valkyrie (PS4) Review
- OMG that cockpit view... it really is breathtaking!
- Solid online play
Not So Much?
- Heavy with micro-transactions that can allow a pay-2-win issue to creep in with higher powered craft
- As fun as it is the experience needs a little more depth as you can become quickly fatigued with the action - more maps and modes please!
If you’ve just spend £350/$400 on a new technology toy what you want is that one title that can really wow your friends and justify that hefty purchase. EVE: Valkyrie just might be that purchase from the PSVR launch titles.
f you’ve just spend £350/$400 on a new technology toy what you want is that one title that can really wow your friends and justify that hefty purchase. EVE: Valkyrie just might be that purchase from the PSVR launch titles.
CCP have been adding to the EVE franchise for a few years now with this latest release consisting solely of a dogfighting space combat title. EVE: Valkyrie offers you the chance to get in the cockpit of several different ships, each class feeling suitably different to the last.
Once your basic training is over you are free to join any of the game types on offer including deathmatches and capture point style games. The carrier assault and defence scenario is probably the most rounded and the one I spent the majority of my time in. Here you must first knock out the shields on the enemy’s carrier. Once these are down you then have to pool your efforts to finally inflict enough damage to take the carrier out. All the while fighters hound you – it’s a very intense experience.
Each mission will net you currency and the ability to upgrade your craft as well as unlock new ones. Tweaking the weapons, speed, shields and health on your ship can help give you the edge in battles. Initially these upgrades and new ships come thick and fast but progress soon slows giving way to upgrade frustrations that can only be resolved with immense amounts of grinding or some dreaded microtransactions.
So, what makes EVE: Valkyrie stand out and help to make you forget some of it’s shortcomings? Sixty seconds in the cockpit of the game. That’s the time it’ll take for you to be ruined for non-VR space combat titles for ever. Once you look out from the cockpit of your craft, moving your head around to look out the sides or through the upper and lower glass panels. Once you lean forward in your seat and look over your instrument cluster at the gears and mechanics attached to your slight sticks. Once you go screaming out into space then look down through the floor to infinite space…. Once these things happen then that’s it – literally there’s no other way to play a space flight game.
Graphically EVE: Valkyrie is one of the best looking VR titles on PSVR right now. It moves smoothly and quickly and even through the grainy filter of the PSVR headset it still looks crisp and sharp. Head tracking is spot on with the whole unit/screen keeping pace with the furious dogfighting action on screen well. Being able to look around you, as you would in a real-world scenario, whilst tracking/evading an enemy just works so well and makes a genre I’d never really engaged with so much more immediate.
So what of that progression system? It just feels needlessly sluggish after the first hour or two of play. Slowly trying to claw your way through the intense matches to rack up the necessary currency to make that next upgrade takes a long time and feels stretched out. It wouldn’t be so bad if everyone was in the same situation. The fact that you can buy your way out of this problem leaves a whole raft of issues with balancing in the game with most commonly those who have paid to get a superior ship sitting atop the leaderboards. It’s frustrating for a full retail experience.
As well as the multiplayer aspects there are some single player campaign type missions but these are short lived and act more as a prep for the main multiplayer focused game modes.
Comfort wise I was pleasantly surprised how little ill effect hurling my craft around had on me. Having that cockpit area to focus on really helps ground you to a solid object. I found I could play for reasonable lengths of time. Only during the most intense firefights where I was slamming my craft all over the place and swivelling my head like a madman would I feel a tiny “wobble” in the back of my head telling me this was all a bit too frantic.
So what’s on offer in EVE: Valkyrie is a top-notch VR cockpit experience wrapped around a muddled and limited online dogfighting game rotten with suspect microtransactions. The game feels almost free-to-play in some of its approaches to progression which is a real shame as the core game is pure space combat joy. The experience in the cockpit of each ship really is perception shifting. It’s really like nothing else you’ve played before (unless you’ve tried Elite Dangerous on Rift previously!) and a compelling for “must have” game to show your friends and family.
If only the actual game had a little more to offer than the handful of maps and limited play styles. There is always hope that the developers will expand the roster of maps and rebalance the progression system which would go a long way to making EVE: Valkyrie feel like the £50/$60 title it was hoping to be. As it currently stands it feels more like you’re buying into a foundation pack and that would be a better value proposition at £20/$30.