I can’t remember the last time I found a space game fun. Clunky gunplay got in the way of romancing aliens in Mass Effect (2007). Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) felt plucked out of the lackadaisical shooters of yesteryear, but this time with a shiny skin neatly wrapped over it. Dead Space 3 (2013) was just plain disappointing. It’s been awhile, honestly, since a space-bound romp tickled my fancy. Unfortunately, Playstation VR’s port of the Oculus Rift launch title EVE: Valkyrie is not the ticket.
But I wouldn’t go as far as to say EVE: Valkyrie is a bad game. It never made me nauseous, as some other PSVR games have. Its controls aren’t clunky to the point of breaking. I just found it wholly disinteresting. It’s a drab space dogfighting simulator—but at least the cockpit looks nice.
a drab space dogfighting simulator—but at least the cockpit looks nice
The moment the player is spawned in, you’re told that your data has been corrupted. As with all corrupted data, your first task is remembering your gender. I select an armor-clad girl, and before I know it, I’m sitting in a detailed cockpit, ready to jet straight into dogfighting heaven. The first scripted mission has me, the pilot, reliving my death, where a weird barrier destroyed my ship, and the icy cold of space sucked the life out of me. Then I’m back in.
The game goes on—it’s revealed that I’m just a clone or something, and my subconscious merely uploads to a new entity upon death—and multiplayer dogfights eventually open up, as there’s not much single-player content here. The dogfights are anything you’d expect in a space-bound game: you zip around in a pod-like craft, blasting enemies in your line of sight. There are ship upgrades, but they don’t feel truly necessary.
If EVE: Valkyrie weren’t in VR, I doubt anyone would bat an eye at it. But since it is, it’s fine. It’s a nice showcase of space backdrops, shooting at space, futuristic cockpits … in space. If you’re one of the rare people with multiple VR headsets, I’d recommend the Oculus Rift version for the spectacle alone. And if you’re not? Well.
EVE: Valkyrie is available now for PSVR for $59.99.