EVE: Valkyrie's makers hope it's a VR 'benchmark' for what's to come

EVE: Valkyrie

EVE: Valkyrie is being described by some as the first blockbuster of VR.

In it you control a pilot, charged with shooting down your enemies in a 3D space-battlefield which you explore simply by turning your head.

It looks impressive and its chief designer, Andrew Willians, tells us that games in virtual reality are only going to get "better and better."

But he also admits that a lack of players could be a problem going forward.

Gameplay of Eve: Valkyrie

"I hope we've set a benchmark.

"What we wanted to do is have a deep level of immersion with these epic space battles.

"I'm not going to name a certain set of sci-fi films from the 70s, but we wanted to give you those emotions and evoke those feelings.

"I think we've been really successful in that. It was a huge step to launch, but we're acutely aware that this is the first step."

Gameplay of Eve: Valkyrie

EVE: Valkyrie is set to be the first title available for all three major VR platforms - Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and, when it's out, Playstation VR.

It's a big ask to introduce gamers to a new way of playing - and making them enjoy the experience too.

But Andrew isn't phased.

"The release of real quality consumer VR this year has been a huge event and it's only going to get better," he believes.

"The tech's going to get better, and we're going to get bigger and better games, and everything's going to hopefully go through the roof now."

EVE: Valkyrie has tried to encourage a broad fan base of non-hardcore gamers.

But the gear can cost the best part of £1,000 so that can be tricky.

Andrew says that's where the blockbuster element comes in.

"A lot of work's gone into the the visual representation and the whole fantasy of the world we've created.

"Aside from just being a visual wow, it also feels believable.

"I think from the blockbuster angle that's really important."

Rán Kavik, leader of the Valkyrie pilots
Image caption Rán Kavik, leader of the Valkyrie pilots

Encouraging a wide variety of gamers to buy headsets is key to the future success of VR, so titles like this are very important.

At the moment there are far less people playing it than similar games on conventional platforms like the PS4 or Xbox One.

Andrew suggests that might be having a knock on effect on the game play.

Because there are so few players at the moment it means they're struggling to get reliable feedback, he explains.

Gameplay of Eve: Valkyrie

"I'd be a liar if I masked the fact that there aren't enough [headsets] in the world to satisfy our player base at the minute," he admits.

"The sooner the hardware gets online the better.

"That means the player numbers will increase so our match making is more effective.

"We can have more battles running and start building the community with more players instead of relying on AI [computer controlled ones] as much."

Things are looking up though.

"We're watching our player numbers increase almost daily," he says.

"The forums are getting busy with people forming squads and clans so they can battle against each other.

"It's early days but everything we've heard so far is incredibly positive."

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