by Joseph Leray
“EVE-VR” is an Oculus Rift-supported multiplayer spaceship dogfighting game developed by a group of artists and programmers at CCP Games, which is more famous for MMOs like “EVE Online” and “Dust 514.” As the trailer above illustrates (sort of), the hook is that the Rift headset renders everything in a full 360 degrees, from the cockpit, to your wingmen at your sides, to the enemy missiles bearing down on your back.
I actually got to play “EVE-VR” this spring at Fanfest, CCP’s annual fan celebration, back when it was just called “EVR.” I’d never played an Oculus Rift game before, but its promise of immersive virtual reality became clearer — and more exciting — as I realized I could physically move my head to see the shattered asteroids, neon-colored lasers, and enemy fighters swirling around me.
“EVE-VR” also uses the Rift’s three-axis motion tracking for its missile guidance systems: you can blow enemies into space dust just by looking at them.
It’s a fantastic little game, actually, which is why it stung so much to hear that CCP’s official stance on “EVE-VR” was that the company had no plans to bring it to market. It started as a pet project developed in people’s spare times, and it ended as a one-off piece of Fanfest ephemera, something special for CCP’s most devoted fans and no one else.
And yet, CCP brought the game with them to their booth at E3 this week. The party line hasn’t changed that much since April, though. When asked during E3 if “EVE-VR” was ever going to become a commercial game, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson laughed it off. “We just have this thing, and people love it, so we should figure out some cool way to bring that about,” he told Gamasutra.
Meanwhile, Sony are playing coy about a rumor that the PlayStation 4 might support the Oculus Rift, and CCP spent a while getting cozy with the company during the development and release of “Dust 514,” a PlayStation 3 exclusive. With enough crossed fingers and mental gymnastics, I’m still holding out hope that I’ll get a chance to play a fully-developed version of “EVE-VR” one day.