CCP Games — the undisputed champions of intricate space-MMOs about politics, tribalism, and asteroid mining — have announced “EVE: Valkyire” at Gamescom today. Originally code-named “EVE-VR,” “Valkyrie” is an Oculus Rift-supported combat flight sim set in the “EVE” universe.
“Valkyrie” was originally developed as a pet project and made its debut at Fanfest — an Icelandic convention for all things “EVE”-related — earlier this spring. Despite insisting that “EVE-VR” wasn’t coming to market, CCP brought a build along to E3 this summer.
The prototype that I played — and loved — at Fanfest put players in the cockpit of one of “EVE”’s smaller, faster ships and let them loose in an arena against an opposite team. Steering and firing were handled by an Xbox 360 controller, while the Oculus Rift controlled the missiles and allowed players a full range of vision.
This often meant craning my neck backwards or turning around in my seat to look for hidden enemies lurking behind or above me. “EVE-VR” plays like a standard dogfighting flight sim in many ways, but the added layer of physicality was thrilling.
“EVE: Valkyrie” is moving into full production at CCP’s Newcastle studio, and the devs who built the prototype are moving out of their base in Reykjavik, according to IGN. The demo I played was a strictly multiplayer affair, and CCP are “not ready to talk about” any potential single-player campaign yet.
“From the moment this year’s Fanfest attendees first got their hands on ’EVE-VR,’ the question has been, ‘When can I have this?'” said Hilmar Vegar Pétursson, CCP CEO. “What started as a passion project by a small, incredibly talented group of CCP developers became one of the most highly anticipated games of the year — before we even announced it. We have big plans for ’EVE: Valkyrie’ and I can’t wait to share more details later this year.”
The Oculus Rift already supports personal computers running Windows, OS X, and Linux, and newly-hired chief technology officer John Carmack (yes, that John Carmack, of id Software and “Doom” fame) is reportedly hard at work at support for mobile platforms. Furthermore, rumors are swirling about Sony’s willingness to start supporting the Rift.
Why is this relevant for “EVE: Valkyrie?” “Dust 514,” CCP’s free-to-play first-person shooter, is currently a PlayStation 3 exclusive. If the stars line up and we cross our fingers, it’s not impossible that console gamers might get to experience one of the most exciting things I’ve played this year.
“EVE: Valkyrie” will be available on unannounced platforms in 2014.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter