Dark Eclipse Brings MOBAs into VR This September

It never occurred to me that MOBA gaming and VR would ever go together. Clearly, then, publisher/developer Sunsoft is much more clever than I am with their Dark Eclipse launch announcement, which throws back the curtain on a new way to experience MOBA gaming due near the end of the month.

dark eclipse launch

The new MOBA is reportedly a culmination of 40 years in gaming for Sunsoft and a passion project for the company. It also hopes to be Sunsoft’s re-emergence into the Western gaming markets with its unique take on the genre.

In Dark Eclipse, you control three Leaders from a roster of 15 and command them to destroy your opponent’s base while defending your own. Players steer their Leaders with drag-and-drop controls to guide them along and place Towers that provide buffs, while the scope of VR and the game’s vantage point lets you take in the entire battlefield without having to look at a minimap. The game can be played with a variety of control schemes, supporting both the DualShock 4 controller or PlayStation Move. It can even be played with one controller.

Dark Eclipse will release as a free-to-play game for PlayStation VR on Tuesday, September 25th. Sunsoft plans regular free updates to the game, including new Leaders and balance adjustments post-release. More information about how the game operates can be read on the PlayStation website or you can check out footage from last year’s PSX below.

Our Thoughts

Yep, this definitely has caught us a bit by surprise, but pleasantly so. It will certainly be interesting to know just how much of a market there is for a VR MOBA, but at the same time this is such an innovative spin on the genre we have to believe there will be more than a few people who will be curious to try it out.

Source: press release

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E3 2018: Heads-on Vive Wireless Adapter

Virtual Reality feels like it’s making less of a splash at E3 every year. While we’re still seeing it on the showroom floor, high costs and little innovation seems to largely keep it in the realm of gimmick with great potential. Some claim that the limitations of being tethered to your computer breaks immersion, but I wasn’t convinced. Even so, when given the opportunity to test out DisplayLink’s Vive Wireless Adapter, I figured I’d give it a fair chance. My demo was short and didn’t induce nausea, but the thought of the potential price for a small convenience might trigger it.

While at #E32018 we got our hands on the co-op mummy puzzle game Strange Brigade. #StrangeBrigade http://www.mmogames.com/gamearticles/e3-2018-hands-on-rebellions-strange-brigade/

To be clear, I own an Oculus Rift myself. It’s less about the specs than the fact that the Rift also has lighter, more intuitive motion controllers. Lucky for me, my demo had me using a fake Gatling gun controller. While cool, it did nothing to help my demo. Ignoring that for a moment, it should also be noted that DisplayLink is looking into using their wireless tech for other headsets, but for now they’re only working on the Vive. Each generation of headset is being made lighter, has better resolution, and even the cables are getting better, though my demo was supposed to be about getting rid of some of those.

Unfortunately, my demo did nothing to really show the power or use of wireless headsets. One of the biggest reasons I don’t embrace VR more isn’t because I’m tethered, but because I lack enough space for moving in VR. Even when I’ve done it, I’ve never had a wire situation except for when I’m taking off or putting a headset on.

htc vive

The game, Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope, was a simple wave shooter with all the enemies coming from the front of the player. The heavy Gatling gun controller combined with the gameplay had few people moving about the demo area. I specifically tried walking around and dodging as to get a feel for VR without wires, but again, I’m not someone who usually has a lot of space or wire issues. I will say that I didn’t notice the extra addition to my headset, which plugs in where the other cables in the back of the headset usually go, so I didn’t have to deal with the usual hassle with wires while putting on or taking off my headset. However, putting the headset on is already a bit of a hassle and a strike against VR any time I know I may have to answer the door or phone. Combined with the fact that movement felt detrimental to my demo, I didn’t walk away feeling like the adapter is a must buy.

To note, there’s still no estimated price on the adapter. If it’s anything like the TPC Cast Wireless Adapter, you may be looking at something around $270. You can buy a lightweight, mobile VR experience for less than that, and honestly, most of the good VR experiences are already fairly short and sweet. Wireless VR gaming certainly feels like a luxury peripheral for those able to afford a luxury gaming experience. While there are some VR games I enjoy, I almost feel like it’s easier to recommend someone to check out The Void VR experiences, as the cost is still a bit expensive (depends on when and where you go), but significantly less than a headset. While not wireless, there’s a deeper attention to not only immersion but free-roaming VR. Unless we get adapters that also include virtual smell or games that know how to take advantage of movement without making people sick, even the unobtrusive lightless of the Vive Wireless Adapter doesn’t make a big enough impact for me to recommend it to most readers.

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CCP Games Shutters VR Dev Studios

It turns out the gambit on virtual reality development isn’t paying off for CCP. A press release confirms that additional CCP Games VR development is being shut down, with a report stating that a large number of employees have been laid off as a result.

ccp games vr

CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson has stated in a press release that focus will shift away from additional VR development and back to PC and mobile gaming. “We will continue to support our VR games but will not be making material VR investments until we see market conditions that justify further investments beyond what we have already made,” said Pétursson in a statement.

As a result of the move, approximately 100 employees are being laid off and satellite offices in Newcastle, UK and Atlanta, Georgia are being closed.

As far as EVE: Valkyrie goes, a post on the game’s forums goes into additional details for the game’s future, stating that ownership of the Newcastle studio is being handed over and that the multiplayer first-person spaceship battler “is not going away”.

“The development team at the Newcastle studio will remain intact and complete work on the upcoming Winter Update,” reads the post. “This is not the end of EVE: Valkyrie, not by a long shot. It’s just the beginning of a new chapter.”

Our Thoughts

We first want to wish those who have been affected by this decision the very best and hope those employees that have been laid off will find new opportunities soon. That said, it would seem that the writing was on the wall with Valkyrie’s decision to drop VR exclusivity. Perhaps someday virtual reality gaming will get a greater foothold, but there seems to be too many roadblocks for that to happen.

Sources: PC Gamer, EVE Valkyrie forums

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CCP Games Launches ‘vSport’ Sparc for PlayStation VR

It’s all the fun of tennis without the exorbitant tennis club fees! It’s the Sparc launch on PSVR, the self-described online competitive “vSport” that seeks to bring “virtual sport, real competition” to VR gaming.

sparc launch

It’s been a little while since we last reported on Sparc, so here’s a refresher: Sparc has players facing off one-on-one in a narrow hallway, trying to angle a ball into a target behind their opponent while also deflecting or blocking their opponent’s shots.

Sparc launches with multiple two-player game modes, three arenas, a broad selection of customization options for player avatars, and the Courtside social space which lets players spectate matches in VR. Games can be played online either with friends or through an integrated matchmaking system, or players can take on a variety of solo challenges meant to test and train them for online matches.

Sparc is out now on PSVR for $29.99 on the PlayStation Store. A trailer for the game’s launch can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

Sparc most definitely looks like one of the more interesting and compelling experiences on VR gaming to date and we hope that it gains a following. Are you intrigued by Sparc or is this something that caters to a playerbase that is far too niche?

Source: press release

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