This week at Fanfest 2016, CCP Games has announced that EVE: Valkyrie will not only find its way to all three major VR headsets, but will also allow cross-platform play between them. We went hands-on with PC and console versions of the game to see how the experiences will compare.
While EVE: Valkyrie started its life as an Oculus exclusive title, it wasn’t long before the game was announced to eventually be launching on Sony’s PSVR, with the existing exclusivity agreement apparently only addressing Oculus exclusivity on the PC platform.
Now it’s been revealed that not only will the game also come to the HTC Vive through SteamVR (making the Oculus exclusivity seemingly time-based) but it will allow players from each platform to battle or team up with one another.
Cross-platform play between PCs and consoles has been something long desired by gamers and while it’s been attempted in one form or another throughout the years, it remains quite a rarity, with seemingly little business incentive to drive the feature. When it comes to VR however, it clearly benefits a company like CCP to open up to as many VR players as possible, not only for sales, but to keep the multiplayer population at a healthy size.
A longstanding question about the logistics of cross-platform play has long been whether one platform could have an unfair advantage over another, possibly due to differing control schemes (keyboard & mouse vs. gamepad), or hardware performance.
We’ll have to wait to see what the stats bare to see if there’s any appreciable difference in the deadliness of EVE: Valkyrie players from one platform over another, but in the meantime we’ve done a hands-on with the Rift and PSVR versions to compare the game between PC VR and console VR.
The latest builds were available at Fanfest 2016 where I played essentially the same demo back-to-back. There’s no doubt that the Rift delivers the higher fidelity, however, Sony’s headset is no slouch, with great optics and display quality. While the headset feels heavier, it has equally good weight distribution, and thanks to the reprojected 120 FPS display, EVE: Valkyrie on PSVR is an impressive match for visual comfort too.
Fitting the headset, I was greeted by the ‘out of camera range’ message, likely to be a regular sight for PlayStation users, with the tracking volume being noticeably smaller than the Rift. For a seated experience like EVE: Valkyrie—which doesn’t demand that you do much leaning—it isn’t a major issue once you’re lined up.
The second notable difference is the aliasing which swims across the angled HUD elements in the cockpits in a somewhat distracting fashion during the launch sequence. It’s soon forgotten with the acceleration into the vastness of space during the launch sequence, followed by the moment of silence, which remains stunningly effective.
In terms of performance, there was no sign of wavering from the target framerate on PSVR, even when faced with multiple explosions, ships and debris (although the mirrored ‘Social Screen’ TV output does stutter here). The action is so frantic, it’s easy to ignore the lower quality objects, but there are times when your focus dwells on a passing asteroid that you wish would resolve with finer detail. Overall however, CCP has managed to retain most of the visual flair of the PC version, and most importantly, all of the gameplay. Hopefully, this promises a level playing field for the cross-platform play between Rift, Vive and PSVR.
Additional reporting by Ben Lang
Disclosure: CCP Games provided airfare and lodging for Road to VR to attend Fanfest 2016