Espire 1: VR Operative is an upcoming single-player Metal Gear Solid-style stealth game developed by Melbourne-based Digital Lode and published by Tripwire Interactive. It not only aims to be the “definitive VR stealth experience,” but also looks to kill VR-related nausea with its unique locomotion system.
Players take on the role of a drone operator of the future in Espire 1: VR Operative, wherein you remote-operate the ‘Espire model 1’ stealth robot from the safety of what the studios call the ‘Control Theatre.’ Outside of silently shooting down baddies with an arsenal of silenced weaponry, Espire 1 offers up a locomotion system that Tripwire and Digital Lode say eliminates VR motion-related sickness “for almost everyone.”
When a player wants to move across the map, an extreme version of what some developers call a ‘comfort cage’ will automatically pop up, reducing the size of the game world to a small window.
Once you’ve made your move, chosen your angle of attack and come to a full stop, your peripheral vision comes back in. Tripwire and Digital Lode maintain that the Control Theatre is fully customizable, and depending on player comfort, can be completely disabled provided you can handle full locomotion.
The game is said to include a single-player story and scenario missions that reuse story environments for short challenges. Dozens of weapons will be available including assault rifles, silenced pistols, tranquilizer pistols, and deployable spy cameras in order to complete your mission objectives. A global leaderboard will also award players a competitive score based on mission time, movement, stealth, ammo conservation, and takedowns.
Using the VR headset’s on-board microphone, you can also make commands and perform actions simply by speaking, although any noise could draw the enemy to your location. AI will respond to light, sound and other factors that could end your mission.
Espire 1 is Digital Lode’s debut title. Besides acting as publisher of the game, Tripwire has also lent Digital Lode its producers, marketing, tech, art and audio leads to assist on Espire 1’s development.
There’s no exact release date yet, although the studio is shooting for release sometime in 2019.