If there’s a genre I dig as much as turn-based RPGs it’s stealth games. Even if the game isn’t stealth first, if it has a significant stealth element in it, I’m here for it. Now pair stealth with virtual reality. That could be a winning combination. It all depends on the studio and the game. Digital Lode’s ESPIRE 1: VR Operative is one that will lead the charge.
As I said before, stealth and VR looks like a winning combination. As you’d expect, there are a few studios that think so as well. While all of them are doing something with the genre, Digital Lode’s offering just looks really impressive.
First off, announcing your approach as Metal Gear Solid meets Golden Eye 007 is ambitious. The only way to really announce that your project is better without showing the work is to say your game is like Tenchu meets Duke Nukem 64 and that’s just an outrageous pairing that shouldn’t work at all.
I’d like to see it.
At any rate, ESPIRE 1 is showcasing some nice visuals to start but the gameplay is where it’s at for stealth games. You’ll play as a robotic ESPIRE agent armed with a variety of weapons—most which seem to be geared towards stealth.
This is a bonus for me since I’m not going to be crouching on a beam with a rocket launcher. It kind of takes me out of the whole “I’m sneaking around and sticking to the shadows vibe,” you know?
Your agent doesn’t just have weapons, there will be gadgets that help you with your missions. Another bonus, of course. Looking at some of the official and let’s play footage of ESPIRE 1 shows that the team put a lot of work into enemy AI. I’m not going to say it doesn’t take much for decent AI in a stealth game. Even for a game with stealth elements, the enemies can’t be as dumb as a bag of wet rocks, now.
When Can You Get It
ESPIRE 1: VR Operative is scheduled for a September 24th release. You can find it on Oculus Rift and Quest, HTC Vive and Vive Pro, Valve Index, PlayStation VR, and Windows Mixed Reality. All bases are covered. Also, if you pick it up via Steam, you’ll get Killing Floor: Incursion for free.