Launching in a free update on all available platforms this week, Espire 1: VR Operative gets a huge amount of new content. We took an early look.
The original release of Espire 1 was held back by technical issues, so we were curious to see how the experience felt about half a year later. We originally tested the game on a PlayStation VR unit and played the Quest edition this time, but the balancing seems improved and the visual experience is one of the most impressive ones we’ve seen on the Quest.
Our focus was the new Assimilation content though, which features two new weapons you can use in the game’s various modes. One’s a semi-automatic weapon, but the most satisfying option is the brand new sawed-off shotgun, which is small enough to hold in one hand. You’ll need to get up close and personal for it to be effective, but it’s a very satisfying (and loud) ending when you manage to sneak up behind someone and want to take him out while sending a message.
Even more interesting are additonal challenge levels for the game, which add to the game’s replay value beyond the campaign. They’re centered around three core activities in the main game, be it weapons, climbing or intel. Weapons challenges are the most physical ones as they involve a variety of activities that need to be performed at speed. Climbing is essentially Espire 1’s version of Crytek’s The Climb, while Intel is all about hacking and then leaving the area unseen. It’s a bit like the campaign mode in that sense, only without the suspense that the narrative brings. Instead, for all three categories, you get to challenge the leaderboard of global players.
It’s worth pointing out that we were pleasantly surprised that these new challenges modes aren’t limited to just one level per category – there are in fact over a dozen new challenges to tackle. Not too shabby for a free update that also improves the main game. Now let’s play that campaign again and see how it feels post-updates.