UPDATE 02/05/2014: CCP has released pre-alpha footage of the new and improved Eve Valkyrie, now built on Unreal Engine 4.
The video, below, shows off how you'll launch your starfighter and shoot down enemies in the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus virtual reality game.
ORIGINAL STORY 01/05/2014:Eve Valkyrie, the Oculus Rift game in development by Eve Online developer CCP, will now make use of Unreal Engine 4.
CCP is demonstrating that version on the new Oculus Rift DK2 headset at Eve FanFest in Reykjavik this week. Bertie is there and tried the new Valkyrie build, which was finished moments before the show. Apparently it's a significant improvement over the GDC build which can be played on Sony's Project Morpheus headset, also at FanFest. Bertie hasn't tried both, though, so couldn't comment. But he will.
CCP also announced Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) as the voice in your ears in Valkyrie. Specifically she'll voice Rán Kavik, who's at the heart of the game.
She was a fighter pilot snatched at the point of death to become an immortal privateer - hence Valkyrie from Norse mythology, Odin's shield maidens who scoured battlefields selecting the best dead warriors to join them in heaven. But the people who snatched her, to lead their army, she falls out with, taking her Valkyries with her. They become fighters for hire.
Kavik is your leader, your mentor. She'll take you through the tutorials, give you mission briefings and status updates. CCP showed a video of Katee Sackhoff delivering a message to the FanFest attendees. She was very polite until she recounted the tale of putting the Rift headset on for the first time. "Holy f***!" she blurted out. "Are you f***ing kidding me? It's just like being in a f***ing cockpit!" The audience roared their approval.
Eve Valkyrie executive producer Owen O'Brien, who leads the 25-person CCP Newcastle, added a little more information about the depth being added to what was once a quick-built prototype. There will be fighter, heavy and support craft at launch. O'Brien only talked about the fighter spaceship, the Wraith MK II, which was what Bertie flew around in.
Ships have a kind of machine gun and missiles, and also countermeasures that pop up to shoot incoming missiles, although you have to time it correctly. They can deploy decoys to counter canon fire too. You can upgrade the ship, pilot's skills, ground grew and you can customise the craft (decals and skins).
Skill points can be used to change your ship's load-out, and this has a persistent effect. It's more like horizontal than vertical progression, meaning you can take a slightly different role rather than a more powerful one. You could build a ship to protect others, for instance - even a fighter. It lends a group dynamic to the game.
Each environment also has different turfs in it, such as asteroids, open space, interiors, wreckage and dustfields, and certain ships will fare better in some of them than others.