Something unexpectedly thrilling happened on Friday, during CCP's annual Eve Fanfest event in Reykjavik. Following last year's death of an in-game leader of the Amarr Empire faction (think very angry, very ruthless space monks with a fetish for lasers), players were tasked with representing the various fictional sub-factions hoping to fill the resultant power vacuum. The outcome of a series of matches between these representatives would determine the in-game heir to an empire.
From the archive: With this year's Eve Fanfest just around the corner, it seemed like a good moment to revisit this piece from April 2015 about last year's event. With CCP adopting a more workmanlike commitment to Eve Online's future - rather than the wide-eyed ambitions of old - its annual jamboree in Reykjavik had never felt more like videogaming's TED conference.
Eve Valkyrie is at the vanguard of the virtual reality gaming charge, and it's testament to the belief Oculus has that more than half of its brand spanking new Oculus Rift DK2 dev kits were in Iceland last week at Eve FanFest to showcase a brand spanking new build of the game. It's head and shoulders above what we saw recently at GDC.
For all the noise around virtual reality recently - for reasons good and bad - it's easy to forget we've yet to really see any serious-minded, dedicated games emerge for any of the systems. There are demos, patched-in support and exciting little rollercoaster rides, but if it really is the future of gaming then you might be wondering where the more traditional games are by now.
2014 is upon us, and it promises riches and glory unlike any year before it. With their launches under their belts, the next generation of consoles will, hopefully, show us what they're made of. Virtual reality headsets may make their mark on the mainstream. And with a raft of crowdfunded games due out over the next 12 months, 2014 should tell us whether all that money we pumped into promising projects on Kickstarter was worth it.
Palmer Luckey thinks it's one of the best games out there for the Oculus Rift. I've yet to play everything - and Gamescom last week was my first experience with the headset that's sent excited ripples throughout the industry - but I'm not about to argue with the Oculus founder. Eve Valkyrie sells you on the virtual reality dream better than anything else out there, delivering a bespoke experience that transports you into another world with startling efficiency and effectiveness.