When the original Space Pirate Trainer launched back in 2016, it quickly became one of the most played VR games. Its simple yet deep gameplay, level of polish and overall immersion made it one of the go-to games for companies and consumers alike to let people have a taste of the VR frontier. With the release of Space Pirate Trainer DX for Oculus Quest, our proud member I-Illusions is bound to write VR history once again.
The original game has been beefed up many times over the years to take advantage of technology offered by new VR headsets, but DX goes way beyond that. The star of the show is the hotly anticipated multiplayer Arena mode. Described as a mix between laser tag and hide-and-seek, Arena features intense one-on-one duels that play out on a 10 by 10 meter battlefield. You’ll need that space to hide behind virtual walls, peek around virtual corners, and sprint for your very real life when you’re discovered.
This unrivalled level of freedom comes with one big caveat: you can’t play without a suitable play area. I-Illusions recommends an indoor play space, as outside lighting might throw off the tracking. Captain Dirk Van Welden says the release of DX feels like releasing the original game all over again. Back then, he wasn’t sure people would go out and buy a VR headset to play his game. Now there’s a lot of Oculus Quests out there in the world, he’s asking them to find a 10 by 10 meter space to play Arena. But once they do, he’s convinced the experience is amazing enough to sell itself.
It will be interesting to see whether people flock to tennis courts or sports centres in a couple of year’s time to enjoy a round of Arena. A new business model for sports clubs and maybe even townships and cities alike? It could be. The team certainly hopes they set a bar for other developers to continue exploring this new exciting avenue of VR games.
You can also sample Arena mode in single-player, but going by the amount of fun people have while dueling each other, finding someone else with a Quest seems the prefered way to play. DX also introduces a new multiplayer mode of the classic game. When you zap a droid, there’s another one heading your opponent’s way. Rest assured, there’s frantic battles ahead.
The update also comes with a modest price bump. Space Pirate Trainer DX will cost new players € 24,99, but it’s free for anyone who already owned Space Pirate Trainer on Oculus Quest. Either way you’re getting some serious value for your money. So if you’re looking for an excellent reason to dig up that Oculus Quest and get a look at what the future of VR games might hold, you’re not going to find a more compelling one than Space Pirate Trainer DX anytime soon.