This week saw Swedish developer Orch Star Studios launch its first virtual reality (VR) title via Steam Early Access, a multiplayer real-time strategy experience called Orch Star for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Orch Star mixes both science fiction and fantasy genres into one combat title, where players find themselves in a universe where orchs, elves, dwarves and humans fight for domination.
The story goes that: “Years of oppression living under Human-lead Mevorian Empire have finally sparked an uprising of a once powerful Orch race, yearning for revenge. Now, the Orchs are gathering forces in an attempt to bring down the Mevorians and restore their dominance in the galaxy. United under one mighty leader, Orch faction is ready to go up against not only the Human fleet but also the aeon old Elves, high tech Pekeewans, Goblins as well as other Orchs. And so the revolution begins…”
So players take on a role of the Orch chieftain starting their conquest of the stars by sending a small fleet to nearby planets. Once controlled, these planets produce more ships for further expansion. The Early Access version includes 12 single-player missions as well as an online multiplayer mode for up to four people with 1vs1, 2vs2 and 1vs1vs1vs1 options.
Completing missions will unlock new features to allow for different strategies, including Stargates and shields protecting planets, five types of ships and five magic spells for temporary upgrade of ships.
“We are thrilled to release Orch Star on Steam Early Access and especially VR for our fellow sci-fi fans to immerse in this fascinating interstellar universe,” said Michael Stenmark from Orch Star Studios in a statement. “Early Access gives us a chance to collect invaluable player feedback, which will help us improve the final user experience. Though the feature list and multiplayer mode capacity is limited at this stage, this is just the beginning. We hope that players will get a taste of what’s to come and enjoy our take on RTS genre.”
Orch Star Studios plan for a full release of Orch Star in Q1 2018, bringing with it an extensive Editor for players to create their own scenarios and share them with other players. There will also be additional ship types, more scenarios for both single-player and multiplayer.