‘Espire 2’ Mixed Reality Missions Coming as Free Update to Quest, Trailer Here

Espire 2: Stealth Operative (2022), the stealth action game from Digital Lode, is getting a free mixed reality mode for Quest 2, Quest Pro and Quest 3 later this year.

Digital Lode revealed footage of the mixed reality update during the UploadVR Summer Showcase, promising a series of stealth missions that “grow and adapt to the player’s personal playspace.”

“Missions are deliberately focused and optimized for all environments ranging from small areas to multiple rooms,” the studio says. “Play as Tempest, an agent who must pass a series of Mixed Reality Missions to earn their stripes and be cleared to pilot an Espire Frame.”

Each mission is said to offer a variety of objectives, and will also include enemy soldiers, bipedal mechs, electronic threats, and “more that emerge to prevent you from completing your objective.”

Espire 2’s mixed reality mode is slated to arrive for free on Quest headsets sometime later this year.

Meta Quest 3, the company’s next mixed reality standalone, is set to arrive sometime this fall, priced at $500. Besides being thinner and more powerful than Quest 2, Quest 3 promises the same color passthrough function as the company’s $1,000 Quest Pro, which could usher in a new influx of similar mixed reality modes in the coming months.

Espire 2 Brings Co-op Stealth Action to Meta Quest 2 This November

There has been a deluge of new virtual reality (VR) titles revealed today thanks to the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, some a surprise, others not so. One from the surprise list is Espire 2, a sequel to Digital Lode’s 2019 stealth experience. And like many of the videogames shown during the stream, Espire 2 is just for Meta Quest 2.

Espire 2

Espire 2 continues on from the original putting you in the shoes of Espire Agent POE. However, POE has just awoken from a seven-year coma, and dropped right back into the action but this time with all new toys to play with. In Espire 2 you have two bleeding-edge droids called “Frames” that you can switch between, each with its own special abilities. One is a tank, able to take and dish out punishment from enemies. The other is light and more nimble, great for stealth tactics and nipping through vents.

Digital Lode hasn’t purely created new Espire units to inhabit. There’s a whole new single-player campaign to test out the new kit as well as other gadgets, plus a separate co-op campaign where you and a buddy can play through a narrative bridging the gap between Espire 1 and Espire 2.

You’ll also have greater control over the battlefield with Espire Vision, seeing through walls and marking enemies. Or use voice commands to distract or interrogate the enemy. Then there’s the stealth AI system which has been rebuilt for Espire 2 to ensure a variety of gameplay options.

Espire 2

“We are so excited to finally share a first-ever look at Espire 2, the VR stealth-action sequel of our dreams,” said Digital Lode Founder and Game Director Michael Wentworth-Bell in a statement. “Espire 2 would not be possible without the amazing teams at Meta and the Quest 2 platform, or without our continued publishing partnership with Tripwire Presents, who have believed in our vision from the beginning and continue to guide and mentor our studio. Most importantly, this sequel wouldn’t be happening without the incredible community that has supported Espire 1 since its release two years ago. We thank you, and we hope you will enjoy what we have in store for Espire 2.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Digital Lode and Meta on Espire 2! The team at Digital Lode has embraced fan feedback from Espire 1 and is focused on implementing features that open exciting new ways to play in the sequel,” said Brian Etheridge, Publishing Director at Tripwire. “The new Espire frame offers an entirely new toolset to take on the enemy in Espire 2, while the addition of cooperative multiplayer lets players coordinate with each other to develop dynamic tactics and create awesome memories. The Digital Lode teams are, more than anything, VR super fans and that shows in everything they do!”

Espire 2 is currently slated to arrive this November exclusively for Meta Quest 2. See the videogame in action below and for continued updates on all the latest Quest 2 titles, keep reading gmw3.

Espire 1: VR Operative’s Latest Oculus Quest Update Adds Map and More Challenges

Espire 1

Even though Espire 1: VR Operative launched a couple of years ago across most major platforms, lately, developer Digital Lode has been concentrating on improving the experience for Oculus Quest owners. Today’s free Invictus update continues that trend, adding a new map, challenge elements as well as quality of life improvements.

Espire 1

Players will now be able to test their skills in the Coober Pedy map, located in a remote underground mining town in South Australia of the same name. This new scenario is all about infiltrating Ophis’ headquarters, with the town made up of a hotel, church, and series of caves interconnected by a series of twisting tunnels. A new map also means new challenges, these are:

  • Horcotes Elimination Challenge: Go in quiet or with guns blazing in this new Elimination Virtual Challenge. Explosives and turrets are scattered throughout the map.
  • Cicurina Hostage Rescue Challenge: Locate and free the heavily guarded hostages and don’t forget the tools and tactics at your disposal. Throw objects to distract guards with sound, sneak up behind a guard for a “hold up,” or activate bullet time to steal a guard’s weapon right out of their hands.
  • Crassipes Stealth Challenge: Use the cover of darkness to make your way through the level without being spotted and take care to avoid activating the mines.

The other big addition in the update is Oculus Challenge Leaderboard support for each new Virtual Challenge. These allow players to compete for first place, new ones appearing in the main menu each week. The challenges are integrated with Oculus’ mobile app, where players can invite friends during the limited time each challenge is open. 

Espire 1

While the Invictus update certainly adds plenty of new content if you’ve recently updated your Oculus Quest to v33 you may have noticed occasional issues with Espire 1: VR Operative. This was confirmed by Digital Lode on its Discord, saying earlier today: “We are sorry to hear that some players are experiencing occasional ‘hitches’ when playing Espire 1 on the latest Quest OS update. Unfortunately the latest “v33” Quest OS update has an incompatibility with Espire 1, causing occasional ‘hitches’ to occur. This issue is limited to the Quest 2 headset only, on the latest “v33″ update. We have been working with our partners at Oculus to address this as quickly as possible and a fix should be coming in the next OS update, v34! In the meantime, if there are any possible workarounds, we will let the community know immediately!”

Considering Quest’s software updates are monthly there shouldn’t be too long to wait, although they usually land towards the end of each month. For further updates on the issue, keep reading VRFocus.

More Weapons & Challenges Await Oculus Quest in Espire 1: VR Operative Spectre Update

Espire 1 - Spectre

Digital Lode launched its stealthy shooter Espire 1: VR Operative for multiple headsets back in 2019 including Oculus Quest. When the Quest 2 arrived in 2020 the videogame was updated to make use of that extra processing power. Today, the Oculus Quest/Quest2 edition is getting further improvements by way of more content including new guns and challenges.


When it comes to the new weapons the campaign will now feature a sawn-off shotgun and the Spectre SMG. As you’d expect from a sawn-off shotgun any idea of stealth is quickly thrown out the window. Just liked you’d do in a videogame such as Doom, using this gun in Espire 1: VR Operative is all about stomping around the environment guns blazing. Thanks to its compact size you can holster the sawn-off shotgun as either the primary or secondary weapon. And because it’s reloaded via magazine clips there’s no need to deal with individual shells. To access the gun you’ll need to complete the Shotgun Virtual Challenges.

As for the Spectre SMG, this comes equipped with a suppressor and an extended 45-round magazine. The gun has a unique firing mode where one round is fired on a trigger squeeze with a second firing upon release with reduced recoil. Once again, the Spectre SMG has to be unlocked so you can use it in the campaign, via the SMG Virtual Challenges. 

There are also two new challenges to test those skills on. The Furcata Virtual Challenge is supposedly Digital Lode’s most difficult hostage rescue challenge to date, with multiple starting points, skilled marksmen, and well-guarded hostages. Then you have Mangua, a brand-new Takedown challenge which: “offers branching paths and rewards players who explore with special weapons to help complete their objectives,” the studio explians.


The Espire 1: VR Operative Spectre Update is live today as a free add-on if you already own it. For those that don’t, Espire 1: VR Operative is in Oculus’ Daily Deal with a 25% discount available.

Espire 1: VR Operative is set in the near future where the days of having to physically infiltrate secret bases are gone. Now they use remote Espire Model 1 robots to do the job that allow you to easily scale walls and scurry through buildings to remain unseen or grab that shotgun and go for a more direct, gunfight approach, rebooting into a new unit when too much damage is taken.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Espire 1: VR Operative, reporting back with further updates.

‘Espire 1: VR Operative’ Earned $3M in Revenue in First Year

Espire 1: VR Operative (2019) launched across all major VR headsets this time last year, bringing a mix of high-flying acrobatics and stealth combat to the table. Now developer Digital Lode says Espire 1 has generated “over $3 million in revenue” since its November 2019 launch.

While revenue reports around the industry aren’t a usual sight, Espire 1: VR Operative seems to have benefitted greatly from its simultaneous release on SteamVR headsets, PSVR, and Oculus Quest.

Launched on November 22nd, 2019, Digital Lode and publisher Tripwire Interactive say the game “continues to remain popular in the VR space as a top-selling title on the Oculus Store and one of the few VR titles to earn over $3 million in revenue.”

Taking on the role of futuristic drone operator, you slink around, avoid security cameras, defuse trip mines, and gank plenty of faceless baddies that get in your way—a bit like a VR version of Metal Gear.

In our review of Espire 1we noted that, although rough around the edges, the game excels in delivering some familiar stealth combat in a more immersive package, letting users do some superhuman acrobatics while traversing its multi-layered levels.

To celebrate its one year launch anniversary, Digital Lode has released an Anniversary Update on the Quest and Quest 2 versions of the game, which includes a number of visual, performance, and gameplay enhancements. Improvements specific to Quest 2 include:

  • Increased pixel resolution and clarity with less aggressive dynamic foveated rendering
  • Higher mesh resolution for guards and other characters
  • Bullet impact particles from the PlayStation VR version added
  • Added ricocheting bullets for players and guards
  • Unique bullet impact sound effects added for each surface type
  • Color-graded and optimized for the Oculus Quest 2 LCD screen
  • Enhanced audio: When the player crouches down, the game’s soundtrack dynamically submixes the music down while increasing the sounds of footsteps and voices of guards

The version supporting the original Oculus headset also benefits from improved shaders and materials, increased performance, and better loading times.

The post ‘Espire 1: VR Operative’ Earned $3M in Revenue in First Year appeared first on Road to VR.

Major ‘Espire 1: VR Operative’ Update to Add New Weapons, Challenges & More

Espire 1: VR Operative (2019) launched late last year on all major VR headsets, offering up some very Metal Gear Solid style stealth action to VR players. Now developers Digital Lode have announced a major update, called ‘Assimilation’, which is slated to bring to the game a host of new weapons, challenges, and features next week.

Launching on May 5th, the update will be available on all supported platforms, which includes Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows VR headsets, and PSVR.

Check out the changes coming to the game below:

New Weapons

  • Vector SMG: This semi-auto weapon is an excellent choice for mid-range combat, providing for accurate and quick bursts of controlled fire with one bullet firing upon the first trigger press and the last bullet firing upon release. With an extended clip of 45 rounds and very low recoil, it is the weapon of choice for the new “SMG” weapon challenge mode.
  • Sawed-off Shotgun: Get up close and personal with this new shotgun, boasting a wider spread fore close quarters combat. Its compact design allows for the shotgun to be holstered as either a sidearm or primary weapon — and reloads via magazine clip instead of individual shells.
'Espire 1: VR Operative' Review – Solid Snake, But Rough Around the Edges

New Virtual Challenge Game Modes: Experienced Espire agents can also look forward to three new Virtual Challenge game modes, featuring new stealth gameplay not featured in the campaign. These new Virtual Challenges focuses on Weapon mastery, Climbing, and Intel gathering stealth skills essential to completing missions quickly and efficiently. Test your skills against players around the world with an improved leaderboard.

Weapon Challenges: Run, weave, duck, climb, jump and zipline your way through seven courses designed to test your mastery with each weapon class. Rack up the highest combo while eliminating static, moving and explosive targets, as well as enemy combatants in order to reach the top of the leaderboard.

Climbing Challenges: Overcome climbing puzzles where speed and timing is paramount to completing the course with the highest score. Make sure to avoid getting squashed by the fast-moving crushers!

Intel Challenges: Explore four completely new environments. Locate and hack intelligence from all workstations in the area, and reach the extraction point. This game mode builds on the core Espire gameplay from the campaign.

The post Major ‘Espire 1: VR Operative’ Update to Add New Weapons, Challenges & More appeared first on Road to VR.

Major Content Update Incoming Next Week for Espire 1: VR Operative, Adds Modes, Weapons & More

Espire1: VR Operative

Indie developer Digital Lode released its first virtual reality (VR) title Espire 1: VR Operative for multiple headsets at the end of last year, offering an action-packed stealth experience. Today, the studio has revealed details on its next big update which adds plenty of new features as well as other improvements.


Dubbed the Espire 1: VR Operative Assimilation update, players will be able to enjoy 14 new challenges accessed via three new game modes; Intel, Weapons & Climbing.

The Intel mode has four levels to complete, a warehouse, office complex, Italian Villa and Copperhead Output. Players need to locate and hack intelligence from all workstations in the area, then reach the extraction point. While the Weapons gameplay mode offers seven courses. Aiming for a high score, players have to eliminate static, moving and explosive targets to achieve leaderboard success.

Lastly, the Climbing mode requires overcoming puzzles where speed and timing are vital whilst avoiding the fast-moving crushers. There are three challenges to complete but players do need to have finished the “Reech Division” mission in the campaign first.


As for the new weapons players will be able to find the Espire semi-auto SMG and a sawn-off shotgun inside the Intel and Weapon challenge modes.

To improve the overall gameplay experience in Espire 1: VR Operative Digital Lode has added a recalibration option in the menu to adjust the location/size of the belt and chest holsters, changing the dominant hand and the recorded standing height. There’s also a selectable manual vault when climbing feature, turning off the standard ‘auto vault’ mechanic.

Other additions include:

Leaderboards improvements (Quest + PC only)

  • Leaderboard UI redesigned
  • Players want to filter the leaderboard to see their friends
  • Players want to view a leaderboard for any mission or challenge from within the main menu. Previously they had to start or even complete a mission just to see the leaderboard
  • Integrate the leaderboards with Oculus’ new “Scoreboard” app (Quest/Rift)
  • Fix various leaderboard-related bugs (leaderboard score not saved if user is temporarily disconnected/reconnected to their wifi when the mission finishes)

Grip interactions and physics pass

  • Should be easier to grab a sidearm from your belt without having to look down at your belt
  • Fixed an issue where players crouch down and try to grab a guard’s body, they often instead pick up a sidearm from their belt
  • Fixed an issue where players would attempt to grip a guard’s body and simultaneously ‘distance-grip’ the guard’s gun
  • Improved the physical properties of all props and objects in the game. They should now behave more realistically when interacted with.

The Espire 1: VR Operative Assimilation update will be made available for Oculus Quest and PC VR headsets on 5th May. The PlayStation VR version will arrive later, no date has been revealed at the moment. For further updates on the videogame, keep reading VRFocus.

Tripwire Addresses PSVR Espire Complaints, New Patch Coming With Improvements

Espire 1: VR Operative publisher Tripwire Entertainment have made a new post on their forums addressing some of the complaints and concerns with the PSVR version of the game, which launched last week.

In the PSVR version of Espire 1 the “control theater” mode, an extreme comfort setting to limit motion sickness, is permanently enabled and cannot be adjusted, along with a variety of bugs.

On other platforms, the control theater setting is an optional comfort setting that can be turned off. It works by making a virtual room around your view as you move forward. You can see some footage of the Espire 1 comfort theater in action in our video footage, embedded below. Snap turning is also always enabled in the PSVR version as of the time of this writing.

The new forum post on the Tripwire forums specifically highlights this as becoming option on the PSVR in a future patch for Espire 1:

For those agents on PSVR, we are working with our partners with a goal to get a patch out as soon as we can, we do not yet have a firm date we can share, but will as soon as we do. This will target the following issues:

  • Enable the controls screen with the following settings
    • Ability to turn on Smooth rotation (this replaces snap turn)
    • Ability to disable the control theater
  • Fix the artificial crouch button not working when calibrated for a seated experience

As stated above, there is no release date for the patch as of yet. It’s also important to note that the game’s developer, Digital Lode, did not work on the PSVR version of Espire 1 – the PSVR port was outsourced to an external studio. The Rift S and Quest versions of the game that we’ve played, and reviewed, do not have the same bugs or issues present. A later patch will also “improve the graphical fidelity” on PSVR headsets.

Tripwire is also working on a patch for all platforms that will fix a few other issues or complaints, including the “amount of audio chatter about repairing,” which was one of David’s gripes in his review.

You can view the full forum post and planned changes to Espire 1 here.

The post Tripwire Addresses PSVR Espire Complaints, New Patch Coming With Improvements appeared first on UploadVR.

‘Espire 1: VR Operative’ Review – Solid Snake, But Rough Around the Edges

For better or worse, so far Konami has shown zero interest in bringing its long and storied Metal Gear series to VR. But if you’re looking to scratch that stealth combat itch with more than a flair for superhuman acrobatics, you may find Espire 1: VR Operative a serviceable Generic Snake, albeit a bit rougher around the edges than you may like.

Espire 1: VR Operative Details:

Official Site

Developer: Digital Lode
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Available On: Steam (Vive, Rift, Index, Windows MR), Oculus (Rift, Quest), PlayStation Store (PSVR)
Reviewed On: Rift, Vive
Release Date: November 22nd, 2019
Price: $30


Espire 1 offers up a pretty standard story that fits in the same basic vein as many entrants in the Metal Gear franchise; there’s a terrorist group, superhuman agents, infiltration of opaque national intelligence agencies, and plenty of talking heads that radio in to give you constant guidance and objectives along your stealthy way—that’s of course in addition to the game’s trope of puppeting a military-grade telepresence robot, of which there is ample supply stashed at various points throughout the game, making death an inconvenience, and not a total showstopper.

Robot-stuff notwithstanding, you should feel right at home dispatching the faceless, nameless baddies with a variety of weapons, some silent, while others announce your presence to the world. It’s your job to slink around, avoid security cameras, defuse trip mines, crawl through conveniently placed air ducts,  you know, spy stuff.

Image courtesy Digital Lode

Shooting is predictably a big part of Espire 1, and it’s a pretty unforgiving experienceyou don’t simply line up the dot in your red dot scope or your green glow sights and blast away. I mean, you can totally do that, but there’s actually significant recoil applied to your gun after every shot. That’s not to say it’s inherently a bad thing, although it does make your rely on a few other tricks at your disposal so you aren’t wasting an entire magazine on a single guy, namely your ability to temporarily go into bullet time. Not only does it slow down time, but it also smooths out your hand movements so you can get a better, more focused shot when it counts the most. Reloading is done by jamming your gun down onto an available magazine sticking out of your hostler, which is less fiddly than it sounds.

You can also use what’s called ‘Espire Vision’, which highlights in the vicinity all enemies, objectives, and traps like auto-turrets and laser mines. This feels a bit cheaty to be honest, but I can see why it exists; it eliminates some of the frustration of coming around a corner with your pants down. There’s also a tossable camera that you can throw around corners, which is actually an even cooler idea in practice, but I found myself more readily abusing Espire Vision instead simply because of how easy it was, and how regularly I was allowed to use it. Espire Vision, repairing, bullet time (more on that in a bit), and stunning guards with the repair tool all takes energy, which auto-refills over time.


There are genuine moments in the beginning when you’re scared stiff of being caught, as you slink around corners and hope the guards aren’t alerted to your presence. I’m not the most stealthy of players though, and I only died once throughout the campaign, which lasted a little under six hours for a single play-through (end game content prolongs this substantially, but more on that below). That’s true even near the end, where you encounter heavies that take multiple shots to kill, and a few baddies with active camouflage that require you to use your Espire Vision—one of the few times when you actually have to use it outside of detecting otherwise unseen laser mines.

Image courtesy Digital Lode

I didn’t die that many times because it’s super easy to fix yourself with your repair tool, and you also seem to have a pretty large number of hitpoints available to you. Juice is infinite too, and while it takes its time regenerating, you can easily wait it out by ducking into an air shaft or in a quiet place behind a box. Repairing is done by touching the device to a number of holographic orbs placed in front of you. Why? Because you’re a robot in the future and you should stop trying to make sense of things, that’s why (apparently).

Like the Hitman series, you don’t necessarily need to be a silent killer to pass any of the game’s missions, although your score will take a major hit as you’re expensed for every bullet, gun, death, etc. The less Rambo-like you are, the less money you’ll spend, and the more cheats you’ll unlock for end game fun. I would have liked to see a higher level of difficulty here in place of the unlockables, which include cheats and starting weapons. There isn’t any difficulty levels to speak of too, only progressively harder objectives to fulfill such as freeing all hostages under a minute, or using your repair weapon to knock out all the guards in a level. That’s up to you though.

Image courtesy Digital Lode

There are a few real sore spots in Espire 1, the most egregious of which is melee. It’s rough, and I never once felt like I actually intentionally landed a punch on a bad guy after running out of bullets. When you get too close to an enemy, their character animation magically teleports them a meter away from you, which feels wrong on so many levels. You can also technically “hold up” bad guys by snatching their weapon from their hands, but this is really hit and miss unless you’re using bullet time, and even then it’s not a sure thing due to the aforementioned animation fuckery.


AI is also painfully dumb, and going undetected whilst walking in front of a guard only 20-feet away is laughably easy. It’s unclear what they can see, and where their field of vision ends, so you’re basically just guessing and hoping they don’t see you as they robotically walk their planned loops. Make not mistake: I’m not hating on planned loops here. After all, that’s a well-established feature of the genre.

That said, it’s still really fun to climb a wall, sneak over and stun a bad guy, or alternatively launch yourself through the air, engage bullet time, and line up a few choice shots to take out multiple targets, all while having zero auto-aim at your disposal for maximum self-pats on the back. All of this just nearly makes up for some of the unsightliness of dumb AI.


Once all is said and done, you can do a few cool things with Espire 1 to keep the fun going. You accumulate unlockable cheats by fulfilling extra objectives during the campaign, which changes up the feel by giving you things like invincibility, invisibility, a one-shot golden gun, etc. You won’t be able to save that progress though, or get on the leader boards, but unless you’re really a points-chaser, you probably won’t care about the leader board anyway. I certainly don’t. But you might, and if you do, there’s plenty of opportunity here.

Not only that, there are challenges too, which are apart from the campaign. Here you’ll be able to hone your stealth, combat, and various objective-focused things.

'Pistol Whip' Review – Shooting for the Flow State


Level design is actually one of the real high points to Espire 1. While the game’s multilayered levels offer admittedly contrived, conveniently person-size air ducts, they play an important role in filling a melange of attack vectors, be it through an air duct, overhead by way of pipeworks, through easier side routes, or straight down the middle through a gang of guards. It’s really up to you, and this makes me actually think about where to go and what to do next as opposed to dumbly following orders and waypoints to my next bullet sponge. Ok, enemies are bullet sponges, and I would have liked at least more than a single boss to fight, but you catch my drift. Anway, I like it when games don’t hold your hands and simultaneously offering help—not forcing it upon you—when you need it most.

Image courtesy Digital Lode

It’s easy to get lost in the sprawling government facility throughout the game’s six missions, and there’s a degree of backtracking that you have to do too, although I was happy to see that Espire 1 avoids the temptation of simply giving you a map and floating objectives, which would otherwise make it feel a little more flimsy, and a little more hand-holdy. You can however toss your repair device on the ground to give you a line to your next objective if you do find yourself in a tight spot, however your omnipresent mission buddies will always give you some sort of clue as to where to go to next.

That said, voice acting is particularly good, but the rate at which the game launches the same lines at you over and over really makes me want to turn off audio completely. The cutesy teenage Japanese girl voice goes from interesting to downright unbearable as you’re fed the same prompting dialogue, something that magnifies in the game’s challenge portion. The same goes for whenever you’re hurt, as your served up a barrage of the same shrill lines about heading for covers and healing. Here, I would have liked to be left to my own devices, and the game definitely steps on some toes by insinuating I can’t see the plainly visible health meter.

Visually the game is fairly dark, drab, and doesn’t offer a bunch in variability when it comes to the environment, but it seems to be cohesive enough graphically.

'Stormland' Review – The New Bar for VR Open-world Adventure

Positional audio is less-than-alright however, as solid structures don’t occlude sound in the slightest, so you can constantly hear enemies prattling away to themselves behind massive concrete slabs, or sometimes entire floors of a building, which forces you to use Espire Vision to confirm they are indeed not walking on top of your head, or sticking their heads into your armpits.

Climbing is a missed opportunity due to it lack of haptic feedback the transience of the world’s geometry (i.e. you have ghost hands). There’s a slight audio cue when your hand touches a grabbable surface which is typically metal, but your hands can pass through geometry with zero haptic feedback to help you understand where you can climb and where you can’t, making the world feel like a less solid place in general. Climbing involves guesswork, and that’s not great.

Espire 1 also features voice commands, but not only will you feel silly shouting ‘Freeze’ at an enemy, but I found it didn’t work all the time, so I basically just forgot about them.


If you’re looking for maximum movement, you’ll eventually find yourself swinging through the air like Spider-Man. Although you can take it easy by climbing one hand at a time, flinging youself around isn’t only more efficient, but it’s actively encouraged during timed events. Of course, this level of unpredictable movement can cause discomfort in some users.

If you’re planning on going full ham on being Spider-Man, you may want to use the game’s ‘Control Theatre’, which applies a grid around your field of view that creeps in every time you turn or move. I turned this off in the settings immediately, but it is a tried and true method for keeping the player more grounded, as it eliminates movement in your peripheral, something that typically triggers discomfort in sensitive users.

Image courtesy Digital Lode

Variable snap-turn is also available, but you can just as easily forget it if you have an inside-out tracked headset, as you can simply move forward with the stick/touchpad forward movement scheme. Nope, no smooth motion turning here, but you shouldn’t need it if you aren’t on an OG Rift CV1 or a PSVR.

There’s also no teleportation, which is demonstrably the most comfortable (read: not most immersive) way of moving around. That may be for the best of things, as you’ll want to move quickly and fluidly when shit hits the fan.

The post ‘Espire 1: VR Operative’ Review – Solid Snake, But Rough Around the Edges appeared first on Road to VR.

Espire 1: VR Operative Finally Confirmed for Launch This Week

It has been a rocky road for Australian developer Digital Lode over the last few months. During the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2019 in June the studio showcased a very promising version of its stealth experience Espire 1: VR Operative with a release scheduled for September. In spectacular style that didn’t happen with the launch delayed with 24 hours notice. Now Digital Lode and publisher Tripwire Interactive have stated Espire 1: VR Operative will arrive this week.

Espire 1: VR Operative

It was a couple of days ago that both companies issued a statement after the PlayStation Blog published an article with one date, while the PlayStation Store issued another. Both of these were incorrect yet the release window wasn’t inaccurate, falling between these two dates.

For those looking to mix between stealth gameplay and full-on Rambo-style warfare Espire 1: VR Operative might be just what you’re after – unless you own Oculus Rift S and Stormland, as it might be difficult to put down. You play as an Espire agent tasked with a top-secret mission. In this futuristic world you no longer need to be James Bond risking life and limb. Instead, you remotely control an Espire model 1 robot which then affords you superhuman abilities.

You’ll be able to scurry up walls like a spider and leap huge distances in an effort to avoid guards and complete your mission. The Espire robot has abilities like seeing through walls to gauge the danger and if destroyed, you’ll then appear in a new body. But, there are challenges for each level which include not costing the company you work for loads of cash, and these robots don’t come cheap. So while shooting the place up may seem fun, the influx of enemies could prove overwhelming and costly in the long run.

Espire 1: VR Operative

Espire 1: VR Operative is scheduled to arrive on Friday, 22nd November supporting Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Valve Index and PlayStation VR. Don’t forget you can still pre-order the videogame on Steam to getting Killing Floor: Incursion for free.

Check out VRFocus’ preview of Espire 1: VR Operative for a little hands-on info ahead of our review. As always, keep reading VRFocus for the latest updates.