Eternal Starlight VR is a real-time strategy, tactical space combat game. Built from the ground-up specifically for VR, it feels like something right out of Ender’s Game.
Zoom And Enhance
Eternal Starlight starts off with a short tutorial to get you used to the controls. Though the controls were more intuitive than I expected, the tutorial was more helpful in getting used to what I would call the main gameplay mechanic: drag and zoom.
In an impressive display of programming, at any point in combat you can slow time, move around the battlefield, and zoom in or out. This allows players to get a different perspective and a better view of the action. Seemingly ripped directly from Ender’s Game, this feature works extraordinarily well! This style of gameplay mixed with the 3D nature of space allowed in VR makes battles fun and interesting.
Earth is becoming unsustainable. In an effort to find a new home, you will take command of a fleet of ships. Unlock new ships and upgrade them to claim a new home for humanity. This means choosing friends and enemies wisely, as they may be the difference between life…and permadeath.
Permadeath, for those who may not know, means when you die in the game, you lose all progress and start from the beginning. The games actually warns you of this when you start. As well as letting players know that mission maps and rewards are randomized. Also, you can fail a mission and still move forward in the story.
This means you won’t be able to play all missions in one play through. All this and the standard 3 difficulty modes means there is a great reason to play multiple times.
Strategy and Tactics are Key!
If you haven’t played a real-time strategy game, or RTS, then I have good news: like chess, it’s easy to learn, but difficult to master.
The goals for each mission can vary and so can your rewards. Some missions will be defending a resource or ship, others will be about straight combat. Managing your ships will be paramount. Luckily, the options for customizing and upgrading your armada are impressive.
You will have to manage your fleet, including repairs, weapons, shield upgrades, and buying new ships. Some missions will activate after a set number of other missions. For instance, it may let you know that an enemy will be at your location in a certain number of turns. That means you only have a certain amount of missions to gain resources and allies to be prepared for the attack.
I personally love this overarching level of strategy beyond the mission to mission gameplay. Eternal Starlight even gives you a display just to show your relationship level with the other species. How you play and what missions you take on or even the ones you fail will change what kind of allies you can count on in the final fight.
If you like to manage resources, are a fan of RTS games, or enjoy building an armada to crush your enemies, you will love this game. If you aren’t a fan of RTS and resource management, I’d still encourage you to give Eternal Starlight a play. The controls are intuitive, and the combat really utilizes the 3D space and ability to change your point of view. Not to mention, zooming in and out during the fights is really just fun. Eternal Starlight has set the bar for VR strategy games!