CCP Games’ VR Labs contingent may have been presented as working on ‘experimental’ virtual reality (VR), but if there was any one project that was confident enough to eventually receive a consumer release it was undoubtedly Project Nemesis. Developed by CCP Shanghai exclusively for Gear VR, Project Nemesis represents a parallel to EVE: Valkyrie (pictured below) made to make the most of its host platform.
EVE: Valkyrie is big and brash. It’s fast and it’s loud in its no-nonsense space combat action, but also it’s very freeform. Players are able to scale great distances across the war-torn maps thanks largely to the horsepower pushing the experience. In choosing to work with Gear VR, CCP Shanghai had limited their ability to recreate this freedom, but most certainly have worked hard to make Project Nemesis just as boisterous in its adrenaline-rush shooting gameplay.
The most immediate comparison to Project Nemesis is nDreams’ VR debut, Gunner. The player is mounted on a single spot (though here in Project Nemesis, the craft is automatically moving forward through space) and tasked with taking on waves of enemy ships. Like a traditional shoot-’em-up, different types of enemies have their own attack and movement patterns, and the player will soon learn the importance of taking down specific enemies first and the best way to do so.
The player has a basic attack which is controlled by tapping the touchpad. Additionally, power-ups can be collected from specific enemies, some of which allow for a special attack conducted by swiping forward on the touchpad. It’s simple and intuitive, though VRFocus would suggest that a fuller videogame experience would likely seem many more power-ups and attack varieties incorporated into Project Nemesis.
Upon reaching the end of the technical demo offered at EVE Fanfest the player would encounter a boss. A massive screen-filling ship to which the key for victory was to take down the guns mounted on its side before they could fire at you. Once a hatch opens the player should look directly at it and concentrate all their firepower upon it. Hatches will increase in the speed at which they open, eventually getting to the point where multiple are open at the same time if the player isn’t quick enough to take them out of action.
Talking to VRFocus about the project, developers from CCP Shanghai revealed that the multi-stage boss battle was trimmed for the purposes of EVE Fanfest, suggesting that there is much more to Project Nemesis than that which has been seen thus far. Of all the VR Labs technical demonstrations on show at EVE Fanfest, Project Nemesis was undeniably closest to a consumer product, and were it not to eventually see release there would be nothing more to say about it than a missed opportunity.