Sunsoft recently confirmed to VRFocus that the forthcoming PlayStation VR exclusive MOBA, Dark Eclipse, would make its western playable debut at PlayStation Experience this month. Following this, the publisher has offered some brand new details on exactly how attendees – and eventually players around the world – will play the videogame.
Dark Eclipse is a videogame designed for online play. You will need to react to other players’ tactics as there is no sure-win strategy, requiring adaptation to each situation. The pace of the videogame allows you to think strategically in terms of when to attack or defend. Two online gameplay modes will be included: Rank Mode and eSport.
Designed to be a competitive videogame, like all great MOBAs before it, Dark Eclipse will pit skilled players against others who match their skill level. Rank Mode is intended specifically for this; filtering out the weaker players to enable the stronger players to battle against one another. At launch there will be a focus on 1-vs-1 mode, but moving forward Sunsoft will add 2-vs-2, and the dynamic of the game will start to require teamwork. Eventually, the team want to incorporate 3-vs-3 matches.
“We don’t want to jump into a situation where there are not enough players in-game at any given time, and we don’t want to have people waiting for a long time for a match,” stated a representative of Sunsoft. “In short, ﬁrst claim victory with your own wit, going solo and no need to worry about guild partners or leechers. Then look forward to team-vs-team gameplay in a major release after launch.
“We deeply understand the excitement of team-vs-team dynamic. Looking at MOBAs on mobile phones, it’s easy to get a list of games with 5 vs 5 players. But is that the answer for VR MOBA? We are taking steps to ﬁnd out. The multiplayer online battle experience we want, doesn’t necessarily means 5 vs 5 players, especially when one player has to control three characters in game. We will keep iterating and evolve the game. Finally, there wouldn’t be eSports if there are no spectators. For that, we have been prototyping a spectator mode, and that will be released in an update after launch.”
In addition to the multiplayer gameplay modes, Dark Eclipse will also include the option to play solo, offline. There are practice mode and tutorials, as well as a mode for player vs A.I. bots. There will be rewards as players gain more experience, and once you reach the highest experience level you will be prepared to take on other live players.
One of the unique mechanics of Dark Eclipse is the ability to control three characters on the battlefield simultaneously. Originally Sunsoft experimented with having one player controlling up to five characters, however during playtesting the team found that three felt good. A range of characters are planned for the videogame, including human-like characters called the Heroes and monster-like characters called the Dominators. There are over 20 characters planned for launch.
With regards to input systems, Dark Eclipse will support both PlayStation Move and DualShock 4 controllers. A virtual hand will be present on-screen, with a trigger press used to grab objects and interact with the UI.
“When we were thinking of VR interaction in VR, the ﬁrst thing that we tried was point-and-click and point-and-teleport interactions. Although that worked, we were left thinking what if the interaction can be more like real life where you just grab with your hands. I mean, in real life, if you want to move an object in front of you, you just grab it and move the object with your hand. Our locomotion also uses the position of the motion controller to move yourself in-game. Unlike VR shooting games, you do not extend your arms to aim. The game is paced so that you move casually as if you are lighting a candle slowly. You can play the game standing up or sitting down. We designed the game with rest period between matches, so you can rest your body if needed.”
Sunsoft are hoping for an enduring audience in Dark Eclipse, suggesting that over 1,000 hours of gameplay will be available due to the varied combinations of playable characters available. Each match will typically last between 10 and 30 minutes.
“We play a lot of MOBA games, the thrill of triple-kill, diving under the tower to chase a kill, ganking on an unsuspecting opponent, getting that power buﬀ, pushing towers towards the enemy base, receiving cheers from spectators,” stated a representative of Sunsoft. “We want to bring all these game elements into VR. We like VR, and we want to have a game for people to play for hundreds of hours. Wouldn’t it be nice if we can have a MOBA+RTS game in VR where we can just play for many hours? That’s why we have Dark Eclipse, a game for gamers like us.”
Dark Eclipse will be coming to America in Spring 2018, with the ﬁrst English language playable demo set to be available at PlayStation Experience 2017. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on Dark Eclipse and other forthcoming VR titles from Sunsoft.