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Espire 1: VR Operative’s Assimilation Update is Massive; New Game Modes and Weapons Galore

Publisher Tripwire Interactive and developer Digital Lode have today released a brand new update for the hit stealth-action game Espire 1: VR Operative. The new update, which is available on Oculus Quest and PCVR, with PSVR players getting the update later this month, brings a whole host of new features to the title.

The Espire 1: VR Operative Assimilation update is completely free, and with it you get a couple of new weapons as well as some new game modes that come with online leaderboards, so there’s even more reason to strap back into your headset and enter the world of espionage in Espire 1: VR Operative. If you haven’t already played the game and want to know how it is on the Oculus Quest, you can read our review here.

In addition to the new game modes and weapons, the developers have been busy squashing bugs and implementing quality-of-life features based on fan suggestions. The developer has been kind enough to put all the relevant info and patch notes into one handy wall of text, which you can read down below.

High level Content Offering

  • 2 new weapons
  • 3 new Virtual Challenge game modes
  • 14 all-new challenges
  • New features aimed at reducing friction with players
  • Polish pass of the game’s campaign

2 New Weapons

  • Espire Semi-auto SMG
    • Based off the Vector SMG, this weapon has a unique semi-auto firing mode where 2 bullets are fired every time the trigger is used – One bullet is fired when the trigger is pressed, a second bullet fires when the trigger is released. With an extended clip of 45 rounds and very little recoil, it is the weapon of choice for the new “SMG” weapon challenge mode.
  • Sawn-off shotgun
    • This weapon’s small size means it can be holstered as either a primary or sidearm. It’s reloaded via a magazine, instead of shell-by-shell like it’s big brother, however it has a larger spread with reduced damage.

3 New Virtual Challenge Game Modes
We’ve created 3 new game modes that we will hope offer more stealth gameplay for those who have finished the campaign as well as all new gameplay not seen anywhere else in the game before.

They are broken into 3 categories:

  • Intel Challenges:
    • Explore 4 completely new environments. Locate and hack intelligence from all workstations in the area, then reach the extraction point. This game mode builds on the core Espire gameplay from the campaign.
  • Weapon Challenges:
    • Run, weave, duck, climb, jump and zipline your way through 7 weapon courses. 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:
    • This new gamemode is focused solely on overcoming climbing puzzles where your speed and timing is paramount to completing the course without getting squashed by the fast moving crushers!

New Features
These are the major new features in the Assimilation Update:

  • Calibrate anytime
    • Players can now recalibrate their Espire Unit at any point during gameplay. A new “RECALIBRATE” option in the pause menu allows players to adjust the location/size of their belt and chest holsters, change their dominant hand and their recorded standing height.
  • “Manual vault” when climbing
    • Previously, when a player was climbing and gripped a ledge, then brought their hand to their waist, they would ‘auto-vault’ up onto the ledge they’d gripped. This can sometimes be annoying, where the game ‘auto-vaults’ players up onto a ledge when they don’t intend for this to happen
    • This new “manual-vault” feature shows an icon in the player’s HUD whenever they are in a position where vaulting is possible. If the player releases their grip while this icon is up, they will vault up. This will be an optional feature, and will disabled by default.
  • New on-boarding sequence in Mission 1
    • Based on player feedback, we’ve completely redesigned the on-boarding sequence at the start of mission 1.1 in the campaign. The new sequence is an interactive overview of core interactions and key items, and should hopefully be a good first impression for first-time players.
  • Improved loading times
    • We’ve completed a huge revision of the game’s framework in order to drastically improve load-times on all platforms. This is most noticeable in virtual challenges, where the time to retry a completed challenge is much quicker.
  • Lighting pass: We’ve re-lit every mission and virtual challenge in the game in an effort to improve gameplay and visuals on all platforms. Depending on the platform, some areas of the game were too dark, while others were too bright. We’ve tried to improve visual quality while addressing these issues.
  • Campaign polish pass: We’ve worked through every mission in the game to address user-submitted bugs and improve issues with geometry, collision, gameplay, etc.
  • Cancel forced-slo-mo at any time
    • If a player is sneaking around and is spotted by an enemy, we force Espire instinct on the player, slowing down time and giving them an opportunity to eliminate the guard before the alarm is triggered. Players now have the option to press the “instinct” button and end this slow mo sequence early, instead of having to wait 8~ seconds for it to finish
  • Leaderboards improvements (Quest + PC only)
    • Leaderboards have been heavily improved.
      • 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)
  • Weapon pass
    • Based on player feedback, we’ve adjusted the size of weapons to better match their real-world counterparts. We’ve also adjusted the holosights on the weapons to make it easier to find your target.
  • Grip interactions and physics pass
    • We’ve tried to improve grip/release interactions in the game.
      • 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.
  • Bug fixes
    • We’ve made many fixes to the game based on user feedback. Full notes to be added in the coming days.

Source: Tripwire Interactive

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