‘Space Pirate Arena’ Could Be The Most Important VR Game Of The Year

Developer I-Illusions’ hall-scale VR game could mark the start of a new era in multiplayer gaming on Quest.

Originally announced back in August of 2019, Space Pirate Arena is an upcoming multiplayer spinoff of the classic VR wave shooter Space Pirate Trainer that will have you battling other players locally in “hall-scale” competitive shootouts. Unlike your average room-scale VR shooter, this potentially genre-defying experience requires a generous 10x10m of open space in order to play, promising a hyper-realistic combat experience that will have you physically running to cover.

Recently, independent developer I-Illusions (Space Pirate Trainer) shared several updates on the upcoming court-size shooter, teasing a multifaceted multiplayer experience for the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2.

In a Twitter thread posted last week, Dirk Weldens of I-Illusions confirmed that Space Pirate Arena will be launching “soon” on Oculus Quest headsets and that a release date is forthcoming. According to Weldens, the game will feature 1v1 local multiplayer as well as an additional singleplayer mode designed to give you “a taste of the gameplay (if you don’t have friends with a Quest).”

As previously mentioned, you will need at least a 10x10m playspace in order to play. Welden says this is to ensure the game is experienced correctly as imagined by the team. Other than that, there are very few limitations to the core gameplay experience.

Image Credit: I-Illusions

Much like how Space Pirate Trainer set the bar early for wave-based VR shooters back in 2016, Space Pirate Arena has the potential to influence yet another genre of VR gaming still in its infancy, one that takes advantage of the Quest’s standalone functionality to immerse players in their own virtual arenas. That being said, Space Pirate Arena is far from the first “hall-scale” VR shooter on Oculus Quest headsets.

We’ve talked about court-size VR games like Triton VR and Cyberaction and their overall impact on the Oculus Quest in the past, but these experiences—while each impressive in their own right—have not had the impact necessary to kickstart this new genre in standalone VR gaming. I-Illusions, on the other hand, has the developer knowledge and name recognition that could make Space Pirate Arena the next big thing.

Personally, I love the idea of more VR games featuring physical locomotion. Aforementioned titles like Triton VR account for some of my favorite moments inside a VR headset. Even smaller, more simplistic experiences—such as the single-player coronavirus outbreak mode in MissionX—offer some genuinely entertaining moments thanks to the free-roam locomotion mechanics.

Here’s hoping Space Pirate Arena is just one of the first in a long line of hall-scale VR games on Oculus Quest.

Feature Image Credit: I-Illusions

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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