A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that EVE: Valkyrie is a sci-fi, space-based, arcade-style shooter. Action is fast-paced and nonstop, taking the form of epic space battles among squads of fighters, with all manner of shooting and explosions taking place in 360 degrees. While there's rare use of mild language in game dialogue, it should be pointed out that, due to the game's focus on multiplayer, there's a chance for players to be exposed to offensive language when teamed up with others in a party. Players can also use real money to purchase in-game currency to upgrade and customize their ships.
What's it about?
In EVE: VALKYRIE, you're an ace pilot in the ongoing battle for supremacy of the depths of space. After meeting your demise at the wrong end of a dogfight, you learn that death is only the beginning. Your consciousness is saved and downloaded into a new cloned body, where you live to fight again and again and again as part of the Valkyries, a splinter pirate faction made up of the best of the best. Players will test their mettle and make a name for themselves in massive multiplayer eight-vs.-eight dogfights, while unlocking their past by reliving memories in the single-player Chronicles mode. Once their skills improve, players can join in the epic Carrier Assault, a series of battles aiming to take down an enemy carrier, culminating in a trench run into the belly of the beast.
Is it any good?
In this epic sci-fi space shooter, you don't just get to watch dogfights, you get to live them, so long as you can deal with repetition. From the first moment your fighter gets catapulted into battle, you can't help but get a sense of how massive deep space can be. It doesn't take long, though, before enemy squads swoop in and you realize that even in the depth of space, combat can be claustrophobic. You see, in space it's easy to lose sight of which way is up because, technically, every direction is up. It can be a little disorienting at first, especially with the 360-degree view the VR unit provides, but before long you'll be swooping in and out, rolling, dodging, boosting, and braking with the best of them, all to try to get a clear shot at an opponent while avoiding getting hit from behind … or below … or above.
As wild as the dogfighting can get, even deep space can have a few speed bumps. One of the game's most interesting features is its use of eye tracking to lock onto targets. Basically, if you want to fire a salvo of missiles at one enemy, you stare at the target to get a lock, and then fire away. Most of the time it works great, but occasionally (and especially when the VR headset needs a quick recalibration), the alignment gets a little off and you find yourself forced to look just to the side of your target to establish a lock. The other gripe you're likely to have with the game is its reliance on grinding. There are lots of little things to unlock in EVE: Valkyrie, but to get to any of them requires a marathon session of gameplay. It's not only a grind to unlock these items, but it's also a grind to earn the in-game currency to buy those unlocked items. This is where microtransactions rear their ugly heads. Mind you, most of the items you can buy are vanity items, like new looks for the cockpit, new paint jobs, and the like. But there are also a few performance-related upgrades that can really help in both single-player and multiplayer, leaving you to decide if you'd rather grind a few more hours under the weight of the VR headset or go ahead and spend a few bucks to unlock some things that'll make your time in space bit easier. Whatever you decide, the good news is that once you're strapped into the cockpit of your fighter, all the other concerns just sort of fade away in a blissful escape. You can easily forget that you're in a virtual environment, and, in that moment, you truly are an ace pilot and the pride of the Valkyries.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Does it lessen the impact of the violence in a game if there are no consequences? What about when the violence is big but not graphic, such as vehicles exploding but with no death shown on-screen?
Talk about space and space exploration. What do you think the future holds for space exploration? What are some reasons that we look to the stars for our future?
- Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: CCP Games
- Release date: October 13, 2016
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Mild Language, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.