‘Eve: Valkyrie’ Heads For Land With Free 'Groundrush' Update

CCP Games released the fifth free DLC update for EVE: Valkyrie. The Groundrush update includes a new ground-based map, new wormholes, expanded co-op gameplay, and Steam Controller support.

CCP Games showed the world the first glimpse of what was to become EVE: Valkyrie at EVE Fanfest in April 2013. The developer had recently received Oculus Rift DK1 developer kits and quickly slapped together a tech demo for it using assets from EVE Online. The feedback from that early demo inspired the company to build an entire game around the concept. In August 2013, CCP Games announced EVE: Valkyrie.

CCP Games spent three years developing and refining the core gameplay of EVE: Valkyrie, including an extensive alpha test period and a brief beta test (which we got our hands on in January 2016). The game launched alongside the Oculus Rift as a pack-in title for pre-order customers, which ensured a large player base in the early days of VR. Following a limited time exclusivity deal with Oculus, the developer subsequently released EVE: Valkyrie on PlayStation VR and HTC Vive, and enabled cross-platform gameplay between all three versions.

CCP Games didn’t stop at adding support for the other VR platforms. Throughout the last year, CCP Games released five significant updates that added new features and rebalanced the gameplay. The first DLC update launched June 20, 2016, and brought a new gameplay mode called Carrier Assault and a variety of tweaks and changes to the menus and gameplay. The Joint Strike update rolled out in October, which brought PSVR gamers into the EVE universe, and a small update added Vive support in November. The Gatecrash update followed in December, which added a new map, player customization, and PS4 Pro optimizations. In February, CCP Games shook up the battlegrounds with the Wormholes update that added unique missions for skilled pilots to test their abilities. Now, the developer is shaking things up again with the Groundrush update.

New Maps

The EVE: Valkyrie Groundrush update includes two new wormhole maps: Nightyard and Goldenroad. Nightyard is the first map covered in almost total darkness--the shipyard is under cover of an eclipse and lit only by blue lights and the weapons you and your enemies fire. Goldenroad features high gravity and a tight combat area to test your maneuvering skills.

The Groundrush update’s name is derived from a new map for the standard multiplayer mode. The Solitude map is the first ground-based battlefield in EVE: Valkyrie and it brings a new dynamic to the fight. The Solitude map offers little cover above ground and instead features gorges and mountainous terrain, which CCP Games said you’ll have to use wisely to stay protected.

The Solitude map also features an underground tunnel system, which should put your flight skills to the ultimate test. The subterranean tunnel system features tight, enclosed spaces with little room for error. The tunnel system is also ideal for dropping mines and Spiderbots, so you must remain diligent, lest you succumb to an explosive fate.

Expanded Co-Op

When Eve: Valkyrie made its debut on the PSVR, CCP Games added a co-op mode, which is more approachable for new players. The co-op mode lets you play the game with other players, but not against other players. The Groundrush update expands the co-op mode’s reach to the Control and Carrier Assault modes of the game. Now players who don’t want to fight other players, or don’t have the confidence to take on a player vs. player match, can experience more of the game without worrying about getting dominated by highly skilled players.

Steam Controller Support

Eve: Valkyrie made its way to the Vive HMD and the Steam VR platform in November 2016, but the game didn’t support Valve’s controller at the time. You could pilot your ship with an Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Sony Dual Shock 4 controller, but the developer left the Steam Controller in the dust.

With the Groundrush update, you’re free to use the Steam Controller to pilot your ship if you wish.

Out Now!

The Eve: Valkyrie Groundrush update is available today. The game should automatically update to the latest client.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years. 

  • bit_user
    Okay, somebody tell me where I can get more of that art. Reminds me a bit of John Berkey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Berkey).

    I could use some new wallpapers...