Back in 2016 when virtual reality (VR) began to find its way into consumers hands one of the most popular shooters at that time was I-Illusions’ Space Pirate Trainer. A few years later in 2019, the studio announced a grander vision for the franchise, a far more open laser-tag style experience called Space Pirate Arena. This week I-Illusions has confirmed that Space Pirate Arena will be hitting Oculus Quest soon.
Rather than your basic living room roomscale VR experience where you might have two or three meters each way to play with, Space Pirate Arena commands a far larger area. As I-Illusions’ Dirk Van Welden reveals in a Twitter thread: “To make sure Arena is played the right way, it won’t boot unless you found a 10 x 10m space. That’s actually the only threshold”
So you’ll need a decent garden area, sports court or field before you can even begin to play. With all that space to play in you and a few mates with Oculus Quests will be able to run around virtual arenas, hiding behind any available cover. “In the process of creating Arena, we had to come up with a whole bunch of original solutions for problems that arise with 1-to-1 movement based gameplay. Let’s hope these set the bar for future similar experiences!” Van Welden adds.
While Space Pirate Arena is primarily designed as a local multiplayer shooter Van Welden has confirmed it’ll feature a multiplayer element. It’s there to give you a taste of the gameplay if you don’t have friends with a Quest. “Similar to SPT, once you have played Arena the way it should be, you’ll be introduced to a whole new kind of experience, and it’ll just sell itself,” he notes.
There’s still plenty to be revealed including player count, weapons, arena variety and quite what the technical requirements will be for connecting multiple headsets when you’re stood in the middle of a basketball court, or in the middle of a field?
Space Pirate Arena is certainly one of the more interesting uses of VR for general consumers. When launch date details are revealed, VRFocus will let you know.