End Space has been out for several month now and we reviewed the game right before the launch back this spring. Justin Wasilenko, the game creator, told us in an interview that he wish to add many features and polish the game with future updates. We returned to End Space to see how things evolved so far. Justin is still working on some of the features he’s been telling us about and has not dropped support for End Space to work on another project like many developers do. He is dedicated to bring End Space to all VR platforms and make a quality game that will become a reference in the VR industry. Outside the game, one major change: Justin Wasilenko was able to start and put the game under his own company Orange Bridge Studios.
Coming back to our first review, we loved the game as it was the first Space Flight game offering full and independent control on the ship, while you could look around and explore the beauty of space. It required a game pad to control the ship, and aiming was done with head movements. The game was well balanced and we thought that it needed just some minor updates on the game play, physics and graphics. The game felt like a studio created game with Voice actors, ambiance music, great visuals and effects and an immersive approach.
Now that a few updates were rolled out, we jump back into End Space to find ourselves overwhelmed by the changes that were made. Justin went beyond most people expectations. Here are the new things to look for.
The Space Station (Menu) :
Once stuck on a static spot in the space station, you could only look around. The menu is still the same floating windows, but now you have the freedom to move around the space station with an Hot Spot system. It’s a nice addition that hides a few Easter eggs.
Support has been added for touch pad controls, allowing user to control the ship with head movements and to Shoot the primary and secondary weapon as well as using the boost or break with swipe motions on the touch pad. It’s not the best way to play, but it opens up the game to those without a controller. In this case, you will have to play standing or with a swivel chair as you need to be able to look all around to control your ship in free space.
If you’d rather have a more classic feel, you can also use the controller, but disable the Look to Aim control. This way, the ship will shoot straight ahead. It’s a bit more challenging, but it feels a lot more rewarding when completing a mission.
You can also use the Look to Fly controls with a controller for shooting, boosting and breaking. It is the best solution for those suffering from VR sickness.
At first, I did not notice any change. It’s when I launched the first mission that the obvious struct me. The cabin model has been completely revamped by Lee Souder. Your character body has been added and the cockpit feels more like a spaceship than before. The holographic display helps you see your shield, hull and boost status as well as your ship’s orientation. The downside, you get less visibility, but we think it’s more realist like that.
The enemy ships models have also been updated to include better models. The explosions were revamped and debris are left flying around when you destroy an enemy. You can bump into them and send them flying around.
The whole game elements was scaled down a bit. In game, it does not really make a change, but it does give textures a better look as they are less stretched and makes the 3D effects a lot more visible even during intense space battles.
I did not notice any major change in sound or music, but there is a few more variation in sound effects and volume was re-balanced. It is still well present in mission and voice overs are still nice to have.
A few tweaks were made to the whole game experience. For example, instead of just starting and completing a level, you actually warp in and out. This gives the player the freedom to fly around endlessly until they focus on the Warp beacon.
Weapons were re-balanced to make them more unique. It is now possible to switch weapons in combat, while only the equipped weapon was usable before the updates.
Another addition to the game play is the enemy ship escape pods. When a ship is destroyed, the pilot is ejected in a pod, destroy it for extra points, it’s a real challenge.
Other tweaks includes longer and faster boosters, collisions of ships have been greatly enhanced, texture and shaders are improved, missile locking system have been slightly tweaked and there’s a few more fix and tweaks.
What haven’t change is the grinding of the same levels to earn extra credit and buy new weapons or levels. This isn’t bad in itself, but it might feel repetitive to some people who prefer a straight journey to the end. This kind of mechanism works best in an open world, but this is a level based game.
Future update :
Justin is still working on many tweaks and features. Porting the game to the other platforms like PSVR, Rift and Daydream is one of it, but the most awaited feature is Multiplayer. Even though he is aware the lack of VR players makes it hard to sustain a multiplayer ecosystem, we should see the feature popping up in the next big update.
It’s great to see commitment in a great game and the overall updates kept the core gameplay that we enjoyed while adding to the design, effects and gameplay mechanism a few welcomed tweaks.
- Amazing graphics
- Adaptive game play
- Continuous updated
- Grinding the same levels