As revealed live during this year’s Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, developer Digital Lode and publisher Tripwire Presents are excited to announce Espire 2, the sequel to the award-winning first-person stealth action virtual reality (VR) title Espire 1: VR Operative. Scheduled to release in November 2022 for the Meta Quest 2 platform, Espire 2 combines the tactical precision of modern stealth titles with the unprecedented immersion of VR, further expanding upon the genre-defining experience of its critically acclaimed predecessor. More information about Espire 2 will be made available in the near future, but agents wishing to secure their role early can add the game to their wish list on the Meta Store.
“We are so excited to finally share a first-ever look at Espire 2, the VR stealth-action sequel of our dreams,” said Digital Lode Founder and Game Director Michael Wentworth-Bell. “Espire 2 would not be possible without the amazing teams at Meta and the Quest 2 platform, or without our continued publishing partnership with Tripwire Presents, who have believed in our vision from the beginning and continue to guide and mentor our studio. Most importantly, this sequel wouldn’t be happening without the incredible community that has supported Espire 1 since its release two years ago. We thank you, and we hope you will enjoy what we have in store for Espire 2.”
In the world of Espire 2, advanced military and virtual reality technologies meet, allowing Espire Agents to take on the role of a super spy, piloting deadly Espire Model 1 Operative espionage droids remotely from the safety of the Control Theatre. Set in the year 2036, Espire 2 marks the return of Espire Agent POE (the Primary Operator of Espire). After emerging from a seven-year coma, POE is thrust back into the world of dark espionage as the centerpiece of the Espire project. Now, with the help of two bleeding-edge droids called “Frames”, and an all-new arsenal of weapons and tools, POE must embark on a mission to eliminate the global threat imposed by the deadly terrorist organization, OPHIS.
“We are thrilled to be working with Digital Lode and Meta on Espire 2! The team at Digital Lode has embraced fan feedback from Espire 1 and is focused on implementing features that open exciting new ways to play in the sequel,” said Brian Etheridge, Publishing Director at Tripwire. “The new Espire frame offers an entirely new tool set to take on the enemy in Espire 2, while the addition of cooperative multiplayer lets players coordinate with each other to develop dynamic tactics and create awesome memories. The Digital Lode teams are, more than anything, VR super fans and that shows in everything they do!”
Developer Digital Lode has big plans to expand upon the success of the original Espire 1: VR Operative, adding a wealth of new features and improvements to the gameplay that made the original a top-selling hit.
Espire 2 features include:
- Immersive Single Player Campaign – Take on missions across the globe in sandbox environments designed to allow the player total freedom over their play style. Sneak past guards, create distractions, and think strategically to achieve objectives or charge forward, guns blazing. Espire 2 offers the thrill of both stealth and action-focused strategies to each area, all presented with immersive VR technology.
- Multiplayer Co-op campaign: Players can now team up with a fellow operative in a new multiplayer co-op campaign that bridges the gap between Espire 1 and Espire 2.
- Control Multiple Espire Frames: For the first time, players can control and can switch between two unique Espire frames. Each frame is suited with their own special abilities and attributes, offering strategic benefits for players to discover while playing through both of Espire 2’s campaigns.
- Unique Gadgets: The player’s entire array of tools and gadgets is now fully integrated into the Espire frames, offering a vast variety of accessible options for handling objectives before they even draw their weapon.
- Rule the Play Area: Espire Vision gives Agents a strategic, accessible view of the situation, allowing players to see through walls, mark the location of enemies, predict patrol paths, and more.
- Voice commands: Players can utilize voice commands to distract, hold up and interrogate the enemy. Interrogation commands include “empty your pockets” and “where are your friends?” Espire 2 can be played without voice commands, if players prefer.
- Cutting Edge Graphics and Spatial Audio: Espire 2 boasts next generation VR graphics and spatial audio systems that will take full advantage of the power of the Meta Quest 2.
- Stealth AI System: The stealth AI system has been rebuilt from the ground up with a focus on core stealth mechanics, enemy engagements and player agency, bringing even more depth to Espire 2’s variety of gameplay options.
- Immersion and Presence: Thanks to Espire 2’s accurate “arm IK” system, players see their virtual forearms where their real ones would be and experience VR interactions in lifelike detail.
- Enhanced Control Theatre: The technology behind the “Control Theatre” lies at the heart of the Espire 2’s movement and control system. Utilizing the Meta Quest 2’s additional rendering capabilities, the innovative “Control Theatre” comfort system makes its return in Espire 2, with enhanced features, a new user interface, and easier accessibility. This “VR within VR” system allows for precise full freedom of movement, maintains immersion, and also eliminates “VR motion sickness” for almost all players. The Control Theatre is fully customizable to suit the player’s level of comfort, up to fully disabled for those already comfortable moving in VR.
For more information on Digital Lode and to stay up to date on the latest news for Espire 2, be sure to visit the official website – and follow the developers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Gamer, dad and supporter of @SpecialEffect Charity. Dark Souls fan and gooner!