Generally, if a game hasn’t received an update in a few years and it’s been surpassed by a sequel then you’d assume its dead. Or more accurately, the devs are done with it. That seemed to be the case with Espire 1: VR Operative, which launched for Meta Quest and PCVR headsets in 2019. While the Quest version saw continual updates, the Steam edition was left to languish. Surprisingly, after 3 whole years, Digital Lode has just brought the game up to date.
Well almost. Digital Lode made the surprise announcement today that the major “1.10” update will be available through Steam’s public beta channel. It’s free to opt-in and test the update before its official rollout in a few weeks. The free update is extensive, bringing long over due parity with the Meta Quest version. “It will include everything we’ve shipped on the Quest platform in our 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9 updates, alongside some new extras for PC,” the team notes. The only exclusion being the Quest-exclusive “Oculus Challenges” feature.
Espire 1’s comeback
As you’d expect after no updates for three years, this next one is jampacked! We’re not going to list all the improvements but here are a few highlights.
- The PC version of Espire 1 includes all content from the Quest 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9 updates
- Due to popular demand, we’ve Removed the two ‘flashback sequences’ from the campaign
- Added Support for newer VR Headsets and addressed various user reported Headset/controller issues
- Fix for the game not launching on some newer PCs
- Major Unreal Engine Upgrade – 4 engine versions back to back
- 5 new challenge levels
- 1 new environment
- 2 new weapons unlockable in the campaign (Spectre SMG, Sawn Off Shotgun)
- Major UI improvements
- Many user-reported bug fixes for A.I, achievements, UI, gameplay and more.
However, after such a long time, the question is are there any players left who will make use of these improvements. The game has a ‘Mixed’ response on Steam, plus its sequel Espire 2: Stealth Operatives arrived on Quest in 2022.
In a statement regarding the extended delay, Digital Lode address the many issues that have hampered the PC edition. These included the 1.7 update in 2020 that “included a major Unreal Engine upgrade that broke many things in Espire.” The studio then struggled to allocate time and resources to fixing the problem. “The team has been unable to address this sooner as we have been stretched thin on other projects. This is not the fault of the talented team at LODE but at the top leadership level.”
Do you own Espire 1: VR Operative? Think you’ll jump back in and give the update a try? Let us know in the comments below.