Espire 2 review – Excellent stealthy action

Espire 2 review – Excellent stealthy action

Espire 2 review

The variety of experiences on offer for Meta Quest 2 is constantly growing. From rock climbing and sports to first-person shooters, the variety of genres at Meta’s virtual reality headset It has matured quite a bit since its inception. And now, stealth fans have something to look forward to as breathe out 2 he sneaks onto the platform. Combining the stealthy intrigue of a spy thriller with shooter action, Espire 2 will make you feel like a futuristic James Bond.

I didn’t play the first Espire, but the basics of this second title from editors Tripwire Presents are easy to pick up in the opening sequence. You are Poe, an agent working to thwart the evil plans of the shady crime syndicate OPHIS. Using sci-fi technology, you remotely inhabit robotic bodies (“frames”), allowing you to infiltrate enemy bases and complete missions. The beauty and fun of frame mechanics is that it allows for the use of a lot of cool tech toys to get the job done. Zoom in on the arm with the touch controller and you can pull out a multi-tool that does everything from repairing your structure damage to disabling fired lasers and enemy gun turrets. On the arm of your frame is a slingshot dart gun. Pull its handle with your other arm and fire tranquilizer days. Hold your Touch controller right up to your temple and Espire Vision will activate. That allows you to see through walls and highlight objects with augmented reality. Playing Espire 2, using all these cool features, I was fully immersed in the action and felt like a true sci-fi movie hero.

Espire 2 bills itself as a stealth action game. But that statement would be meaningless if the levels didn’t give you a real incentive to use stealth. That’s where level design comes into play. In Espire 2, the level design is superb. Using his Espire Vision ability, he can search for and highlight tunnels, air vents, and other alternate routes. Crouched, you can avoid combat by staying in these shady places.

Excellent stealth gameplay

Enemy guards have vision cones that can be activated if you’re not careful. And you don’t want to trigger them. Because doing so brings reinforcements with much heavier armor. This is a shooting game and for sure there are weapons. You can engage in firefights if that’s your thing. But in my experience, a gunfight is something to be avoided in Espire 2, unless you’re VERY good at headshots. Alert levels rise with each kill, eventually overwhelming you.

But sometimes you can’t avoid a shootout even when you try. In my experience, the enemy’s vision range is too far. Or at least, it is not clearly defined. Basically, if you want to avoid being seen by the bad guys, you better not be able to see them. Period. So it’s not perfect. But when you can pull off a stealthy approach, Espire 2 is a run that brings back memories of Metal Gear’s greatest moments.

Another aspect of stealth, and one that really works well, is the ability to talk to enemies. You sneak up behind them and then say any number of available phrases. You can say “hands up”, “put your gun down”, etc. And Espire 2 makes these mechanics even more realistic by letting you speak these commands, right on your Touch controller. I’ve never seen a Meta Quest 2 game employ this idea before, and it’s great. It’s not something you want to do with other people in the room (there’s also the option to silently choose phrases from a list), but if you do use it, the immersion factor is increased significantly.

some complaints

Put them together, and these innovative and immersive mechanics make Espire 2 one of the best VR games I’ve played yet. And that’s saying something, because it definitely has its flaws. The images are inconsistent. Some assets, like weapons, look quite detailed. But the environments are sometimes basic, with recycled assets and low resolution. The enemies also lack variety. Technically, Espire is mostly smooth, but I did experience two instances of freezing: once, at the end of a mission that required me to restart from the last checkpoint.

And while the two single-player missions are pretty good, multiplayer is disappointingly minimal in Espire 2. You can play co-op with a friend using an invite code, but that’s about it for now. No pairing. No PvP. Hopefully it’s something the developer plans to add later.

No, it’s not perfect, but Espire 2 in Meta Quest 2 is great to play. Innovative mechanics, great level design, and two really engaging missions more than make up for the few glitches and sketchy multiplayer. If you love stealth games, or just want to be Ethan Hunt or James Bond for a few hours, pick this one up.

** The publisher provided a Meta Quest 2 game code **

The good

  • cool sci-fi aesthetic
  • Excellent level design
  • Good stealth game


The bad

  • inconsistent visuals
  • limited multiplayer
  • Some freezing issues

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