Space Pirate Trainer players on Oculus Quest will soon compete with partners in multiplayer or play at arena scale in the expanded DX version of the game coming in September.
If you haven’t played the defining wave shooter of consumer VR’s first generation already, now is probably the time to pick up Space Pirate Trainer on Oculus Quest for $14.99. The price goes up to $24.99 on September 9th with the release of the Space Pirate Trainer DX update which adds a versus mode of the classic game in which “Every time you shoot a droid, another one (or two!) will appear attacking your opponent”, according to Belgium-based development studio I-Illusions.
But that’s not all — the new mode will launch alongside the much-anticipated arena-scale version which requires play spaces measuring at least 10 meters (or more than 30 feet) in either direction. If you’ve met that requirement, arena mode can be played online with a friend or co-located with another VR headset in the same place like a game of physical paintball. We confirmed with I-Illusions there’s also a single-player version of arena mode.
The new modes in the DX version of the game are purpose-built for the wireless freedom of standalone VR and, as such, the PlayStation VR, Microsoft store, Oculus Rift and SteamVR versions of the game will only offer the classic single-player version of Space Pirate Trainer at $14.99. We’ll be curious, however, if other standalones might see the DX version of the game launch sometime in the future. Right now, Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 has the market locked up in the United States and other western nations for standalone all-in-one consumer VR with a $299 entry price that’s essentially unmatchable for competitors. Instead, competitors like Pico and HTC are focusing on business and Asian markets for their standalone products.
“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,” said project lead Dirk Van Welden (@quarkcannon), in a prepared statement. “In a lot of ways, this feels similar to releasing Space Pirate Trainer back in 2016. Back then we didn’t know if people would go out and buy a VR headset. There are a lot of Quests out there now, but we’re asking those people to find a safe 10x10m spot to play Arena.”
Here’s a look at some of the gameplay from Space Pirate Trainer DX.