Eagle Flight PlayStation VR Review
Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Genre: Action Adventure Players: 1-4
Age Rating: 7+ Other console/handheld formats: N/A
As it doesn’t involve zombies and disasters as its focal point, Eagle Flight is a post apocalyptic game of a different kind. The game takes place in Paris 50 years after the extinction of the human race, with no explanation as to what actually occurred to cause our destruction. Escaped zoo animals and wildlife are now the dominant species, and us humans are nowhere to be found to spoil this.
Eagle Flight is a PlayStation VR game that has you taking to the Parisian skies as, you guessed it, an eagle. The only human in the entire game is the narrator, who informs us as to what is going on in the story. The plot itself is pretty basic, although it does the job in a game that has you taking control of an eagle and doing typical bird-like things.
One of the first things that I discovered about Eagle Flight is that the controls are beautifully simple. With headset in place and DualShock 4 in hand, the game feels very intuitive to play, and a lot of thought was obviously placed into assuring this. Speed and attacks are controlled through the DualShock 4, while movement is controlled with simple head movements. Turning from side to side is simply done through tilting your head in the desired direction, and the longer you tilt your head the more severely that the bird will turn. If you do happen to turn your head too much, an on-screen message reminds you that it’s more comfortable to just tilt your head. Played from the keen eyes of a bird, the game certainly gives you a delightful feeling of flight as you soar through the skies.
In single player, Eagle Flight gives you a number of challenges to work your way through, steadily increasing in difficulty. Some missions have you completing a flight path as swiftly as possible, others have you collecting pick-ups, protecting an injured fellow bird, and some have you combating other creatures of the skies such as bats and other birds. There’s not a huge amount of variation, but nor does the single player mode last too long either, with completion time possible under four hours.
The game does feel a little repetitive at times, but later surprises aren’t completely absent, with certain features and enemies being introduced as you progress through the game. Both your attack and defensive options take a little while to make their appearance for example, but a few more surprises wouldn’t have gone amiss.
In between missions, you can also fly around the very green Paris (there’s five different regions in all), in which you are able to fly to the current mission, go back to previous missions to improve your overall ratings, and find collectables such as feathers and fish. The city itself is fairly well designed, with famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral grandly sticking out in the virtual Paris skyline. The fact that animals such as deer, elephants, giraffes, bears, wolves, and zebras are thriving in such an urbanised environment and that humans are absent, also gives the game somewhat of a lonely feeling. It’s just a shame that some sections of the city are rather repetitive with copied and pasted buildings, but putting this aside this Paris is still always a joy to fly around it.
While the game is often relaxing, there are also some very intense moments. Sometimes you are tasked with flying through tunnels, and Paris also has sections of narrow streets to deal with. These moments are thrilling and can take a few attempts to overcome, although the game can never be called unfair.
Eagle Flight also has a multiplayer option, although with only one team-based mode and free flight available, this component is more shallow than it could have been. The main multiplayer mode is basically Capture the Flag, and has you swooping down to claim prey and then carrying it off to a drop off point. You can also make use of the offensive and defensive actions seen in the single player, and they must be employed along with teamwork if you have any chance of success. As I write this review, the game doesn’t have a particularly busy community, and, as fun as it is, the fact that there’s a single mode does make multiplayer seem a little limited. Racing would have been welcome, but for one reason or another, this was left out.
Eagle Flight’s visuals aren’t quite as blurry as some PlayStation VR games and there’s also a likeable enough art style, although they are rather basic and low in detail in certain areas, particularly if you allow your eyes to linger on specific objects. Inon Zur’s music, on the other hand, fits the game beautifully, and it’s just as majestic as a game featuring an eagle should be.
Eagle Flight is a worthwhile experience that gives you a thrilling feeling of flight while it lasts, and is also appealing in the way that it’s an often relaxing experience with comfortable controls, and you may very well want to go back to missions you have completed in order to perfect them. Still, it has to be said that the game feels rather limited and repetitive at times, and, as enjoyable as it is, both the single player and the multiplayer modes run out of steam somewhat following extended play.