During E3 2017, CCP Games, the studio best known for Eve Online, revealed that its “virtual sport” Sparc will launch on PlayStation VR this fall.
From watching the E3 trailer above, you may recognize the “vsport” being played on screen. It’s incredibly similar to the disc battles featured in Tron, but you also may think that you have seen this virtual reality game in action before.
Last year, Sparc was known as Project Arena, and as Disc Arena in 2015. We took the VR sport for a spin when it was known as Project Arena, and found it to be not only a great ode to Tron, but as possibly the first big VR esport. Thanks to the warm reception of what was then just a tech demo, CCP turned Project Arena into a full game. Based on the trailer, and the description provided by the publisher, Sparc‘s mechanics and premise do not seem to have changed much at all over the past year — and that would appear to be a good thing.
One major change, though, Sparc will be available exclusively on PSVR at launch, whereas Project Arena debuted on the HTC Vive. Each player wears the PSVR headset and wields two PlayStation Move controllers to direct and fling projectiles down an elongated arena. On the throwing end, you can use walls around you to catch your opponent off guard instead of throwing it directly at them. The disk automatically returns to you and you have to catch it. When on defense, players must dodge incoming attacks or deflect them with a virtual shield. If the rules align with the ones we experienced in Project Arena, once your shield takes three hits, it evaporates. And once you get hit three times, game over.
One-on-one matches can either be played against friends or via the game’s online matchmaking system. Even though it is meant to be played against a real person, if you wish to fly solo, Sparc will have single player challenges, along with training modes to help you improve your skills. CCP also promised that you will be able to customize your in-game avatar, and that likely includes your shield.
As a self-proclaimed vsport, Sparc will launch with “Courtside” mode, a social component that lets you watch ongoing matches in VR.
While an official release date as not been set, Sparc will be one of the more intriguing PSVR games of 2017. Based on the wording of CCP’s announcement, Sparc is a timed exclusive on PSVR, but will likely launch at a later date on the HTC Vive.
For more of our E3 2017 coverage, tune in here.