What is Eagle Flight?
Eagle Flight is an original virtual reality simulation game publisher developed by Ubisoft. Released in 2016, it can be played on PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is one of the few games that are compatible with virtual reality headsets produced by several manufacturers. The game can be enjoyed by the owners of HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift. Its action takes place half a century after humanity went extinct and players explore the remaining city of Paris as eagles.
Key facts about Eagle Flight
- Eagle Flight offers a unique perspective of the post apocalyptic city of Paris.
- The game features amazing graphics and received positive reviews upon its release.
- Eagle Flight is significantly better in multiplayer, but somewhat lacking in single player.
- Players can easily control the eagle in virtual reality mode without suffering any headaches
- Eagle Flight has several game modes, including capture the flag which is the most original.
Gameplay of Eagle Flight
The Eagle Flight gameplay is unique and perfectly suited to the constrictions of virtual reality devices. As a simulation videogame, it puts players in the awkward position of controlling an eagle flying above the city. The mechanics are surprisingly simple, with movement being continuously forward and players only control the direction. This is done by rotating the head around while the controller serves the purpose of reducing or amplifying speed.
The beauty of the surroundings encourages players to explore the post apocalyptic city, but danger is lurking behind every corner. In single player, action is restricted to five districts and each of them corresponds to one chapter. The goal is to build nests on various landmarks, while surviving the attacks of other egos and wild life. In order to evade the attacks issued by opponents, players need to move quickly and compete in original races.
The most difficult challenges are posed by other eagles, crows, falcons but also bats. To deal with all these opponents, one would have to flight quickly to reach checkpoints and use sonic waves. The latter acts as an effective weapon against opponents, but they require perfect timing and coordination. Impact with a building will lead to the untimely demise of the bird and the game starts from the last checkpoint. Eagle Flight is built around challenges that players need to complete to advance to the next stage.
In multiplayer, the Eagle Flight gameplay is more challenging, especially in the capture the flag mode featuring up to six players. They split in equal teams of up to three players, with two of them trying to claim the corpse of a rabbit and take it to the nest. The other game mode goes by the name of Free Flight.
Plot of Eagle Flight
Eagle Flight starts from the not so original premise that humanity has perished in a major cataclysm. With humans out of the picture, wildlife was able to flourish and re-claim all the important cities. In this video game action takes place in Paris, which features all the important landmarks. Players control an eagle trying to build a nest in the perfect place. The tallest buildings exercise an irresistible allure, but they are also the ones most contested.
As expected, the game doesn’t have an actual campaign, due to the fact that the main character is an eagle. In the absence of a proper Eagle Flight plot, the single player actually consists of a string of five different challenges. Players are supposed to move from one quest to the other and conquer the landmarks while paying attention to hidden perils. The campaign lasts roughly 4 hours and is actually an extended tutorial for the more competitive multiplayer.
Other eagles and flying beasts are trying to bring down our eagle, which is blessed not only with the ability to fly fast but also special skills. It can defend itselves by using sonic waves, the only offensive abilities. These can also be used in multiplayer, which only has one mode and tends to get repetitive pretty quickly. The single player is replayable mostly because of the beautiful rendition of the post apocalyptic city.
Development of Eagle Flight
Developers started work on Eagle Flight immediately after virtual reality technology became mainstream. It was announced in early 2015 but work on the game actually started in the last quarter of 2014. Ubisoft released more trailers, screenshots and teasers at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015. Another important milestone was set later in the year when more trailers were unveiled at the Gamescom 2015.
Initially, the game was supposed to go by the name of Inside Notre Dame. Soon after, developers realized that they could expand their scope to include the entire city of Paris. This pushed the release date a bit further, but the game still hit the stores on time. The team working on the game strived to replicate the complex layout of the Parisian streets and succeeded. The result is an accurate depiction of the city and also a place that players can navigate and enjoy the unique vantage points of an eagle’s eye.
When developing the game, sensitive issues such as motion sickness were also taken into account. The team went over the documents provided by NASA to make sure that players enjoy the game without getting sick. A lot of play testing went into this game before it was ready for international release. That’s how it was possible for Eagle Flight to conquer a broad audience without requiring many updates. The choice for head tracking control was inspired and allows players to appreciate the scope of the game.
Where can I download Eagle Flight?
Eagle Flight reviews were so positive that players flock to the Ubisoft website to download the game. Even though this is the first fully fledged virtual reality title produced by them, it is a major success. Players weren’t put off by the simplistic nature and were even given the chance to test the game before playing. There are not many games out there using the VR as well as this one, although The Unspoken is also worth a second glance.
Ubisoft plans on building on the success of this game and release more titles in this format. Meanwhile, those who appreciate the video games developed and published by them will find many more on the same website. Tom Clancy’s the Division, The Crew, Far Cry 3, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Far Cry Primal and Assassins Creed Unity all scored high marks. They can be downloaded as standalone products or in bundles, with the publisher offering discounts every now and then.
What are others saying about Eagle Flight?
The four-hour campaign was regarded as a little short by players, who still acknowledged its role as an extended tutorial. Overall, the Eagle Flight reviews were positive and people spoke highly of a videogame that was well executed. Some were pleasantly surprised by how intuitive the navigation system is, despite the few controls available. Even those who had no previous experience with virtual reality games had no problem in getting fully immersed into this title.
The single player was mostly criticized for being too short and offering few alternatives besides exploration. When it comes to multiplayer, the main game mode capture the flag was cited as the most successful. By comparison, the free flight mode felt like an afterthought and players were hoping for more types of games to be added. Most reviews talk about the general lack of content, something that developers can address in future patches.
My rating of Eagle Flight
I don’t get too many opportunities to say about a game that it is innovative. Eagle Flight is on that short list and I’m happy to say that it was quite a memorable journey that was just as good as the destination. I’ve spent more time than expected simply flying about the remains of the French capital, which resembles the real thing. Compared to most virtual reality games we have right now, this is really a gem and it’s easy to recommend wholeheartedly.
It will take a while until more game modes will be added and I have to admit that the ones we have right now can get a bit repetitive. The good news is that you can spend a lot of time online without getting motion sickness or headaches. Flying has never been so much fun and Eagle Flight will provide players with the impetus to return often. Virtual reality games are definitely on the right track and with games like this one, the future looks bright. As for the present, it deserves a review score of 9/10 for innovation.