Espire 1: VR Operative


As an agent of the Intelligence Force of Australia, you understand that you might be called upon any day, at any time. Your skills are in hand to hand combat; you are a master of stealth and you can take control of any device remotely with extreme accuracy. Here’s the drill . . . One of our R & D secret sites was taken over by an unknown force yesterday at 0200 hours. This facility is the R & D of the military combat robots, Espire 1. We managed to find a way to access one of the 20-odd Espire Robots in the complex. Your goal is to free hostages and eliminate all enemies in the facility. Are you ready, agent? Three … Two … One … You now control the first generation Espire combat Robot. Good luck! Espire 1: VR Operative is an action/shooter/stealth game developed by Digital Lode and published by Tripwire Interactive on the 22 November 2019 on the Steam platform. The game consists of a single-player campaign and a few challenge modes. Before selecting the campaign mode, you’ll have to set up your profile, which is very quick and easy to do (but make sure you record your correct height or you might have an issue with your aim and with picking up weapons from the ground).

Your robot will be equipped with a few standard features, which are an electric tool (which you’ll need in order to repair your host, and can also be effective to neutralise an enemy), explosives, as well as gun turrets. Another feature consists of balls attached to the top of your two hands which tag enemies. You can either pinpoint an enemy or you can take one of the balls and throw it on the floor, in which case any enemies on the floor will be tagged. The last one is the sensor vision, which, when activated, will show you all the enemies and cameras in the vicinity; however, it will drop your energy right down and it will take you a while to get it back up.  

Each mission will have a set of tasks to complete, and then you’ll have to make your way to a specific location within the complex. Even though you have constant feedback from your team members, you might forget the last order/direction. Don’t sweat too much, your tool will show you the way; all you have to do is to drop it on the floor and a dark blue line will appear, showing you the way.

I love the levels’ diversity, as you can hide, move across the floor with zip lines, climb to higher floors or just use the ventilation shaft to get from one room to another. Or if you like Rambo or Commando movies, you might like drop in for a shooting party! In my case, stealth is really not my forte, but for a shooting party, I am always happy to participate. The only issue with this is that you are more likely to sound trigger the alarm off and die in the process.

There are not too many types of enemy in this game but as you progress through the levels, they will be tougher to kill due to improved armour. Some will have cloaking devices which will make them very hard to spot unless you notice the direction from which they’re shooting.

If you are a stealth guru, you can move behind the enemy and hit them on the head, and they may fall down. You can use the tranquilizer gun, which is super effective, but you have to manually recharge it. Or, if you have a microphone, you can call out “freeze” to you enemy before hitting him over the head.

In terms of the weapons, you’ll have space for two guns on your belt and one main weapon across your chest. It very easy to reload as the magazine will be showing on your belt and all you have to do is to move your gun or machine guns over it to reload it. For the shotgun, you have to physically put in one shell at a time to reload the weapon.

Great graphics and the soundtrack is really cool. The story is pretty good, and the levels are well designed. I must say that setting up my height wasn’t accurate at all, even with going through the Steam room setup three times in a row; I had 40cm difference between my three attempts and nothing changed with my room setup. The closest I got to my real height was 5cm and I must say, the aiming wasn’t the best. I am using the HTC VIVE Cosmos and I haven’t encountered this issue with other games so far. It’s a shame because apart from that, the game is well done.


Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for!


+ Great graphics
+ Great Soundtrack
+ Single player (campaign) and challenge modes
+ Good level design
+ Good story
+ Achievements


- No trading cards as yet
- Height set up is not accurate and affect the aiming

Review Summary

Remotely take control of the ultimate military combat robot to liberate hostages and eliminate an unknown force who has taken over the R & D complex of the Espire 1 unit.

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Zeepond Rating: 6/10