CCP’s New EVE Vanguard: First Strike, First Impressions

Let’s take a look at where EVE Vanguard shined, and where it fell short. This new FPS from CCP definitely has an exciting yet unknown future.

Ccps New Eve Vanguard First Strike First Impressions

Ccps New Eve Vanguard First Strike First Impressions

The Beta of EVE Vanguard has concluded, and CCP is now conducting its survey for the participants. Here is what I took away from the new FPS module to the EVE universe.

Initial impressions of EVE Vanguard: First Strike

EVE Vanguard at its core is an extraction shooter, and just like every other title in the genre; it is at times brutal. Vanguard is still a simple game at its core, and right away I noticed a lack of variety. The number of weapons, variety of NPCs, handful of contracts(missions), and a single map, made it quickly start to feel like I was playing the same match on repeat. I do understand this is a beta and is likely also meant to test the stress on the server. However, I still do feel that more variety would have made it seem like I was testing a complete game.

I spent the majority of my matches playing in a solo queue, which I enjoyed equally to a full squad match. One of my favorite aspects of Hunt: Showdown, another extraction shooter, is that you never know the size of a squad, even if you drop one member. This keeps you on your toes, even after wiping out 1-2 targets. This level of staying on your edge means that matches keep your heart rate up and keep your attention heavy. EVE also brings great rewards for great risk, so I feel an unforgiving extraction shooter is a logical step for the universe.

Gameplay Experience

Vanguard has a rinse-and-repeat mentality, which adds to the addictive nature of the game. The manner you extract is by using a crafted signal beacon, and this draws a LOT of attention to you. Utilizing the crafted shield is a must when extracting, as well as a team that can lay down suppression. Extraction was something I never pulled off successfully while playing this Beta. The majority of the ISK I banked was simply from using the banking locations or completing missions. The fact that I did not need to “extract” to still progress made this an interesting extraction shooter experience.

Ccps New Eve Vanguard First Strike First Impressions and Gameplay
Image Credit CCP (EVE Vanguard Site)

Where Vanguard Succeeded

Banking your credits adds a nice ability to send your isk (credits) back home without actually needing to extract. At first, I thought this made things a bit too easy until I realized how these bank locations become major choke points and great sources of action. This adds a convenient and easy way to find action and a location to camp. It also provides the bonus of banking the newly acquired loot you pick off the clones you smoked at the bank sites. Games like this can easily lack the action at times, so knowing there is a point of frequent contention is nice.

Truly, a major success of this game is its fun factor. It is a genuinely satisfying experience to mow down an enemy squad. Queue times were short, and I was able to pair with randoms without incident and quickly. I was able to hop in, play as long as I wanted, and enjoy every session of it. The sound design pulled you in as well, the clanks of the guns on a target were VERY satisfying.

Hope is an odd choice of this game’s positive lights but it is one. The EVE universe expanding off with a new FPS module adds a lot of potential futures in the world of EVE. Could we soon have stations and sov be fought on the ground? Could Vanguards help secure the capture of stations, boarding, and stealing ships? I truly am not sure where they intend to take Vanguard’s integrations with EVE, but I am excited about it just the same.

Ccps New Eve Vanguard First Strike First Impressions and Gameplay
Image Credit CCP (EVE Vanguard Site)

Where Vanguard Fell Short

Variety was where this beta fell short. Gameplay, while engaging and capable of repeating over and over, had an unfortunate lack of variety. Down from only a handful of contracts (10?) that could be accomplished, to a limited selection of items to craft, and essentially one weapon with two types of ammo. An extreme lack of NPC variety was also present, with a turret as one, and a sub-par NPC-controlled Vanguard-like NPC. Both felt very repetitive, and the NPCs in comparison to a player of novice skill level were almost indistinguishable.

While the view down the scope revealing enemies was something I enjoyed at first, the fact that this allowed for my stealth attempts to be swiftly negated somewhat was disappointing. A craftable item that allowed for cloaking/avoidance of the scope view would have been nice, even if it only had a short effect time or a long cooldown. I also found myself constantly in a state of scoping just so I could spot enemies more easily. This became tedious in its own right.

Missions & Difficulty

While I did like how the Bank sites let you secure your loot, I almost wish that the contract money was not instant. A majority of the credits I was able to bank came directly from completing a contract and then not caring much after that. In Hunt, you need to still make it to extract after killing a boss, and this adds an INSANE level of tension to the game. I am not sure how this would be done, although they could easily sort contracts by difficulty and have certain contracts that require you to get out safely.

Despite all of this, the gameplay was still engaging and fun, and I played a fair amount of matches on each night it was available. Variety and an overall lack of completeness did lead this game to just not feel that it wasn’t going to become stale quickly.

EVE Vanguard Gameplay

Loru Gaming has created an excellent guide that goes over the basics of gameplay. If you did not get a chance to play, this is a great way to get a feel for what you missed out on.

It is unclear if by the next release/update how much will change, or how relevant this information will be by the time we deploy again. Regardless, it’s a great way to see some of the features of the game. I unfortunately did not capture much of anything at all, having just signed an NDA for CCP’s other beta title Project Awakening I got some wires crossed.

The Future of Vanguard

If you took place in the Beta, please fill out the survey provided by CCP. Its player base has shaped the universe of EVE. CCP is, in my opinion, one of the better companies at taking feedback and suggestions from its players. Vanguard is still a work in progress and how much it will integrate into the EVE universe remains to be seen.

The new POD skin for taking place in the Vanguard Beta
There is also a sweet reward of a new Pod skin for EVE for those who took place in the Beta

On the official website for EVE Vanguard, we can see the next event will come in January. What the event will hold, or what updates have not been announced, so only time will tell its future. I intend to cover more on EVE Vanguard, so please, come back. If you have any comments on what to cover, let me know in the boxes below.


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