EVE Fanfest 2023: The EVE Online FPS is back as EVE Vanguard this December


It’s safe to say that EVE Online has a complicated history with first person shooters. The idea of stepping foot on the planets of New Eden has been part of the game’s long-term vision for over a decade, but it’s never quite worked out. First appearing as FPSMMO DUST 514 back in 2013, EVE’s first foray into first person combat didn’t exactly go to plan. After launching as a PS3 exclusive with limited interactivity with EVE Online, the game ultimately shut down in 2016 without ever seeing a PC release.

The potential EVE FPS has reared its head several times since then under the names Project Legion and Project Nova, and we even got a hands-on of an early version in 2018 before the project was put to bed. Now it seems that the EVE FPS is back with fresh coat of paint and a new name, and this time it might stick. Vanguard is planned for PC release, and EVE players will be able to get their hands on it this December.

EVE: Vanguard is a new approach to developing on-the-ground gameplay for EVE, being described not as as a separate game but as “a new FPS module for EVE Online.” It’s primarily being built by CCP’s London studio, but rather than being developed in isolation as a standalone game, it’s now considered to be almost a feature of EVE and will be incorporated in game design planning. Players will even launch the game from the EVE Online launcher, and it will reportedly have integration with EVE from day one.

Vanguard is being developed in Unreal Engine 5 and takes advantage of technologies such as Nanite and Lumen to produce very high quality visuals. DUST 514 fans will be happy to know that the game takes place on the planets of New Eden again, but this time it revolves around flashpoints created by ships crashed on the surface. These flaming hunks of twisted metal attract salvagers and opportunists from pirate factions to mercenaries, and everyone wants a piece of the action.

What is the gameplay like?

The core gameplay loop of Vanguard involves squads of players being deployed into these battlefields on a contract to complete an objective such as recovering sensitive data disks. You’ll fight NPCs staking a claim on the wreck, infiltrate to find your objective, and then exfiltrate from the planet by deploying and defending an extraction beacon. On the way, you can loot equipment and materials from corpses and salvageable containers.

Other players and squads will also be deploying to the planet with their own objectives, and and at some point the groups will probably meet and could choose to work together. Of course, it’s still a sandbox game, so if you just want to set up an ambush and murder every player in sight for loot, that’s fair game too. The loot and death system will be similar to EVE’s in that you lose your clone and equipment on death, but it remains to be seen if this is as big a deal as it was in DUST 514.

How will it hook into EVE?

Vanguard will initially start with a meaningful link to EVE out the gate, but the connection will be asynchronous, and you will use completely separate characters. The initial impact will be that contracts completed in Vanguard will count as progress toward fighting off the new pirate insurgencies in faction warfare space, helping your militia secure its space.

The next step will be introduce industrial objectives tied to EVE Online, and then finally entirely capsuleer-created contracts. While these features haven’t been explicitly planned or announced yet, the implication is that this could become part of planetary industry in EVE by allowing people to disrupt industrial activity or steal resources with boots on the ground.

EVE Online players with omega subscriptions will get their first taste of Vanguard through the EVE Online launcher this December. A limited time First Strike event will be launched using a single map for people to get hands-on with the FPS gameplay and provide feedback.

Disclosure: In accordance with Massively OP’s ethics policy, we must disclose that CCP paid for our writer’s travel to and accommodation at this event. CCP neither requested nor was granted any control or influence over our coverage of the event. I’m getting 2013 flashbacks … and I’m not mad about it.

More Fanfest 2023 news:

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