Ubisoft opted to completely remove the VR requirement from their first-person, bridge-crew simulator, Star Trek: Bridge Crew. The game can now be played via PC, or on the PlayStation 4 without an HTC Vive headset, without an Oculus Rift, and without a PlayStation VR HMD.
The update is free and according to the press release, gamers can now take control of the U.S.S. Aegis or the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 using a mouse and keyboard or a game controller. The update also makes the game compatible so that both VR and non-VR gamers can join in on matches together, regardless of their platform. This should help increase the multiplayer lifespan for Star Trek: Bridge Crew, now that the cross-platform compatibility has been implemented.
Originally the game was played using the PlayStation Move or the HTC Vive wands, or the Oculus Touch motion controllers and saw players taking on one of the multiple roles in the game, including the captain, the engineer, the tactical officer, or the helmsman.
Each position required players to work cohesively as a team in the multiplayer modes, communicating and responding effectively in order to successfully complete the missions. The captain issues the orders while the crew responds. In single-player, the crew can be handled either by the AI or by a single-player manually hopping into each role.
What separates Star Trek: Bridge Crew from other games is that the focus is on the teamwork of operating the bridge, rather than the real-time, action-oriented space combat featured in games like Star Trek Online.
You won't be beaming down to any planets or exploring foreign moons like Star Citizen or Mass Effect: Andromeda. Instead, the danger and the intrigue is all in how you work with your crew. The communications officer has to work on pinging foreign vessels or attempting to get those in need beamed up to your ship. The tactical officer has to rely on firing and charging weapons, while the engineer has the unfathomably difficult job of having to balance the power in the ship between the engines, weapons and shields.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew is definitely more strategy game than action title, and it didn't necessarily need VR to make it what it was, so it's nice that Ubisoft has taken the opportunity to actually remove the VR requirement so more gamers can hop in and give it a try.
However, in addition to removing the mandatory VR requirement, Ubisoft also included additional VR support for mixed reality VR headsets.
Yes, this means that if you bought one of the mixed reality headsets that Microsoft has pumped out for Windows 10 owners, you can actually play Star Trek: Bridge Crew with the HMDs. The press release doesn't say if there are any additional AR updates that makes the game play differently than the VR HMDs, but you should be able to hop into the game and play with either a gamepad or motion controller, or whatever control scheme best suits your sensibilities.
The new non-VR update for Star Trek: Bridge Crew is available right now and is currently discounted on Steam by 50% off.
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