New Sydney Sneakabouts DLC Out Now for VR Spy Thriller Espire 1


  • New Sydney Sneakabouts DLC Out Now for VR Spy Thriller Espire 1

    The first paid DLC for the VR stealth experience.
    Key art showing a soldier in the new DLC for Espire 1: VR Operative.

    Espire 1: VR Operative just announced a new Sydney Sneakabouts Mission Pack DLC. This is the first paid piece of content announced for the VR stealth action title since it was released back in 2019. Sydney Sneakabouts should be available for purchase right now on the Meta Quest Store for the Quest, Quest 2, and Quest 3. The suggested retail price is just $4.99.

    This DLC will be released on other VR storefronts, such as the Meta Rift Store (Rift & Rift-S) as well as Steam in the coming weeks.

    Sydney Sneakabouts offers players a chance to exercise their stealth abilities across two Sydney, Australia based environments. There will be new challenges that will "test the skills of even veteran operatives."

    This new DLC was released alongside the free update, patch 1.12, which is available to all owners. That full changelog should be found below for those players just interested in that information. Notably, this update includes "a variety of AI and gameplay improvements made while creating the new content."

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    The Espire 1 Sydney Sneakabouts Mission Pack DLC includes:
    • Two New Sydney-based Environments: Sydney’s downtown hosts two new environments taking agents far above and just below the city streets. Explore Maxim Tower, an abandoned skyscraper project near the city's famous Circular Quay port area and home to a sophisticated Copperhead spy network, and the Entwine Construction Zone, a nearby construction site serving as a front for Copperhead’s own Espire ‘Control Theater’ R&D efforts. The Entwine site includes above and below ground sections and covers an entire city block, and is one of the largest and most diverse maps in Espire 1.
    • 10 New ‘Virtual Challenge’ Missions: Take on new Intel, Takedown, Elimination, Person of Interest, Hold-up, and Sneaking challenges evenly spread between the two new mission locations. These missions offer fans of both stealth-based and ‘guns blazing’ approaches objectives catering to their playstyle, and feature some of the most challenging missions released in the game to-date.​
    Full Release Notes - 1.12 “Sneakabouts” free update

    We are also shipping a free 1.12 update on the same day as the Paid DLC. The free update includes many AI & gameplay improvements that have been made to Espire 1 while creating the “Sydney Sneakabouts” DLC. A.I Improvements
    • We have adjusted the enemy AI behaviors during the ‘manhunt’ phase so that when the enemy sees the player, there is now a small window of time for the player to react / break line of sight before the enemy soldier triggers a base-wide combat alert. Also, when the enemy does lock-in on the player, the enemy will enter an “alarmed”state for 1 second instead of immediately triggering the alert. Previously, if an enemy soldier spotted the player during a manhunt phase, a base-wide alert (or virtual challenge failure) would be triggered immediately.
    • We have improved the enemy AI’s ability to hear the sounds of the player’s footsteps when the player is sprinting on a floor directly above or below the enemy soldier.
    • All weapons in the game have had their “Gunfire” sound event radius has been changed. We refer to the radius of sound that the weapon makes when fired by the player, as far as the AI soldiers are concerned. If an enemy soldier is within the radius, they hear the gun fire. Silenced weapons now have a radius of 1.5m, silenced shotguns have a radius of 3.6m and all other un-suppressed weapons have a radius of 55 meters. This changes the gameplay significantly in update 1.12. Enemies now hear un-suppressed gunfire far more often but will no longer hear suppressed weapon fire unless the player is very close to them. As part of this work, the sound radius of the guns has been unified - previously there were bespoke radius settings for each weapon which was more realistic but really hard to predict as a player.
    • Upon hearing un-suppressed gunfire, AI soldiers will now instantly attempt to report in and initiate a manhunt phase. Previously, they would investigate if hearing 2 shots fired, and attempt to report after hearing a 3rd shot.
    • As of update 1.12, when an enemy AI soldier is stunned, the ‘lure’ noise event is now smaller in radius. This means guards are less likely to hear a friendly NPC get stunned unless they are close-by.
    • AI Guards will now correctly avoid walking into tripmine lasers - unless the tripmine has been disarmed by the player and then placed again in the path of the guard.
    • Fixed an issue where, rarely, AI Soldiers would appear to stand still during manhunt phases. Their behavior tree could enter a loop condition that would stop them from moving to their next state.
    • Fixed an issue where ‘bullet impacts’ would not be heard by NPC guards - for example, bullet impacts that hit a nearby wall. Enemy soldiers will now correctly investigate the location of the bullet impact, but will attempt to flee if too many bullet impacts are observed in quick succession of each other.
    • Fixed an issue where it was impossible to hold up a ‘warning’ guard (a guard that has discovered an issue and is reporting it in via the radio)
    • Fixed an issue where a guard’s body would occasionally 'pop' 1 meter into the air the moment they are stunned or killed
    • Fixed an issue where If an enemy soldier observes the player dragging the body of a stunned ally soldier, but loses sight of the player and stunned ally, the guard could still incorrectly revive the stunned ally soldier from a distance, instead of having to walk up directly to the body of the stunned ally.
    • Fixed an issue where the player could not hold up a heavy weapons specialist if this soldier was in a ‘patrol’ state.
    • Fixed an issue where, very rarely, a nearby enemy soldier could be instantly lured towards the player the moment the player started a virtual challenge mission.
    Gameplay improvements
    • In Update 1.12, the ‘Espire charge cost’ for activating Espire Vision has decreased by 8x. The cooldown between each activation of Espire Vision has also been reduced. This means players are able to utilize Espire Vision much more frequently.
    • Detonation of explosive tripmines will now cause nearby explosives canisters or other electronic threats to be destroyed - including cameras and auto-turrets.
    • Explosive detonations now impart physics forces on nearby props, sending them flying throughout the environment.
    • Fixed an issue where the intel laptop had strange collision issues which would make it difficult for a player to collect intel by dropping down onto the intel station and attempt to hack the intel while standing on top of the intel station.
    • Tripmines and Turrets remaining in the environment are now destroyed at the virtual challenge Mission Summary UI.
    UI Improvements
    • We have increased the render resolution of the main menu, with tailored settings for Quest 2, Quest Pro and Quest 3.
    • The “Virtual Challenge selection” UI no longer paginates when there are 8 or more challenges in a category. Instead, the UI will grow vertically and the player can scroll the list up or down using a scroll bar or their controller’s thumbstick.
    • On the virtual challenges category select screen, the order that challenges are presented in has changed to: Combat, Stealth, Objective-based, Weapon. Combat challenges are more approachable to the first-time player compared to the Stealth challenges.
    • The “Swap left / right thumbstick” option has been removed from the Gameplay settings menu. For players that wish to swap thumbsticks, the Quest OS now offers this option via the Meta OS System Accessibility Settings.
    • Fixed an issue that was introduced to the game due to a recent Meta OS update. Rarely, upon launching the game, the player may initialize in the wrong location - Instead of being in the center of the control theater, the player is in the corner. ‘Recentering’ would not correctly work.
    • A UI has been added that allows players to view and purchase our “Sydney Sneakabouts” DLC. This can be found in the virtual challenges menu.
    • The UI has been modified to display DLC levels within the challenge
    • Across various virtual challenge categories, we have adjusted the order that certain Virtual challenges are presented to the player in order to better reflect their difficulty - with easier challenges shown first.
    Localization improvements
    • As of version 1.12, Espire 1 is now localized in Simplified Chinese
    • We have done a localisation pass of various UI menus that were added in recent Espire updates. These menus were previously only localized in English and are now localized in all supported languages, including the newly added Simplified Chinese Language.
    • Please note that we are aware of some German localization bugs where text may overflow their intended size within the UI, and we intend to fix these issues in a future update.
    Visual improvements
    • We have made a new texture + material for the non lethal E1416 Rubberized Rifle so that this weapon is more distinguishable from the similar looking “Lethal” E1416 Rifle.
    • Fixed an issue where, throughout the game, certain explosive actors would not render. The explosives were placed in the world, could be ignited or interacted with, but would not render - they were effectively invisible. This issue was exclusive to the Quest version of the game - these explosives would render correctly on the PS4 and PC versions of Espire 1.
    • Fixed an issue where the “handcam” did not correctly render certain parts of the environment-in game, specifically HISM meshes (a certain type of optimized Mesh). HISMs are used frequently in our new DLC levels, but less so throughout the core game’s content, so this bug was evidently not observed until now.
    • While fixing the related “HISM” issue, we have Improved the rendering quality of the hand-cameras to include reflections, better anti-aliasing and other visual effects.
    • Fixed an issue in Mission 1: Espire Labs where various props in the environment were not rendering correctly on the Quest hardware.
    • Fixed an issue in Mission 1: Espire Labs where some lights were casting low quality shadows.
    Weapon Improvements
    • On the Quest and Rift platforms, The grip alignment has been improved for the E1416 Rifle, Supernova Shotgun and sawn off shotgun. These weapons previously un-naturally pointed upwards when gripped. Please note that this particular fix has already shipped on the Steam version of Espire 1 as part of the 1.11 update.
    • The player can no longer pull the magazine out of pistols. Players overwhelmingly want to grip at the bottom of the pistol to dual-grip it, however Espire 1 treated this action as wanting to remove the magazine from the gun in order to throw it as a distraction tool. This caused great frustration as players would pull out the magazine and then have only 1 bullet in the chamber of the pistol without realising it. Our sequel Espire 2 has correct dual-grip logic for pistols, weapon steadying, recoil reduction and grip animations. This solution of ‘blocking magazine grips’ was the best we could do for Espire 1 at our current capacity.
    • Fixed an issue where, if the player was gripping a weapon, but had no ammo left in reserve, and then picked up some more ammo from the environment, the hip-mounted Readymag would not appear until the player dropped and then re-gripped the weapon.
    Audio improvements
    • The “Shotgun fire” sound effect that plays when enemy shot-gunners fire at you is now correctly spatialized with occlusion. It was discovered to incorrectly be a ‘2D sound effect’.
    • Audio Volume for the mounted Security camera was reduced while the camera is “idle patrolling”.
    • Audio Volume for the Automated turret was reduced while the turret is “idle patrolling”. On the Quest platform, we also added additional SFX variants for turret’s start / stop actions and for destroying turrets. These variants were already present on the PC platform.
    Unlockables & Achievements
    • Fixed an issue where Achievements related to ‘Flashback progression’ could no longer be unlocked after the 1.10 Convergence Update - the update which removed flashbacks from the campaign. Our fix is to perform these achievement checks in the main menu and unlock them if the player has progressed beyond the relevant points in the campaign.
    • Virtual challenge completion tracking has been adjusted to ensure that players only ever need to complete ‘base game’ challenges in order to unlock relevant cheats and achievements - there is no requirement to purchase the DLC. However if players purchase the DLC content, the “% completed UI” will adjust to account for the newly added DLC challenges.​
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