Vox Machinae, the cult-favorite VR mech sim that just keeps-on kickin’, has released a new update that will give players brand new conditions for battling with their hulking metal mechs.

Vox Machinae began its development journey as far back as 2014, and eventually found its way to an early access launch on PC VR in 2018. Nine years later, the team is still honing the game to be the best it can be.

Following last year’s largest-ever update for the game—which saw the simultaneous launch of a Quest 2 version and full campaign—the new and fittingly-named ‘Hostile Conditions’ update is focused on making the game’s battlefields more dynamic and immersive. The update has three big additions: weather conditions, time of day, and selectable map boundaries.

For weather, the studio has added an impressive seven different conditions to choose from:

Clear – Similar visibility to all levels prior to this update. The player can see quite far into the distance
Haze – This condition will make it trickier to tell friend from foe at a mid/far distance
Overcast – Medium density clouds cover higher altitudes, making navigation and identify high fliers trickier
Clouds – Narrow high density clouds occupy mid altitude. You see clearly when flying above or below.
Mist – A high density fog covers low altitudes, making low areas ideal to hide in and escape battle.
Smog – The whole level is enveloped in an even, medium density coat of smog.
Storm – The whole level is enveloped in a high density storm, only lower terrain is visible

The conditions are designed to do more than just add atmosphere; players will need to work harder to differentiate between friendly and enemy bots, making friendly fire more of a risk. Further, the position and density of the clouds can change the strategic landscape for mechs that use jump-jets for repositioning.

Working in conjunction with the new weather options is a time-of-day system that covers sunrise, day, dusk, and night, each which offer “unique colour palettes and visibility features, as well as background art and animated sunlight that changes as you cross between variable visibility,” the developers say. This also brings with it new headlights on mechs which illuminate the environment around the player. And yes, you can do both ‘Storm’ and ‘Night’, for truly low-visibility conditions.

Image courtesy Space Bullet

The final major addition in the update is selectable map boundaries. Now players can choose where they’d like to throw down among several regions on each map, and decide how large the battlefield should be.

Along with weather and time-of-day, this breathes new life into the game’s existing battlefields by changing the dynamics of the fight while making things more atmospheric.