VR games don’t get much hype – the entry point is still quite pricey for most gamers, meaning the best titles just don’t reach the mass audience they might deserve.
TheGamer’s chief news editor George Foster and Evergreen editor Ryan Bamsey recorded three VR games for the Meta Quest 2 at EGX 2022 in London. The end result was two editors sitting on the floor with pounding headaches thanks to the intrinsic, nauseating effects VR usually brings, the way they tried to play them in sequence, and the fact that the conference room was sweltering hot. Still, they stood out as very memorable experiences.
Ryan Bamsey: This is the game I was most excited about trying out. Broken Edge is a Trebuchet class based duel simulator that revolves around sword fighting – the object of the game is to break your opponent’s blade and hit their body, and each class has a different sword and set of tactics to use . I jumped for the Duelist, planned as one of the beginner classes with a style closer to fencing – I’ve always wanted to try fencing, and VR’s ability to satisfy a fantasy was fantastic.
The controls feel great and responsive, and the menu buttons that are floating candles that you cut in half are a nice touch to look out for. Overall, I’d say this is the game that most interested me in finally looking for PC-compatible VR gear on my own. I’m not just saying that because I beat George 3-0 when we played, and it’s certainly not just because he picked the hardest class. That would be incorrect. I’m just a natural swordsman.
George Foster: I admit defeat here, Ryan has completely let me down. Let’s give credit for going for the Samurai, the hardest class in the game. The developers told me to pose after each attack, but it clearly didn’t dawn on me because I didn’t even hit Ryan once.
As a first-person swordsman, Broken Edge wasn’t too unique, but the sheer fact that I found the Samurai impossible to use while Ryan seemed to fly away with the Duelist, seems like the classes give it a unique edge over more basic titles. , and the pastel art style made it easy on the eyes.
We are a
RB: Swiftly swept from sword fighting to time loop puzzles, Flat Head Studio’s We Are One was the trippiest experience of the day. In this game you have to take actions in the bodies of different clones, interact with yourself in a repeating time loop to solve puzzles. This always involves shooting objects and enemies, and since each loop is only 30 seconds long, you’ll need to think fast.
There’s something incredibly humbling about seeing your past itself throwing flimsy things at you, only before they’re out of your reach. I looked up again at the weakling with the terrible throwing arm, and he… Shrugged. How dare 30 seconds past Ryan do that?!
We Are One makes you rely on yourself in a way no other game does, and the result is that the failures feel crushing (especially when you can hear a certain colleague chuckling behind you), but the successes are glorious.
female friend: Out of the three we played, We Are One was easily the most exciting for me, which surprised me given my love of fighting games like Broken Edge – I think losing to Ryan really took it down a notch for me.
I’m not a big fan of puzzle games, but teleporting to a lower part of the level and then catching a gun my former self had thrown over the edge was such an “aha!” moment that really showed what virtual reality is capable of.
RB: Slightly worse for wear, we finally made it to the Everslaught Invasion booth. Soon we knew we were in for an intense experience. Swordplay, gunfights, grappling hooks, enemy hordes – there’s a lot to learn if you want to get good at this, and the short time we allotted was unfortunately a little short. Being familiar with action games in VR would have helped, but it didn’t – I found the specific moves associated with some of the game’s key actions, like heal and reload, very difficult to use.
That said, I was very impressed. Everslaught’s weapon physics is great. The mace is a heavy, slow weapon, while the sword deals more damage when used to cut rather than thump. The speed of your swing scales to the weapon you’re holding, and the gun attached to your left arm feels very natural to use. Obviously a lot of thought has gone into this.
Fighting back-to-back with another human in VR games is an exciting experience and something I’d like to come back to. However, when I took off the helmet, I felt exhausted. The fact that I had just played three very different VR games within an hour certainly contributed, but Everslaught in particular is a training. There’s something in me that really wants to grab this game and replace Beat Saber as my main form of exercise.
female friend: Unfortunately, this is the VR game I have the least to say about, simply because after five minutes of it I felt like someone had thrown my brain into a washing machine and then punched me in the stomach. I guess two VR games aren’t a virtual reality expert because I didn’t even get out of the tutorial before weakly taking off my headset and sitting down.
I’ll echo Ryan’s thoughts and say that I was quite impressed with everything Everslaught Invasion had going on. It was one of the few full motion games at EGX and was ambitious with its combination of movement abilities such as dashing and grappling hooks, in addition to its sword fights.
While I have to admit that most of my nausea stemmed from my inexperience with VR, it feels like Everslaught might be a little too fast and ambitious for its own good as I had some of the same control issues as Ryan, just with a little more dizziness mixed.
You can make a wish list Broken edge on Steam, it has a planned release date of fall this year, We are a is also on Steam and has a playable demo, and Everslaught is coming to the Meta Quest in early 2023.
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