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Dungeon mode? Powerful Warrior Characters? Realistic physics-driven interaction?
SIGN. ME. UP. Right freaking now.
For the longest time, any VR melee-focused game meant its user would soon resort to swirling their controller around aimlessly in a feeble attempt at destroying any enemy that comes close enough to feel the wrath of their digital blade or axe.
Early VR combat was ‘wonky’ at best. But Blade and Sorcery is here to change all of that.
Blade and Sorcery Reviewed – The Next Generation of Physics-based Combat
With this next generation of hand-to-hand combat VR games comes Blade and Sorcery, which not only employs the controller swirling tactics of old useless, it does so while employing full body physics and physics-driven combat that is in a class of its own.
All while piquing the interest of the player by adding magical elements like telekinesis, magic combat, and thunder attacks to the mix.
Built exclusively for the Oculus Rift (PC game, PC version), this version of the game took the virtual reality industry by surprise with its raw potential, and more importantly, devoted developers who brought this blade sorcery nomad to life.
Blade and Sorcery succeeds the most at reviving that nostalgic feeling of full immersion that had been long forgotten since the early days of 3D gaming. VR gaming couldn’t have come at a better time, and the standalone version of this PC VR game offers the medieval fantasy sandbox we all deserve.
I was very intrigued by the sheer effort put into the character creation of the blade and sorcery nomad and game feels such as physics driven melee and ability to develop a unique fighting style and a combat system that embraces your own creativity and puts you right in the action.
Let the Melee Begin
With that said, let’s get to the core of the game. The fighting mechanics in the PC VR Verison are a very welcome change. It not only includes the proper mechanics for precise attacks, it also gives the player the ability to grab their opponent and proceed to use them as a shield, or even snap their neck. You know what they say, less enemies, less problems lol.
Weapons Handling and Techniques
All the weapons feel different in terms of how they are handled, and the tactics needed to use them effectively. This adds depth to the game and nuances that enhance gameplay while improving playability for hours on end as you seek to master new techniques such as wiggle sword combat, how to penetrate soft materials to uncover hidden objects and goods, and more.
Personally, I found that sporting two holstered swords and a bow for immediate action was my favorite style of fighting. Did I mention the ability to defect magic is a pretty neat and useful trick too?
Combat in The Arena
The gameplay takes place in what is essentially a combat sandbox where you fight off waves of enemies. The difficulty varies as the enemies change from the conventional one long sword build to a much more armoured shield, sword, and bow builds. In this ‘sandbox mode’ you’re basically given the freedom to unleash full physics driven melee, making this game a bit of a physical one for the VR wearer, but without excessively wearing you out. TLDR; you don’t need to be an athlete to beat dungeons mode, but in progression mode you might start to feel the burn as you effectively deflect magic and fight back opponents.
Hordes of Relentless Enemies
While no enemy on their own is particularly dangerous, their numbers and ability the swarm the player is what makes this game so challenging (and exhilarating). In this sense, this type of gameplay resembles that of a zombie hoard. Meanign that no one enemy is overly difficult to kill, but there are a lot of them to deal with.
Having a single powerful enemy emerge at the end of each wave would have been a very welcome change from the usual ragdoll stab fest. Perhaps we’ll see this in a future release date. The developers behind the game are world class, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see new features emerge in the near future as this PC VR version is an ‘early access’ game title at the moment.
Our Score for Blade and Sorcery VR
A Good Title that Has the Potential to be Great
At the end of the day, as fun as Blade and Sorcery VR is, the game is not perfect by any means. While very thrilling to use, the magical elements are not diverse enough to encourage their use very often. A big ‘swing and a miss’ considering the genre. We’d also like to see more dungeon rooms, and arenas to keep things interesting. Who doesn’t like a new view when killing hordes of enemies on your quest towards greatness?
The hand tracking, while precise when used slowly, becomes a nuisance when a fast sword or dagger swing is called for, resulting in the system sometimes not being able to register your strike or swing. Finally, the game radiates a desperate need for a storyline. It’s a well optimized good-looking game with great fighting mechanics, but the thing it’s missing is sense of purpose.
However, the developers have already shown great dedication in each update where they tweak their game based on their userbase’s requests, which makes this game even better than it is due to its developer’s assurance for future enhancements. Perhaps we’ll see future mods that fully utilizes the full potential this title is capable of.
The World of VR
VR games opened the gates to complete immersion, and both early and late adapters of that technology based their decision to buy VR headsets on the craving for a deep dive into the world of a game where they can believe that they exist in that alternate reality. Perhaps even use it to replace their existing reality. While the latter reason does not fit into the long list of synonymous descriptors of Blade & Sorcery, it still has a very strong magnetic field.
It’s huge arsenal of weaponry makes for an amazing freefall from space to earth. Trying out every single weapon is a huge time pit on its own, but the combinations of weapons digs that hole ten times bigger. Of course, it seems like a grind at first, but the discovery that weapons can be charged with the magical thunder attack is the key to the gates of exploration. While that exploration will prove disappointing eventually due to no more magic combos, the feeling of mastering different weapons is its own reward, and by the time we’re done with that, we had already been in the world of Blade & Sorcery for a solid 15 hours. Personally, after putting in an average of 3 hours per day for the last week, I can confidently say that I am still very excited for my next play session.