The climb is one of the strongest release titles for the Rift in our opinion. This is one of 3 titles demoed in major box stores with the intention of getting people interested in the Rift. I personally bought into it hook, line and sinker as this is the game that led to my purchase of the system. Instantly after putting on the headset and going through the initialization process required by the person in charge of the demo I found myself immersed in the virtual world and it was beautiful. The Climb allows the player explore three gorgeously rendered environments with integrated movements. The challenges are based on your own skill, providing both expansive gameplay and a real world experience. In my case, I had limited climbing experience, which made the game itself a challenge and a fun learning experience.
As you might expect from a game called The Climb, the entire premise is to scale mountains. Operation is simple and the tutorial walks you through it easy enough. You aim by looking towards a ledge you want to grab onto and you can use the controllers to grab onto the ledges. There are separate stamina meters for each hand showing how long you can hang onto surfaces one handed, numerous climbing surfaces spread across the game’s three levels, and multiple difficulties that make the game fun to replay, making for an in depth experience. Climbing up the mountains felt as natural as lifting your hands to the next hold. With the touch controllers, it was super intuitive and felt very natural.
The game is designed for multiplayer, but you probably want to get familiar with climbing on your own first. Once you get comfortable you can play with others in multiplayer races to see which player can reach a certain point the fastest.
The game says that you need to have at least 8GB of Ram and either a NVIDIA GTX or AMD 2 video card to be able to operate. It definitely does make a difference if you have an operating system of Windows 7 minimum.
The beautiful graphics are the first thing you notice when you turn on The Climb. The latest build of the CryEngine combined with the 90fps minimum frame rate for the game itself created an immersive gaming experience. I actually got vertigo looking down after reaching the platform high on a mountain. I was scared to walk to the edge of the platform even though I was in my house. This made the experience very real and added a sense of awe to every movement.
Because of Crytek’s dedication to visual fidelity in their environments, the graphics are very beautiful and the scenes are peaceful. I know I personally got lower scores on a few levels because I stopped to enjoy the view on timed events. Every once in a while I caught myself looking around and behind me, taking in the view and I would actually try to take in a deep breath through my nose expecting to smell the smells of the canyon.
Overall The Climb for Oculus Rift was a unique experience. With the multiple paths through each level as well as various climbing hazards peppered throughout the game, gave it a great replay value you don’t usually find in such a narrowly focused game. The gorgeous visuals and subtle but realistic soundtrack added to the whole experience, making me feel like I was actually in the mountains.
With the Touch controls for the Oculus Rift, the game gave my arms a bit of a workout from holding them up in the air for extended periods. I’ve read about some people wearing arm weights while playing the game to increase the workout, but I’ve also read that you can get injured easily doing so. For me, the game was enough of a workout without adding the additional weight.
Additionally, I did feel a bit of neck strain after playing. I would recommend to anyone that gets this game to play it standing up. Much of the gameplay is spent looking up for your next handhold, and if you are not standing up you will definitely feel some neck stiffness afterward.
I would advise easing new players into it slowly. It can be a tad overwhelming at first if the user hasn’t experience virtual reality before. I have had more than one friend take off the headset and request something a bit less intense.
Even with these minor complaints, I would still say The Climb is a great game for the Oculus Rift, and with the recent addition of Touch control compatibility, it’s gotten even better. Highly recommended.