Asgard's Wrath 2 revealed: A VR RPG giant for Quest 2 and 3
A VR game legend returns with Asgard's Wrath 2, promising a huge, open-world AAA role-playing game for Quest 2 and Quest 3.
Asgard's Wrath set the standard on the Oculus Rift in 2019: Virtual Reality finally got its first big fantasy epic with massive, tactical blade battles and graphics to fall in love with. At the Meta Gaming Showcase, Meta's subsidiary studio Zanzaru Games finally announced a sequel coming this winter for Meta Quest 2. It will benefit from a higher resolution on Quest 3, which is planned for fall 2023.
The ARPG Asgard's Wrath 2 picks up directly from the story of its predecessor. However, with around 60 hours of gameplay, it is supposed to be even more extensive, including significantly larger open areas.
Open world on Meta Quest?
The mythology is not limited to new Viking locations like the fiery Muspellsheim. In four very different locations, players will meet various historical figures with surprising links to their folklore.
Players take on the role of a cosmic guardian. They must prevent the god Loki from throwing the world into chaos with his demonic warriors. After the former mentor turns out to be a traitor, the game's also about revenge.
To stand up to Loki, players take on the roles of four mortal characters in turn, each with their own stories, motivations, and weapons.
In Egypt, for example, it's Abraxas. After the sun goddess Sakhmet murdered his father, he sets out searching for her with weapons such as a boomerang axe and a segmented whip sword. Bows and staffs also come in handy – while fighting from a distance.
The animal companions once again play an important role, this time even serving as mounts. This way, the significantly larger open "pockets" of the worlds can be traversed more quickly. In addition, the cuddly creatures again help in combat and with puzzles. The latter are supposed to offer more solutions this time - depending on the choice of the animal. A friendly pat on the head or a "high-five" strengthens the friendship and unlocks new abilities and items of the companions.
More variety in a VR RPG
The players also have a level and skill tree this time, instead of just upgrading their equipment. The enemies, however, adjust to the progress and also increase their level.
Asgard's Wrath put a lot of emphasis on rhythmic blocking to break through the strong rune armor and expose weak points. This time, the combat is freer - with different blades or ranged weapons like the energy harp. However, those who want to can still act defensively.
During physics-based attacks and fast movement, however, there are more variations. As soon as upgrades and crafting are available in the lair, whip extensions, for example, bring a lot of tempo into the fights.
"The whip is a game changer," says Studio Creative Director Mat Kraemer in an interview with MIXED. You can use it to approach enemies, climb giant friendly creatures, and combine it with acrobatic wall runs. You can use the whip to retrieve hidden objects from remote cliffs in puzzles.
Experiments with the personal grappling hook attachments that each game character comes with should be especially fun. Another novelty is the relic system. By means of found elemental powers, buffs can be specifically attached or, for example, ice opponents can be melted with additional fire damage from a weapon.
Elemental powers heat up the battle
Also, back are the puzzles from the divine bird's-eye view. Here, for example, you put together a shipwreck piece by piece - almost like in Puzzling Places.
If you don't like exploring, you can limit yourself to the story missions thanks to the path markers. Side quests, hunting wild animals, and a fishing mini-game, on the other hand, are completely optional. According to Kraemer, there is no unnecessary grind in the optional random dungeons "The Uncharted Rifts" either. Instead, progressing through the story unlocks new content in these extra dungeons.
Some focus group players have become so bogged down in "Uncharted Rifts" mode, with its crunchy time limits, that they've left the story completely behind, Kraemer said. After dying, they send other players a ghost of their character to help them in battle. Alternatively, they can send an evil spirit after them.
Rumors of an MMO game with a strong multiplayer focus ("Asgard's World") have not materialized. "You know, we do think about synchronous plays and those things development wise, but there's none of that in Asgard's Wrath 2", Kramer explained.