Demeo Battles expands one of VR's biggest hits in a meaningful way
Demeo Battles successfully adds a PVP component to the turn-based tabletop RPG, but is also worthwhile for single-player fans craving more Demeo content.
There has been no new content since the release of the fourth and final expansion, Reign of Madness, in late 2022. A PVP expansion originally planned for 2022 has been delayed to 2023. It released today as a standalone title called Demeo Battles.
What is Demeo Battles?
Instead of exploring dungeons and killing monsters together, Demeo Battles pits you against each other in arenas. You can either play alone and control two heroes, or play in pairs against another team of two.
Before each battle, you choose your heroes and select from a random set of action cards and monsters to bring into the fight. Demeo Battles is designed for short but intense multiplayer skirmishes. After a few rounds, the playing field becomes increasingly narrow as lava (also called "The Burn) flows into the arena. This forces a decision after 20 minutes at the latest. The winner is the player who defeats both opposing heroes.
In addition to the PVP mode at the heart of Demeo Battles, there is also a PVE mode for solo players. In this mode, you will be confronted with 40 scenarios in which you will compete in the same arenas against two AI-controlled heroes and their armada of companions.
The following is an overview of the features of Demeo Battles:
- 10 Distinct Arenas set in iconic Demeo environments and balanced for competitive play
- 7 Playable Champions each with their own unique approach to combat: hunter, sorcerer, assassin, guardian, bard, warlock or barbarian
- 35+ Minions that players can choose from to form an army to bring into battle
- 85+ Action Cards that deliver everything from poisoned arrows to barricades and ballistas to deploy on the road to victory
- 40 Single Player Challenges to help players sharpen their skills for tactical triumph
- 1v1 and 2v2 Multiplayer allowing you to control your team solo or share the glory with a teammate
- The Burn that slowly creeps in from every edge of the board, pushing champions together for late-game scenarios that get up close and personal
- Cross-platform Play that lets players take on all competitors on every supported device
- Mixed Reality mode to bring the battle board into a player's home using passthrough, and hand-tracking to let players pick up and play cards, dice, and miniatures just like they would with physical game pieces.
How good is Demeo Battles?
I was able to test Demeo Battles for two hours and get a first impression. My friend who usually plays Demeo with me was unable to join me this time, so I could only test the PVE mode, which is almost identical to the PVP mode. The biggest difference is that you play against AI opponents instead of humans, and the choice of heroes, maps, and opponents is often predetermined.
Resolution Games has not released new content for Demeo in over a year. The good news is that Demeo Battles makes up for the long wait. Demeo fans will feel right at home and be introduced to a new, exciting dimension of the game.
Unlike Demeo, the game rounds are much shorter, making it ideal for in-between sessions. Therefore, Demeo and Demeo Battles complement each other perfectly. For this reason, it would have made more sense to release Demeo Battles as a paid expansion rather than a standalone game, so that fans could quickly switch between PVE and PVP without having to start a new app.
I love to play Demeo solo, and luckily Resolution Games also provides single-player content that should keep you entertained for about ten hours. Or much longer if you want to complete every challenge perfectly and earn a three-star rating for each of them.
As mentioned, I wasn't able to try out the PVP mode, but you can expect this type of game to be much more challenging and complex than Demeo, as you'll be playing against humans instead of AI opponents. However, it remains to be seen if Resolution has overlooked any balancing issues.
Demeo Battles is coming to Pico and Playstation VR 2
The studio wants to monitor the game in its live environment over the next few weeks and primarily provide it with balancing updates. After that, the game will be provided with free content, as with Demeo. This includes a ranked mode and additional single-player scenarios. So Demeo addicts shouldn't run out of good stuff any time soon.
A version for Pico headsets is coming soon and Demeo Battles will be released for Playstation VR 2 and PS5 (2D version) in 2024, Resolution Games announced today.