Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement on Quest 3 hands-on - what is life like in medieval virtual reality?

Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement on Quest 3 hands-on - what is life like in medieval virtual reality?

Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement, the VR spin-off of the popular medieval simulator, launched last month. Does it live up to the original?

Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement is the Quest 3 spin-off of a popular PC survival game that I have spent many hours playing. However, the VR version is a standalone game and not a direct VR port.

Combining the genres of role-playing, survival and simulation, Medieval Dynasty offers a wide range of activities — from constructing various buildings for your own small settlement to hunting and farming your fields, everything is included. But how does it all play out in virtual reality?

Familiar gameplay in VR

As I am very familiar with the original PC version of Medieval Dynasty, the basic gameplay is nothing new to me. Even if not all the mechanics are perfectly implemented, New Settlement does a good job of capturing the gameplay of the original.

The crafting of tools and cooking are particularly well done. While on the PC everything is still done via menus, in VR I have to carry out all the steps myself. From chopping the ingredients to the actual cooking process, everything is included.

The game can also be tailored to your own tastes, thanks to the excellent customization options. It doesn't matter if you want to play sitting or standing, if you're right-handed or left-handed, or if you have motion sickness and don't want to use fluid movements.

From farmer to mayor

In Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement, you have the choice between two game modes. As the name suggests, the story mode offers a framework story and slowly introduces you to life in the Middle Ages. In sandbox mode, on the other hand, you have all the recipes and no quests from the outset. So here you can just build as you go.

At the beginning of the story mode, whose plot doesn't necessarily shine with unforeseen twists and surprises, I start with just a rucksack on the edge of the valley where I will soon build my own settlement. After a visit to the mayor of a small town, I can choose one of the three locations where I will settle from now on.

I can choose between a building site near an old mine, a piece of land in the middle of the forest, or the option of building my home near a lake. Each of the locations will bring me different advantages later on. On my first attempt, I opted for the lake, but quickly met my first virtual death at the hands of wild boars. As I hadn't saved my game yet, I had to go back to the mayor, which was admittedly a bit annoying. Instead, I opted for the building site near the mine.


Once there, I was given a few quests. Within the next fifteen minutes, I made my first tool, an axe, and felled some trees. Then I had to build my first house. With some resources in my backpack, which are really easy to collect, I set the blueprint for my house. After a few hammer blows on the walls and doors, the building was finished.

As is usual in survival games, you also have to keep an eye on your hunger and thirst in Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement. In the hours that followed, I familiarized myself with the surroundings, hunted, cooked and cultivated a small field. Just what you do as a farmer and sole provider. As the game progresses, more buildings and inhabitants are added, bringing more depth to the game.

Medieval Dynasty: New Settlements does not set new visual standards

The graphics in Medieval Dynasty: New Settlements are rather functional, and I have seen better graphics on standalone VR games. The game would benefit from a little more variety and detail.

Some objects appear in your field of vision as if by magic, or materialize from a rather ghostly form. However, as I am not in a fantasy setting, I know that this is not a deliberate use of magic, but merely an imperfectly optimized gaming experience.

In terms of activities, New Settlements doesn't reinvent the wheel, but I always felt like I was creating something with my hands. Almost everything I would have had to do in the real world to achieve my goal I had to do here. This makes for a successful immersion and enough varied activities to keep me interested. The dynamic weather system and day/night changes also add to the realism of the game.

My verdict on the medieval simulation

Overall, Medieval Dynasty: New Settlement gets almost everything right for me. I enjoy just going about my life in the medieval world. The controls are precise and allow me to do almost everything the way I want. The different activities are well implemented in VR and feel good overall. If I could build a settlement with my friends and the graphics were a little more polished, I would have little to complain about.