By Odin's beard! I've just stepped out playing the first 90 minutes or so of Asgard's Wrath on Oculus Rift S and if this isn't shaping up to be one of the best VR games ever made, I don't know what is!
If you own an Oculus Rift headset this could be your Loki day because Asgard's Wrath is absolutely gorgeous and a true feast for the eyes. Don't believe me? You can watch my jaw drop multiple times as I play through the opening hour and a half of the game in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, which you'll find just below these words.
One of the first things I noticed about Asgard's Wrath was how big it was, and I'm not just talking about the 40+ hour game length. The file size was a whopping 121GB so if your internet isn't up to scratch you'll probably have to spend an age downlOdin it (sorry I'll stop the puns now).
According to my save file on the main menu, that first 90 minutes counted towards only 2% of game completion, which honestly shocked me a bit. 90 minutes is often a good half of a standard VR game, so if you're one of those who have been clamouring for an epic, AAA gaming experience on your headset, Asgard's Wrath looks set to deliver.
Asgard's Wrath isn't just a visual treat though, the controls are intuitive and friendly so players of all skill levels should be able to enjoy it too. Interactions with NPCs and the environment are nice and easy and countless subtle touches thatyou may not even notice, add weight to the overall immersion. Melee combat with a sword and shield also feels great, with gentle haptic feedback in the Touch Controllers creating the feeling that your blade is slicing through soft Draugr flesh.
But it's not all hand-to-hand combat and dungeoneering. As you'll be able to see in my video above, your character is the newly awoken God of animals and that brings with it some perks. Firstly, when you assume your God form, you tower over the landscape and the world you once inhabited becomes like a model village at your feet. It turns the standard adventuring into something akin to Moss, where you can reach into the game world with your giant God hands and interact with pieces of scenery in order to open up new routes for your human form.
The other perk is the ability to create Followers, by converting the local wildlife into humanoid creatures, each with its own special abilities. In my short play session, I unlocked two of the 10 available, a shark named Egil who is a dab hand at combat and opening locked doors and a Turtle called Hulda whose shield is very useful when it comes to avoiding flame traps.
So far, I've not played enough Asgard's Wrath to find many negative points. To be honest with you, I was far too busy being wowed by the whole package. Saying that though, the loading times in this game do seem to be incredibly excessive, which can be a bit of a pain, especially when you die.
Overall though, I absolutely cannot wait to play more of Asgard's Wrath but, thanks to EGX taking up all my time this week and next, I'm probably going to have to wait until the Oculus Link update arrives for the Quest before I can dive back in. Nevertheless, I'd urge anyone who owns an Oculus Rift to give this a go because this delicious blend of Skyrim's dungeoneering and first person combat and God of War's Norse inspired aesthetics is every bit as immersive, intoxicating and engrossing as you could hope for it to be.
And do remember, these opinions all come from playing only first few tutorial missions, so I can only imagine how much deeper the gameplay gets later on with all the crafting, side missions, challenges and other activities on offer. Get it in your face!
If you enjoyed this episode of Ian's VR Corner, you can catch up with my previous adventures over on YouTube in our VR playlist, where I've covered Valheim VR's motion controls mod, Doom 3 VR Edition and everything we know about PSVR 2 so far. You can also read our list of the best VR games.