Quest 3, Quest 2
Asgard’s Wrath 2 stands out in a sea of virtual reality titles available on the market today. As the showcase piece for the Meta Quest 3, this sequel offers an experience rarely seen in the category, weaving together an exciting blend of action, intricate puzzle design, and semi-open-world environments. With the clever use of VR mechanics, you discover new surprises even after playing for dozens of hours. Asgard’s Wrath 2 is a VR game that’s difficult to put down, even as the Quest 3’s battery life often requires you to. However, while it does start out strong, it hits a few stumbling blocks along the way.
Asgard’s Wrath 2 immediately follows the events of the first game. The god of mischief, Loki, has managed to escape, and it’s up to you to track him down. The big difference now is that your journey takes you to the vast sand seas of Egypt, where you meet other deities willing to help you in your search.
There’s an immense world just waiting to be explored, which gave me a sense of awe as I looked at my surroundings and the sheer scope of what Sanzaru Games crafted. Moreover, the game’s visual flair, powered solely by a standalone headset like the Quest 3, remained impressive from a technical standpoint as I ventured through the picturesque landscape in this lengthy action RPG.
As you play through Asgard’s Wrath 2, you control distinct heroes with their respective narrative arcs. For example, you encounter the warrior Abraxas as he’s robbing a tomb. Later on, you control the river nymph Cyrene in her own chapter. You also meet various animal companions, such as a boar that can wade through lava and a panther that can cause illusory blocks to solidify. These concepts, in terms of traversal and puzzle-solving, make each companion’s functions quite unique, though the A.I. noticeably fumbles during battles. In some cases, they won’t even attack an enemy right next to them until you manually target that foe.
Combat mechanics push the boundaries of what VR gameplay can be, thanks to each hero’s assortment of weapons. This arsenal creates genuinely unique and refreshing playstyles. For instance, I’d get into the thick of the fray as Abraxas, slashing with a whip-sword in my right hand while tossing axes with my left. Meanwhile, the ranger Alvilda required me to perform rapid flicking motions to shoot different magic arrows. Surprisingly enough, the most mechanically complex character was an undead scribe named Djehuty; I had to place both hands in front of my headset and make a pulling motion to decapitate the character; then, I could use the head to possess foes.
Regrettably, I had a few issues with the controls, especially when grabbing weapons, since the controller has difficulty detecting the action unless I sit upright. Likewise, throwing weapons or firing projectiles, even with aim assist options enabled, became frustrating and tiring.
Still, the most fascinating feature of Asgard’s Wrath 2 is its puzzles, which show what can truly be achieved by VR games in terms of immersion, creativity, and engagement. Since you’re playing as a god, you can use your divine form to take control of larger structures, often switching to your hero character, who then traverses the area with the help of animal companions. The highest praise I can give Asgard’s Wrath 2 is that, at times, it feels like the Zelda VR game enthusiasts have been waiting for. Major puzzles are presented as grand set pieces – moments that filled me with wonder upon reaching these sections and a sense of satisfaction upon coming up with a solution.
Sadly, the sheer abundance of puzzles leads to poor pacing during specific segments, such as escaping a dungeon’s traps, only to realize that another brain teaser awaited instead of a climactic boss battle. The game’s last few chapters also feel rushed compared to the arcs of the first two heroes.
Asgard’s Wrath 2 still boasts an epic campaign that can take upwards of 70 hours to complete, chockful of numerous locales, lairs, and secrets to discover. Likewise, an infinitely replayable roguelike mode is waiting for you well after you’re done with the campaign and the overworld areas. In spite of a few qualms, Asgard’s Wrath 2 remains an offering worthy of the gods.