Asgard's Wrath 2 review: Divine RPG is reason enough to buy a Quest 3

Asgard's Wrath 2 review: Divine RPG is reason enough to buy a Quest 3
Images via Meta

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes

Published 

15th Dec 2023 10:18

An open-world RPG with multiple characters, plenty of minigames and quests, and an enjoyable combat loop sounds like fun whichever way you slice it, but when you consider Asgard's Wrath 2 is built from the ground up in VR it certainly changes your perspective both figuratively and literally.

Sanzaru Games' new title is massive in scope but somehow managed to meet its own expectations and exceed my own. Make no mistake - Asgard's Wrath 2 is a watershed moment for VR gaming, and while it's a sensational showcase for the Meta Quest 3 it's packed in with for early adopters, it's also a title that may just swing VR naysayers.

GGRecon Verdict

Asgard's Wrath 2 is the most impressive showcase for any VR headset I've seen and is a game I'm desperate to get back to even after writing this review.

Packed full of secrets, layered with systems, and likely to get even better over time with new in-game events, it's a huge RPG that's worth exploring.

Heavenly bodies

Asgard's Wrath 2 combat
Click to enlarge

As I mentioned in my preview of the game's earliest hours, Asgard's Wrath 2 catches you up with a detailed plot summary of the first game, explaining how the trickster Loki bamboozled the player character and left them locked up.

Thankfully, you're set free by an even higher power and tasked with inhabiting the bodies of four different protagonists as they fight, loot, quest, hunt, and even fish across open worlds and in impressive dungeons.

Each of our heroes is nuanced, both in terms of their origins and their abilities, meaning that as you work your way through the over 90 hours of content (I've still got more to go back and complete), you'll uncover more about each and rarely find yourself coming at problems the same way chapter-to-chapter. Whether it's focusing on archery, throwing a shield Captain America-style, or dashing in to get up close and personal with opponents, Asgard's Wrath 2's combat clicked with me more than any other VR title.

Asgard's Wrath Key art
Click to enlarge

Whoever you're in the sandals of, combat is malleable, with your real-world arm flailing feeling pleasingly 1:1 with flashy attacks and combos (at least in terms of timing, you'll still look way less cool than you feel). Your weapons are more interactive aside from just swinging around, too, meaning you can bash your sword against your shield, or conduct lightning with your sword (if you thought it looked good in the trailers, you'll be blown away by how it feels to pull it off).

A section where you sneak past a skyscraper-sized boss is another highlight, but the sheer variety of enemy types across each of the game's chapters is impressive, moving between the fantastical and more humanoid enemies with impressive regularity. For a medium known for concise experiences that do one or two things very well, this is a surprising smorgasbord.

These are just some examples of the way Asgard's Wrath 2 makes the most of its VR format, and being able to enjoy Skyrim-like hijinks of picking items up and stashing them next to unsuspecting vendors is more fun in VR than you'd expect.

Go big or go home

Asgard's Wrath 2 Mount
Click to enlarge

One of the biggest (no pun intended) selling points of the first Asgard's Wrath was the ability to shift to 'God Form' in certain sections, and that returns in the sequel.

Moving to a much larger character, pulling switches and moving platforms, before shrinking back down to progress through those changed environments leans on one of my favourite types of VR experiences - diorama-esque scale manipulation.

It's satisfying to spot the solution to a puzzle, but more than that the act of swooshing between big and small forms is something that feels better in VR than it could ever do on a 2D plane.

God Form often makes an appearance in Asgard's Wrath 2's dungeons, which represent some of the best VR gaming moments I've experienced with any headset. Leaping across chasms, using a whip to go full Spider-Man, and tiptoeing past traps and spike pits like a godlike Indiana Jones sounds like a recipe for motion sickness and as a lapsed VR player, I found myself pleasantly surprised with how it made me feel slick, not sick.

Asgard's Wrath 2 underworld
Click to enlarge

Scraping through some of its tombs unscathed had me feeling like I should be reaching for my fedora, and an entirely optional roguelike mode is something I plan on regularly returning to. These Uncharted Rifts remix dungeons and improve the rewards through progressing further each time, almost like a VR Hades, and I can't wait to get stuck in.

It's not just loot, either. Players can also expect to hunt and gather materials for crafting or selling items to merchants, and these are just a few more of the many systems that coalesce to make Asgard's Wrath 2 feel like a genuine world within a headset.

Asgard's Wrath 2
Click to enlarge

Naturally, that ambition comes with caveats. The Quest 3 is a more powerful headset than its predecessor, but its nature as an all-in-one VR platform means it can't lean on a powerful PC or other connected hardware, so while the visuals look great, they're not as impressive as something like Half-Life: Alyx - the other VR 'killer app'.

I also experienced a couple of crashes, but Asgard's Wrath 2's regular autosave meant the progress lost each time was minimal at most. That's handy, too, because you'll blitz through the Quest 3's battery without even realising just how much fun you're having.

The Verdict

Asgard's Wrath 2 is the most impressive showcase for any VR headset I've seen and is a game I'm desperate to get back to even after writing this review.

Packed full of secrets, layered with systems, and likely to get even better over time with new in-game events, it's a huge RPG that's worth exploring.

5/5

Reviewed on Meta Quest 3. Review code provided by the publisher.

Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.

Trending
Take-Two Interactive hit with layoffs despite upcoming GTA 6 release
New games coming out in 2024 & full schedule
Sorry Invincible, we want a video game based on The Boys
Ex-Blizzard boss’ tipping comments show the industry needs to pay devs fairly
All Xbox Game Pass releases this month for console, cloud & PC (April 2024)