Asgard’s Wrath 2 Review – Virtually Flawless

Asgard’s Wrath 2 Review

When I play or review a new VR game, I ask two, fundamental questions. First, if the game was just a regular flat screen experience, would it still be any fun? Would its story, mechanics and characters hold up minus the distraction of VR? The second question is really just an inverse of the first. What experience is it giving me that justifies wearing this chunk of plastic strapped to my face? Any game that has satisfying answers to these questions is probably pretty good. In the case of Asgard’s Wrath 2, the game spins happy circles around my questions. It’s spectacular.

Asgard’s Wrath 2 is — obviously — a sequel to 2019’s Asgard’s Wrath. Bundled with the new Meta Quest 3, it’s the literal definition of “system seller.” Owners of the Quest 2 or Pro can play the game as well. I can’t address performance on those devices. The game was clearly built with the new hardware in mind.

Flight Into Egypt

While Asgard’s Wrath 2 obviously draws characters from Norse mythology, much of the game takes place in ancient Egypt. Imprisoned by the trickster Loki, you are a god with the ability to both enter into the bodies of humans and jump back into god form. During the expansive narrative in which you move ever closer to avenging yourself, you’ll occupy four, very different characters. Abraxis, a thief and melee-focused fighter; Cyrene, a support-type, ranged weapon user with a magic harp; Alvilda, a precision ranged fighter that can also use bombs; and Djehiuty, a hybrid melee, magic and ranged specialist.

Divided into seven Sagas — each one longer than the majority of VR games — Asgard’s Wrath 2 has all the elements of classic, open world RPGs. There are mounts, a hub home base, a number of useful follower characters, imposing bosses and extensive skill trees for each character. All these come together with the same polish and depth as a traditional flat-screen game. The VR aspect adds something those games lack. In VR, combat is more immersive and towering bosses all the more terrifying.

Built for VR

Asgard’s Wrath 2 makes thrilling and convincing use of the Quest 3’s relatively robust capabilities. Its success comes from an admirable level of mechanical polish and stellar art direction. Every action in combat or movement feels natural, and the UI is excellent. Like with every VR game — or any action game, really — controls take some time to learn but eventually become fairly transparent and intuitive.

In particular, jumping, climbing and even wall running have none of the inconsistent, frustrating or nausea-inducing animations so often found in VR action games. The game allows for three levels of comfort control. I found the setting that combines free movement with the option for snap turns and to be perfectly comfortable over long periods. 

Let’s be honest, though. When it comes to wearing the device, no standalone headset is perfectly comfortable over extended play sessions. For me, there’s a limit of a couple of hours at a time, with frequent breaks. I’ve also replaced the substandard stock strap with an upgrade, and use custom lens instead of wearing glasses. Asgard’s Wrath 2 clocks in at an astonishing 80+ hours, so do the math. It’s a big but absolutely worthwhile commitment.

Like the Meta Quest 1, 2 and Pro, the Quest 3 is powered by a mobile CPU and graphics processor. It looks very good, but no one should expect PC-level texture detail or impressive effects. Still, character models are far better than in most VR action games. There’s some texture pop-in and a few rough edges but it’s more than a little miraculous that a game so ambitious can live on the Quest 3 at all.

Perfect Balance

Asgard’s Wrath 2 balances three elements: combat, exploration and puzzle solving. 

I’m not always a big fan of environmental puzzles. So often they seem arbitrary and illogical. I was surprised, then, to find myself thoroughly enjoying the sometimes challenging puzzles in Asgard’s Wrath 2. They usually involve various combinations of simple object manipulation, rather than gathering obscure pieces of loot. The ability to warp easily into the titan view — which turns the environment into a living 3D diorama — was novel and engaging every time. It gave the puzzle elements a unique dimension that drained the tedium from the process of trial and error.

As an action RPG, Asgard’s Wrath 2 is heavily invested in its combat, and its genius move is moving the player through four characters and their various weapons and combat styles, which include all the basics: melee, ranged combat and magic. In each case, combat was generally immersive and satisfying. I say generally, because melee combat on the Quest still lacks some of the visceral punch of many non-VR games. I was sometimes not entirely sure whether my parries and sword swings were making contact.

Exploration is incredibly fun and there are countless secrets, hidden treasures, engaging side quests and mini games. It can’t be stated too many times: Asgard’s Wrath 2 is not just epic for a VR game, it’s epic compared to most games in the open world RPG genre, period.

The New Standard

VR was too long characterized by games that were essentially tech demos, throwaway concepts or experiences lacking in ambition and depth. It is no wonder that consumers hesitated to join the VR movement. But that’s changing. Games are getting bigger, more satisfying and making a clear case that VR is headed into a new and exciting phase. Maybe not quite maturity, but something very close.

Asgard’s Wrath 2 is one of the most impressive open world RPGs I’ve played in any format. That it’s in VR and on a wireless headset is sort of astounding. Asgard’s Wrath 2 is simply a must-play for new Quest 3 owners and a compelling reason to pick up the hardware. It’s hands down VR’s Game of the Year.

***Meta Quest 3 code provided by the publisher for review***

The Good

  • Immense world and gameplay
  • Excellent voice acting and characters
  • Immersive use of VR
  • Intuitive mechanics

The Bad

  • Some graphical bugs
  • Visuals can’t approach console standards