Age of Sigmar will get a nasty rap from followers of the Outdated World—Warhammer’s earlier fantasy setting—which was pushed to the again of the cabinet in 2015, discontinued in favor of this extra high-fantasy tackle the style. I just like the Outdated World too, however Age of Sigmar has its place. It is Warhammer with the heavy steel turned up, a setting the place ghoul kings hallucinate courts draped in finery whereas truly ruling ruins filled with cannibals, steampunk sky-dwarfs mine gaseous aether-gold out of cloud banks, and dragons will be so immense one is wrapped in chains and used as a solar. There is a character referred to as Drakatoa, the Dwelling Avalanche. It is gonzo as fuck.
I certain want that got here throughout in Tempestfall.
On this VR motion sport I am a lord-arcanum, a wizard-warrior of the Stormcast Eternals who solutions on to a lightning god. Together with my closely armored brothers and sisters, who all put on gold masks, I am off to battle the undead woke up by an occasion referred to as “the Necroquake”. That is a prog idea album proper there, however in observe what it means is preventing samey batches of skeletons and ghosts in empty streets, empty crypts, and empty wastelands.
Gripping my fists makes weapons spring out of them: axe, sword, or employees. Every has completely different spells that may be activated by holding the set off and waving them in a selected means. The gesture controls aren’t excellent, however I’ve positively felt much less responsive ones, and I find yourself counting on magic as a result of melee feels flat. Enemies wind up earlier than swinging to present you time to launch a parry, and so they turn into invulnerable for a second once they do—should you’re attacking once they resolve to prepared a blow your weapons simply whoosh proper by means of.
While you do join, it seems hitting ghosts with a giant magic axe is about as efficient as slapping them with a wiffle bat, so you might as effectively simply keep on with the lightning spell that eats well being bars like they’re made from cake. Skeletons have a bit extra physicality—you’ll be able to choose them up and yoink their heads proper off. I spent numerous time flapping skulls round and throwing them off issues, which was truly fairly enjoyable.
Different interactions aren’t so enjoyable. There are numerous double doorways I wish to push open like I am Aragorn and the occasion do not begin until I stroll in, however as a substitute they both grind to a cease midway or I instantly glitch proper by means of to the opposite facet. There’s numerous climbing too, going hand over hand up and down ropes and ladders and so forth. The choice to have floating icons that allow you to skip climbing sections is on by default, which suggests a insecurity in them. It is deserved. Going up a ladder means hoping the animation that hauls you as much as a remaining standing place kicks in when it is speculated to, and climbing down a rope solely to understand you are now midway by means of the bottom and tumbling into the void is not nice both. Weirdly, the skip-climb icons do not at all times seem, so generally you simply should put up with it.
There are additionally slim corridors your armoured bulk cannot get by means of with out grabbing a handy beam and hauling your self alongside it. That is glitchy as effectively. I received caught in a type of for some time, unable to pull myself by means of with out bouncing again jarringly till finally I simply disappeared into darkness after which reappeared at first—at which level performing the identical motion labored completely and I slid by means of the entire thing in seconds.
Worse than being janky and having some fiddly controls (weapon-switching specifically is a problem), Tempestfall is boring. The enemies aren’t actual vivid, getting caught on obstacles and ready so that you can re-murder them. Each they and obstacles respawn so you must burn the identical vines to battle the identical ghosts when backtracking. Pleasant NPCs jerk their arms round like puppets whereas blandly explaining what to do subsequent.
Often I see some floating islands that seem like they got here proper off a Roger Dean album cowl, or a huge statue that will get struck by lightning and shatters, however largely it looks like a waste of this outrageous setting. There is a sewer stage, for goodness’ sake. Maps of the Age of Sigmar setting have place names like Rain of Corpses and The World Pimples—if you wish to ship me someplace grotesque, you do not have to fall again on a sewer stage.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall is obtainable on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. A devoted Oculus Quest model is within the works, however within the meantime Quest 2 homeowners can play the Rift model over Oculus Hyperlink through cable or Air Hyperlink.