Preview | Asgard’s Wrath 2

Originally published at: Preview | Asgard’s Wrath 2 - XboxEra

Meta has been looking for their must-have title, and I think they might have found it with Asgard’s Wrath 2. Sequel to the Oculus Rift exclusive, this Meta Quest-only title is a behemoth Action RPG. I’ve gotten to play the first 20 hours or so for this preview, and I’ve barely scratched the game’s surface. It is a massive sandbox, that looks and sounds great so let’s just right into it.

The Premise

Asgard’s Wrath 1 ended with the trickster God Loki trapping you in the prison he had been confined to, that rascal! You can choose to watch a quick breakdown of the first game’s story and I think it’s enough to not feel left out if you never did. Asgard’s Wrath 1 and 2 are included with a purchase of a Quest 3, and 2 costs $59.99 if you want to play it on a Quest 2. I balked at the price initially for Quest 2 owners, but after 20+ hours with the game, I understand it. This game is massive, the biggest I’ve played in VR.

It does not have the same focus or fidelity as VR’s champ, Half-Life: Alyx. Here you get a sprawling, incredibly long action rpg with estimated playtimes of at least sixty hours if you mainline the quest, but rough estimates for a normal playthrough are over 100. You’ll begin with an epic boss fight before slowly being introduced to the game’s many mechanics. You are a Cosmic Guardian, and you’ll travel all over Ancient Egypt and more which I’ll cover in next week’s full review.

The Gameplay

Asgard’s Wrath’s first playable character that your God will inhabit is named Abraxxas. He is a sword and board user and plays a bit like a VR Kratos (if he were Egyptian). You’ll have a main sword that can turn into a whip, a Captain America-style shield, and a throwing axe. All of these can be thrown and recalled brilliantly. It feels incredible every time I throw an axe at a flying enemy, use a flick of my wrist to send it flying at another foe before parrying with my shield and slicing their head off.

I’ll need to see how the other playable characters control, but I hope they all feel this damned good. Asgard’s Wrath has a slightly cartoon-like style but you can chop limbs and heads off, and slice enemies straight down the middle to see them split in half. It’s not bloody, instead, everything is stylized with bright, saturated colors and glowy effects and it looks great.

There is climbing, dashing, mounts to ride, and more. I’ve played with the lowest comfort settings on and felt fine even after 2 or 3-hour-long sessions. Much like the first game you’ve got a companion, a key difference now is they can turn into mounts and there are fewer of them. The focus has shifted to gearing them out, building relationships, and having a genuine connection with each.

The Budget

Asgard’s Wrath 2 feels like a big-budget title. The voice work is great, with solid writing so far. The music is fantastic and the sounds of battle work well, letting me know where enemies are with the Quest 3’s built in speakers. Clocking in at a roughly 30 GB download this one will be tough to fit on older devices. We were provided with a 512 GB Quest 3 model by Meta for last month’s AC: Nexus review and it’s been brilliant here.

Alongside all the main quest stuff is the game’s endless dungeon mode. These rifts are randomly generated rogue-lite runs that are a ton of fun. There is a light meta-leveling system to them and I’ve already spent a quarter of my time during this preview plugging away at them as I try to climb the leaderboards.

The game also has a battle-pass-like system tied to in-game challenges. No clue if it’s paid or not, it doesn’t seem to be and it offers up a bevy of cosmetic items. These include poses and titles for your asynchronous multiplayer avatar. In rifts, you can choose to be friend or foe to other players, and you can leave Dark Soul-style avatars that do poses or point in directions too.

Wrapping Things Up

I am extremely impressed with the first 20 hours of Asgard’s Wrath 2. It’s so big that I couldn’t even get through all the environments we’re allowed to show in this preview embargo. I’ll be back next week with a long, proper review so keep an eye out for it.