The original Asgard’s Wrath is already one of the most impressive VR games to-date, but if you thought the sequel was going to play it safe with more of the same, you’d be sorely mistaken. Instead, after a couple hours hands-on with Asgard’s Wrath 2, I’m convinced it just might be the biggest, most ambitious VR undertaking yet. If Sanzaru Games can pull off a 60+ hour open-world RPG, complete with companions, mounts, skill trees, a loot grind, and a compelling story – all designed for VR from the ground up – it might very well become the killer app for the Meta Quest 3. This potential outcome is one Meta apparently feels confident enough about that they’ve bundled the game with every headset. I only played a tiny section of what’s in store in this monster of an RPG, but so far, I don’t think that confidence is unwarranted.
Asgard’s Wrath 2 picks up right where its predecessor left off, and had me controlling an up-and-coming God with the ability to possess the bodies of mortal beings in hopes of fulfilling their destinies and getting me closer to my ultimate goal: stop Loki from causing mayhem on Earth. I played the earliest part of that adventure, where I stepped into the sandals of Abraxis, a grave robber from Ancient Egypt who found himself in a seriously lopsided grudge match with an almighty God. After helping the hopeless hot head out of a jam, we traveled together through boobytrapped catacombs and fought loads of chiseled lizardmen, looting and solving puzzles along the way – all of which are the sorts of things the first game already did well, but still fun nonetheless. The ability to leap out of my mortal coil and interact with the world from a Godlike bird’s eye view also returns, which comes in handy during puzzle-solving sections that I still couldn’t get enough of.
Asgard’s Wrath 2 Slideshow
But the major improvements became apparent later on when I reached the first major open-world area, found my first companion, and started riding around on the back of a panther in the desert in search of trouble. At some point between running away from a giant scorpion boss with help from my flying eagle companion and delving into an optional dungeon filled with enemies far beyond my power level, it hit me just how much of a leap Asgard’s Wrath 2 aspires to. This isn’t a VR port of an existing RPG and it isn’t a first draft of what a AAA RPG could look like in VR – it’s a fully realized open-world adventure (with all the trimmings) that proves that Valve isn’t the only VR developer whose work can play in the same league as PC and console games.
I spent way too much time interacting with my companions, like Subira, a melee warrior who can transform into a giant, pettable panther to help me get around the dunes of Egypt and comes with her own skill trees ripe for the leveling. I relished the opportunity to head in the opposite direction of what was clearly intended, finding unpredictable challenges and side stories to partake in, and I laughed mischievously as I hiked the difficulty settings all the way up to challenge myself with some of the most demanding melee combat I’ve faced in VR. These aren’t the sorts of stories one is used to hearing when it comes to VR, and it’s very exciting to see this sometimes-fledgling medium finally come into its own in an undeniably impressive way.
But like all massive RPG undertakings, the big question mark is whether Asgard’s Wrath 2 can pull off all it strives for without being crushed by the weight of its aspirations, and even in my limited time with it, I already encountered one full crash, complete with a loss of progress. It’s definitely worth noting that there’s still a few months of development time left to tidy things up, but with enormous potential comes enormous risk, which could make or break an otherwise promising game.