As I roll into my 25th hour of playing Asgard's Wrath 2, it hits me: there's no way I'll beat this game in time for the December 14 review embargo date, let alone by the end of the year. I'm still in the first realm and have four more realms to go before I see the end credits.
Just a month ago, I was blown away by Assassin's Creed Nexus VR and its 20-30 hour-long campaign. Little did I know what was in store for me only two weeks after wrapping up that review, but here we are. Asgard's Wrath 2 is said to be over 130 hours long, and that doesn't even calculate all the sidequests, collections, monthly events, and the never-ending roguelike game packed inside this already massive game.
Part of the problem is that I've had to restart the game three times during the review period because of some early bugs — all of which have been squashed and thankfully will not affect gamers who play the final version of the game when it launches on December 15 for the Meta Quest 3 and Quest 2.
Maybe even more impressive is that this is just a Meta Quest 2 game. The game looks better on a Quest 3, no doubt, but there haven't been specific enhancements put in place to take advantage of the newest headset. The team says they'll be assessing the possibilities and making announcements after the New Year. This is a seriously massive game, after all.
If I had to give the game a review score right now, I'd give it a 10/10. To say this game is a masterpiece is selling it short. This isn't just the best VR game of the year; it's in the top 3 best games of the year on all platforms. Only Baldur's Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom fit in the same category of content-packed RPGs.
So, in place of a full review at this time — something I fully plan to do once I finish the game — I'd like to pick out a few highlights that have kept me coming back day after day.
It's not too late to preorder and get Asgard's Wrath 1 for free on the Rift store on PC. Plus, get an Asgard's Wrath 2 Meta Quest home environment, an exclusive Asgard's Wrath 2 character bundle for use in Population: One, and an exclusive in-game armor set just for preordering! Even better, all Meta Quest 3 owners get the game and the preorder goodies for free.
Release date: December 15, 2023 (preorder now)
Dungeons and puzzles
As I said in my Asgard's Wrath 2 preview last week, this game feels like the ultimate mashup between Skyrim and an amalgam of many 3D Legend of Zelda games. One of the best parts of any Zelda game is the temples — not you, Water Temple — and that concept carries over to Asgard's Wrath 2 in a substantial way.
So far, I've gone through what feels like roughly half a dozen dungeons/temples filled with puzzles, enemies, treasure, and bosses. These areas are an absolute BLAST to play through, and they only get cooler and more varied the further you venture into the game.
But one of the many things that sets the Asgard's Wrath series apart is your ability to embody both mortal and god. Your true divine form can be unleashed during a select few large puzzle rooms where a divine altar exists, and being able to change perspective between a gods-eye view and the tiny mortal you play as for the rest of the game is nothing short of incredible.
These large-scale puzzles see you playing co-op with yourself, in a way, as you'll have to take turns performing actions as both god and mortal to complete each puzzle. For me, these types of rooms with puzzles are pure bliss and are exactly what I love about these kinds of adventure games and RPGs.
So far, in my travels all across the Great Sand Sea of Egypt, I've encountered dozens and dozens of monster dens and thief hideouts just waiting to be cleared out. Some of these are simple areas with a few enemies and maybe a puzzle or two to solve in order to get loot, but others present significant challenges and equivalent rewards.
The first den I came across was when my character was level 2. I entered to find 3-4 equivalent-level baddies and one level 7 mini-boss covered in armor. It took me many attempts to clear out this mini-boss, but when I finally struck the triumphant final blow, I was rewarded with access to a treasure chest that gave me a +25% water damage gem to outfit into my sword.
And most of these harder monster dens have similar types of loot, too! I've even come across several where I've entered, taken a look at the levels of the monsters inside, and immediately noped out. The combat in this game is challenging, and you'd do well to get some serious practice in before attempting to find everything.
New weapons and upgrades
While this game isn't one I'd describe as a Metroidvania, the concept of "get a new weapon and explore previously unreachable areas" is absolutely intact in Asgard's Wrath 2.
So far, I've collected an assortment of different weapon types, a shield, a whip sword, and some other stuff I won't spoil for you. Each of these has a very different gameplay mechanic, and all of them are used at some point to solve a puzzle or complete a section of the game.
Beyond just unlocking weapons as you progress through the game, though, you can also buy, forge, and earn weapons through various means. The god you see in the image above is one you'll unlock a few hours into the game, and you can converse with him to forge several different weapons, armor, iron/copper/etc ingots, as well as other items you'll learn about.
In addition to that, monthly quests are designed to have players complete different types of challenges to unlock everything from emotes to armor, new weapons, and other cosmetic frivolities.
The best part about this is that you'll earn something that can only be earned during that Cosmic Event, which means there's a high likelihood that your rare item could be the boon or bane of another player during the Uncharted Rifts roguelike game inside Asgard's Wrath 2.
Speaking of which, I can't wait to see more of you journeying through the randomly generated Uncharted Rifts once the game launches. I still can't get over how much of a massive game this is. If anyone told me we'd be getting a game like this on the Quest 3 — let alone the Quest 2 — I'd have told them they were crazy.
I don't know how this team pulled off what they did, but I'm glad they had the skill to be able to, and I can't wait to put dozens of additional hours into this game before the New Year hits!
Meta Quest 2
Ready to jump into Asgard's Wrath 2? The Meta Quest 2 is $50 off right now at Best Buy and comes with a $50 Best Buy gift card, so you can jump into the action right away and still save a bunch of money.
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